Friday, March 12, 2010

Guest Blogger - Richard Brawer

Victims die for many reasons.  Because they cheated on their wives or husbands; because they were the other woman; because they were a blackmailer; because they made someone angry; because they were about to be exposed for a crime; because they were about to expose someone else for a crime; and in Eileen Robinson’s case in Beyond Guilty because she killed.

Teenager Eileen Robinson lives in an ideal, middle class African-American family in Houston, Texas.  Her father dotes on her calling her his princess.  Her mother greets her after school with milk and cookies.  When her father is killed, an innocent victim in a drive by shooting, her mother is forced to go to work at night cleaning offices.  Eileen is relegated to babysitting her two younger sisters.  One night she runs out on them to hang with her friends.  Her sisters try to cook something and die in a fire.

Tormented, Eileen wants to kill herself, but she doesn’t have the courage. Wandering the streets, she is befriended by a drug dealer and moves in with him.  At twenty-one she is a single mother of two living alone.  Her drug dealer common law husband has been sent to prison.  When a state senator’s son, a former customer of her drug dealer, breaks into her house searching for drugs, Eileen kills him in self defense.  Falsely convicted of first degree murder, she is sentenced to death.

Death could not come soon enough for Eileen.  However, she must endure her guilt over her culpability in her sister’s death for another twelve years while she waits on death row for her sentence to be carried out.  Now strapped to a gurney with IVs in both arms, someone was going to do for her what she could not do to herself, and she was glad.  Her torment would be over. As the fluids pump into her arms she prays for forgiveness, not for killing the boy she was sure would have killed her and her children, but for causing the deaths of her sisters.

But Eileen’s life as a victim and as a killer does not end in the execution chamber.  Instead of dying from a lethal injection, she is put into a deep coma by the prison doctor and taken to an island prison to be a human lab rat in an experiment for a revolutionary drug.  Eileen is resolved to participate in the experiment knowing that if the drug doesn’t kill her, her captors will after they are done with her.

However, when she sees her children on a TV talk show arguing against the death penalty and saying they are going to exhume their mother’s body from the prison cemetery and bury her next to her sisters and her father, Eileen realizes that her captors cannot let that happen, and will try to kill her children before the order for exhumation can be obtained from the court.

The will to live for the first time since her sisters deaths outstrips her desire to die, and she escapes. You will have to read the book to find out how she evades her captives, how she feels when she kills them, and what she says over her sister’s graves to help her to abate at least some of her torment.

Go to to read the reviews, an excerpt, and find links to where you can buy both print and e-books of Beyond Guilty.


  1. I am already emotionally involved with this character and haven't even bought the book yet, what a great tie in to this month's topic.

  2. Best of luck with your release, Richard! It sounds like you are approaching this biz in all sorts of interesting ways.

  3. Poor Eileen. Her life just went from bad to worse. Best of luck with your release.

  4. Loved the plot and the little twist in the death chamber. Looking forward to reading the entire book. Oh by the way love you too. YOUR Sister in law in FLA


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