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Guilt By Association [Paperback]

Susan Sloan
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 14.77 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Nov. 16 1995
Date rape didn't exist in 1962. But thirty years after Karen Kern's life fell apart on a cold New York night, her nemesis returns, hogging the limelight on prime-time TV. Bob, the ex-Harvard man with the fatal charm, is now Senator Robert Drayton Willmont riding high in the polls and running for President. But this is no longer 1962, and times have changed...GUILT BY ASSOCIATION is a searing novel or remarkably sustained pace and power. Brilliantly combining elements of political thriller, courtroom drama and heart-rending emotional narrative, it presents an unforgettable and throught-provoking indictment of sexual responsibility in a world where justice is often just another victim.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Anticipation of the inevitable provides the compelling hook in Sloan's solidly crafted debut, as readers wait for date-rape victim Karen Kern to turn the tables on her attacker. In 1962, the attractive collegian is brutally assaulted in N.Y.C.'s Central Park by a Harvard Law student she has just met at a Christmas party. Subsequently spurned by her fiance-and in a sense by police and her parents, who assume she provoked the assault-Karen slowly carves a professional niche for herself but shuns any romantic attachments. Sloan juxtaposes Karen's uneasy maturation during the ensuing 30 years with the professional triumphs and behind-the-scenes shenanigans of California political aspirant Robert Willmont, Karen's erstwhile rapist. Both story lines occasionally become weighted down by domestic melodrama, though Sloan's array of colorful and credible supporting characters-and her keen observations of the passing decades-generally overcome any hurdles. And, when her protagonists finally reconnect, any shortcomings are forgiven, as the book's final third rushes headlong towards a taut and thoroughly satisfying finale. 75,000 first printing; major ad/promo.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Just when it was beginning to look impossible, former lawyer Sloan pumps some life into the crowded field of legal thrillers. Not that this is a literary masterpiece: The first-time novelist has an annoying habit of detailing the background of even the most minor characters. But Sloan delivers a satisfyingly tricky plot in a narrative brisk enough to keep readers engaged all the way to the deliberately delayed triumphant courtroom scene. The novel opens in 1962, when Karen Kern has the misfortune to be acquaintance-raped (before the term has even been coined) by a wealthy, good-looking Harvard law student. Kern's uptight mother convinces her to fudge the facts and claim to have been in an automobile accident. She goes against her mother's wishes only once, when she tells her beloved fianc‚; he backs away, and Kern clams up for good. She drops out of college, moves to Manhattan's Greenwich Village, and manages to make it through the '60s without having sex, even though she hangs around with the artistic residents of a communal apartment. Her rapist (a crudely drawn, heartless SOB) is living in San Francisco and entering politics. In the late '70s, Kern and her friends open an uptown shop selling art and accessories; she befriends a photographer who eventually spies some of her secret, sappy poetry (``The death of a dream/is surrounded by pain'') and invites her to collaborate on a book. Several successful projects and one platonic marriage later, Kern is living in San Francisco; her attacker is running for president. The ending, while clever, will have those of all political beliefs cringing for different reasons, Sloan often gets the proportions wrong in her blend of not-so- subtle social commentary and suspense, but there's no denying this novel's lowest-common-denominator appeal: It reads like a house afire. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Susan R. Sloan has written a gripping psychological suspense thriller with "Guilt By Association." Once I began this novel, I found it almost impossible to put it down. Her journalistic writing and realistic characters give the illusion, at times, that this is a nonfiction account of a terrible crime and the aftermath.
Karen Kern, a lovely coed with a bright future, attends a friend's holiday party one evening in December, 1962. Later that evening another party guest offers to walk her home. Unable to get a taxi, she accepts the offer. Bob, a wealthy Harvard student from a good family, was properly introduced to her and her friends knew him. She felt comfortable accepting his company on the long walk across Central Park. Bob brutally rapes and beats Karen in the park, abandoning her in the frigid winter air where she is found unconscious the following morning. Karen almost died that night. Since there are no witnesses to the crime, the police convince her family that they could never win the case if they press charges. The young man's family is influential. He is a good student at a top school and has no prior history of violence. Karen's parent's are too ashamed to pursue justice and tell their friends that Karen was the victim of a hit and run accident. It takes her over a year, and many surgeries, to recover - although she is left with a limp, no spleen, a badly damaged psyche and no self confidence. She will never have the children she has always longed for. Her life is ruined. She does not return to school. Her fiance, whom she finally tells the truth to, is unable to deal with the horrific situation and leaves her. Karen is brutalized once again by social and legal biases.
Ms. Sloan writes two parallel storylines.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Unforgetable Book!!! Sept. 28 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Most Unforgettable Book!!!
When I rented this book from the library I expected nothing of it.But boy was I wrong.This is one of the most amazing books Ive ever read and is definitely my all time favourite book. I had to purchase it for my collection. Susan R Sloan deals with the topic of rape with such sensitivity .Also the book is not written in your typical best seller style.Being from India you can totally identify with the kind of society potrayed in the 60s cos that's how the society in India is now.The way Karen s family blames her and ostracizes her for bringing shame to the family is how a lot of people would react.
Anyway the book is not only about her suffering but its also one of the best revenge thrillers .The ending is really gonna shock you.This is one book which all my college pals and even our mothers swear by it.Once you ve purchased this book you ll keep on passing it on cos you want to the whole world to read itI also recommend An Isolated Incident by the same author.The best thing about Susan R Sloan books are that you can read them again and again and they get better each time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Surprisingly Intriguing Read Sept. 18 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I picked this book up in paperback at an airport after reading the back of it and thinking it sounded like a good read but the author was unknown. I thought I would just take a change since I am such an avid reader.
I found the book to be rivoting! I recall finishing it on a car trip and just as my husband turned off on our exit to go home I completed it and closed the book and simply said "Oh My word!!!" Loved every minute of it.
What a pleasant surprise to read a new author and find myself so engulfed in the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Totally engrossing May 12 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I received a dog-eared, tattered copy of this paperback book from a co-worker. Pages were falling out. This copy has been read and passed around my workplace for who knows how long. This is the best book I have read in years. Could not put it down. Neglected work, home, sleep, everything until I reached the last page. Couldn't wait to pass it on to my best friend. It is that good. I can't believe someone in Hollywood has not made this book a movie yet.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding: As Good as a Novel Gets May 10 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A stunning first novel. After finishing this book my biggest surprise (besides the ending itself) is why this book and its author are not better known. The book is, at its core, a legal thriller, but it is far more than that - it is a first rate literary novel. It surpasses anything that John Grisham, Scott Turow or Richard North Patterson have written. The characters are three dimensional and the story itself, especially the reaction of the authorities and Karen Kern's family to her rape, are all too accurate. So too is the consequence of the rape on Karen herself. The book would make an excellent text for a course in contemporary society on any college campus.
...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Surprise Ending! April 12 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This compelling novel was difficult to put down once I started it. The characters seemed so real. I felt as if I was actually drawn into the personal events of their lives. That's a feature I consider essential to excellent storytelling. Susan Sloan achieved it masterfully! Read this book! It will be a long time before you forget its awesome surprise ending.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Real Surprise Nov. 1 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
For the debt novel,I loved it. It has been along time sence I got into a book on the frist chapter, this one did it for me.
I'm not done with it but could not wait to pass on how I loved it. Just like the cover says what a great ending.
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