cover image The Guilty One

The Guilty One

Bill Schweigart. Crooked Lane, $28.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-63910-246-4

Right after Patrol Officer Cal Farrell, the protagonist of this suspenseful thriller from Schweigart (The Devil’s Colony), successfully deals with a mentally ill vagrant who’s making a nuisance of himself in the Old Town section of Alexandria, Va., he’s dispatched to the scene of an active shooter in a nearby office building. Cal is later credited with killing the shooter, but he has no memory of doing so. Immediately promoted to detective and praised as a hero by the press, Cal is shunned by fellow detectives who believe he didn’t deserve his promotion. Wracked with imposter syndrome, he receives mandatory treatment from the department’s psychologist. Six months after the deadly incident, Cal spots a body dangling from a tree while on his morning run. More murder victims follow, all of whom turn out to be tied to Cal, making him a suspect. Feeling himself an outsider in his department, Cal strives to prove himself as an investigator. The brisk, action-packed plot is matched by a deep dive into Cal’s psyche. Readers will hope they haven’t seen the last of this well-developed lead. (Mar.)