Guilty 3 (Pages 66 – 218)

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SPOILERS!!!

Poor Karl!!! He is a very unlucky guy. When his name is linked to Constance’s disappearance, his boss fires him without any explanation. After that, he is hounded by the press and feels trapped in his own house. Amanda Bowe keeps publishing articles focused on him. In one of them his neighbour Maria Barnes makes a statement about Constance being in her uncle’s house all the time, which she found peculiar. There are all kinds of hints about his relationship with Constance being questionable. Then Amanda Bowe writes an article about an episode in Arizona, which ended up with Karl being arrested. The incident involved a woman called Selina Lee, who Karl had a relationship with. When he met Selina, everybody told him that Selina was trouble, but Karl fell for her, and shortly afterwards they moved in together. Selina is an actress and had a role in a soap opera, which often kept her away from town. A couple of months later during dinner when she had drunk too much, she confessed that the times she had been away, she had actually been with the soap opera director, who she had had an affair with, but now it was over. Karl and Selina had a tremendous row, which ended up with him storming out. He spent a couple of hours in a bar, and when he returned to the cottage in the early hours of the morning, he found Selina bleeding and her clothes torn. She had been raped, and Karl was arrested and even beaten for a confession. When Selina regained consciousness, she made a statement, saying that Karl didn’t attack her. It was someone else who was wearing tights over his head, but she could tell that he didn’t have an Irish accent, and was clean shaven whereas Karl then had a beard. Karl was exonerated, but the article that Amanda writes about it hints that nobody else was charged with the crime, and it is obvious that the doubt about Karl in that matter is there.

After the article comes to light, everybody charges against Karl, who had never talked to anybody about that time. His brother is furious, and so is his wife, who he feels is drifting away. On the seventh day of her disappearance Constance’s body is found and Karl is arrested and sent to prison. Apart from his young solicitor, nobody believes he hasn’t done anything. Constance’s parents don’t speak to him, and his wife betrays him by telling the police that Karl had manipulated his nephew Matthew to lie to the police. And then she moves to America with their daughter. The poor man is all alone and abandoned, and he is in jail for eight months.

After all those long months his name is cleared when his friend Dominick kills himself and confesses in a letter that he killed Constance. He was drunk that night and was driving his jeep, and out of nowhere Constance appeared and he ran her over, which killed her. Dominick panicked and decided to hide her body in the dry water deposit. Amanda learns this from his lover, a policeman Hunter who leaked information to her. After that, ironically Amanda starts a campaign for the release of Karl. We learn that the evidence that the police had against Karl didn’t hold up. The friends who claimed that they didn’t know anything about the Fearless eventually confessed that they all were members. The mobile was found, and there were videos of some of the things these teenagers did. One of the videos was Constance and her two friends in her uncle Karl’s bedroom, braless and waving their bras when he and his family were away on holiday. That is why they found Constance’s bra there. Amanda lists reason after reason why Karl should be released.

Karl finally leaves jail and he returns to his empty house. He can’t believe that his friend Dominick could be the killer of his niece. His house still smells of smoke as some teenagers had hurled molotov cocktails into the house, calling him a paedophile before he was arrested. That first day he gets the visit of Jenna, who is apologetic and understands he must hate them, but Karl is not bitter. What Jenna asks him is to make peace with his brother. Apparently, Justin is being transferred to Boston, and they have put the house on the market. A few days later Karl goes to see his brother, but Justin has a very different attitude to his wife’s. He is not apologetic and says he still blames Karl for Constance’s death. If Karl had told him about the Fearless and what his daughter was up to, she might still be alive. I understand Justin’s grief but I think he is unfair to his brother. Karl has spent eight long months in jail, accused of a terrible crime, and Justin doesn’t even acknowledge that.

While this is happening, Amanda takes a central role in this part. We learn about her relationship with Hunter, the garda, but the relationship finished when Amanda went to spy on him and his family life. This didn’t sit well with him, and decided to finish it. Shortly after Karl is released, Dominick’s mother dies, and Karl attends the funeral, and Amanda covers it for her tabloid. She keeps watching Karl and even follows him around, and when Karl notices, he walks to her and utters a quote about revenge.

From that point on, Amanda is being threatened. She gets anonymous calls, receives a bullet in the post, telling her that next time it will be aimed at her, gets a parcel with powder which at first she thinks might be antrax, and someone even leaves an artefact that could well have been a bomb. Amanda thinks that  Karl is the one threatening her, and she even tells Hunter, who goes to Karl, warning him to let her be or he will regret it. Amanda’s suspicions are clarified when she is assaulted by on of the Shroff’s brothers, a band of drug dealers, who she is writing a feature about. The man threatens to kill her if she doesn’t delete the feature, and Amanda promises to do so, and she actually gets rid of the whole thing.

Karl’s life isn’t easier now that he is out of jail. He tries to get a job from his old boss, but the man refuses, so Karl threatens to sue him for unfair dismissal. Then when he goes to see Nicole and their daughter in America, things aren’t easier. Nicole’s father is a bully, who doesn’t appreciate his presence, and he threatens to have him deported, which means he won’t see his daughter in years if he decides to. Things with Nicole seem to be over as she is planning to have a job and move to an apartment. I have to say that Nicole’s love for Karl must have been very limited. I understand that she was upset when she learnt about what Karl hadn’t told her about Arizona. But if this is the man he married and loved, shouldn’t she have had more faith in him? I think Karl is much better off without her, but the problem is that his sweet daughter now lives hundreds of miles away, and he is a foreigner in America, so any claims for her custody would be impossible to get.

Poor, poor Karl! I hope that things improve for him soon, and the people who have hurt him so much should really get their comeuppance.

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