Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on November 14, 2021
I’ve never actually read a James Patterson novel; if you’re like me, The Guilty, a dramatized play available for free on Audible Plus, wouldn’t make you want to do so.
The play, co-written by Patterson, begins with two NYPD homicide cops launching an investigation into a death at the opening night of the titular The Guilty on Broadway. Reclusive mystery playwright Osmond Box (think of plays like Deathtrap or An Inspector Calls) never lets anything leak about his plays before opening night. But this is an opening night like no other: Three actors being threatened onstage by Box amidst plenty of banter. Half the audience thinks the scene is part of the play, while the other half knows enough to be horrified. The play begins humorously enough, and the audience doesn’t know who ends up being killed. However, after the first 90 minutes, I was ready for it just to cut to the chase and be over. John Lithgow gives an incredible performance, chewing up the scenery, but he just isn’t enough to save this juggernaut, lurching into greater and greater implausibility. Had I paid for this Audible audiobook, I would have asked for a refund.