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The Innocent One

On sale

12th January 2023

Price: £9.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349429274

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Could the child once accused of murder really be innocent?

‘So good . . . Ballantyne makes it look easy’ NEW YORK TIMES

‘Beautifully told’ DAILY MAIL

‘Thought-provoking and unsettling’ ALEX GRAY

‘A breathless thriller’ WOMAN’S OWN

‘Had me turning the pages late into the night’ C. J. COOPER


Ten years ago, Sebastian Croll was found not guilty of murdering his playmate.

Criminal solicitor Daniel Hunter defended the eleven-year-old in a trial that gripped the nation, but the past is unearthed when Daniel gets a call from his old client.

Or guilty?

Sebastian’s university professor has been brutally murdered and everyone who knew her is in the frame.

As Daniel steps in to represent Sebastian for the second time, rumour of his client’s identity spreads like wildfire.

The media swarm. Threats begin to arrive. And the question on everyone’s lips:

Could the child once accused of murder really be innocent?

What everyone is saying about Lisa Ballantyne’s thrillers:


‘Sophisticated, suspenseful’ LEE CHILD


‘Unsettling and compulsive’ ROSAMUND LUPTON


‘Emotionally intense’ RICHARD AND JUDY BOOKCLUB

‘Grips like a vice’ DAILY MAIL

‘Thought-provoking’ GILLY MACMILLAN


‘A page-turner’ DAILY EXPRESS

‘I couldn’t get this book out of my head’ JENNY COLGAN


A wonderfully creepy crime thriller
Daily Express
A page-turner with real emotional depth
Karen Dionne, No. 1 internationally bestselling author of The Marsh King's Daughter
A crackling good read - exactly the kind of novel that readers have come to expect from one of the most talented psychological suspense authors working today. With a gripping, twisty plot, conflicted and relatable characters, ever-rising tension, and an ending that's as thrilling as it is satisfying, I loved this book!'
Woman & Home
Daily Mail
Beautifully told, with the talented Ballantyne's typical clarity, it weaves a subtle web
Sarah Weinman, New York Times
Fingernail-on-a-chalkboard sentences are what make The Innocent One so good . . . Fashioning memorable suspense out of a well-known case is incredibly difficult, but Ballantyne makes it look easy
Sunday Times
Joyce Carol Oates
Moving and suspenseful; richly detailed, yet with the eerie simplicity of a parable
Moving, insightful
Clare Mackintosh
A gripping and emotionally charged story. Just brilliant
Gilly Macmillan
Thought-provoking and clever
A character-driven, domestic crime novel. Through juxtaposing the choices of two emotionally disturbed boys, Ballantyne sensitively explores themes of rejection, abuse, and forgiveness
Morning Star
A combination of psychological and legal thriller, this is both tense and intense, gripping and moving
T. F. Muir, author of the DCI Andy Gilchrist series
A suspenseful, compelling read with a sting in the tail that will leave you gasping. Lisa Ballantyne knows her stuff. An author to be reckoned with
Claire McGowan
Gripping, tense and moving
Richard and Judy Book Club
One of the most readable, emotionally intense novels of the year
Jenny Quintana
A compelling and emotional read with convincing characters that stayed in my head. Lisa Ballantyne deals with a difficult and controversial subject in a sensitive and thoughtful way
Daily Mail
Grips like a vice
Saskia Sarginson, bestselling author of The Twins
Such a wonderfully layered novel, part emotionally charged, nerve-jangling thriller, and part tender, intelligent family drama. I couldn't put it down. Brilliant.
Lee Child
Sophisticated, suspenseful, unsettling
Rosamund Lupton
Thought-provoking, brave and challenging, this book is an unsettling and compulsive read
Praise for Lisa Ballantyne's previous novels:
Woman’s Own
A breathless thriller
C. J. Cooper, bestselling author of The Book Club
A skilful mixture of creepy crime thriller and gripping domestic drama, the Innocent One had me turning the pages late into the night.
Alex Gray, the Sunday Times bestselling author of the DSI Lorimer series
Thought provoking and unsettling
Renee Knight
A tense and shocking thriller that has the added treat of Lisa Ballantyne's deft prose. I loved it