When Carrie was accused of brutally murdering her husband’s lover, she denied it. She denied it when they arrested her, when they put her in front of a jury, and when they sent her to prison.
Now she’s three years into a fifteen-year sentence, away from the daughter she loves and the life she had built. And she is still denying that she is to blame.
Tess Gilroy has devoted her life to righting wrongs. Through her job for Innocence UK, a charity which takes on alleged miscarriages of justice, she works tirelessly to uncover the truth. But when she is asked to take Carrie’s case, Tess realises that if she is to help this woman, she must risk uncovering the secrets she has struggled a lifetime to hide…
We’ve all done things we’re not proud of.
Hi and welcome to my stop on the damppebbles blog tour for Clear My Name by Paula Daly! Many thanks to Emma Welton for the invite and to Transworld Books for the review copy.
I’m a huge fan of Paula Daly’s, her thrillers are always not just entertaining but also so very clever, somehow she always throws a little something into the mix that I don’t see coming and Clear My Name is no exception.
Clear My Name tells the story of Tess, the only fulltime employee of Innocence UK, which is a charity organisation that has managed to get quite a few prisoners acquitted. They revisit evidence, consider new evidence, try to find new witnesses, they go above and beyond to prove miscarriages of justice and now they’ve decided to take on the case of Carrie, convicted of the murder of her husband’s lover, Carrie’s been in prison for a few years and many more to come. But Carrie is innocent. Or so she says. Yet, she had all the motive, and her blood was found on the crime scene, and DNA evidence is irrefutable, is it not? And if she didn’t stab a knife into the young woman’s throat eleven times, who did? Tess herself doesn’t know what to believe, but she does know that trying to help Carrie will take her back to her own hometown and her own mistakes that she was hoping to keep buried in the past. (If Tess read more thrillers, she’d know the past never ever stays buried ?)
The story alternates between Tess and Carrie, both past and present and gradually we learn what (and more importantly: who) Tess is so afraid of, and of course, whether Carrie is guilty or innocent. I had a dozen theories about the murder at any given time, and I couldn’t make up my mind about Carrie, I kept going back and forth: “she did do it, she must have done”, “she’s hiding something but I don’t think she’s a murderess”, “poor woman to have been incarcerated for years when she clearly didn’t do it”. The outcome? None of my theories, that’s for sure! Still, not that implausible either. I know I’m speaking in riddles, sorry not sorry, you don’t want me spoiling your fun, you want to pick up this book and find out for yourself!
I was fully invested (not always a given with thrillers), although it took me a little while to warm to Tess. She seemed quite cold and standoffish, but it soon became clear that she did have valid reasons for her behaviour and the more I got to know her, the more I liked her. Carrie is a very intriguing character, a bit standoffish in her own way too. A cheated on wife. A convict. A mother. A killer?
If you’re new to Paula Daly, this is an excellent place to start, if you loved her previous work, I can guarantee you that you’ll love Clear My Name as well. This is an entertaining thriller that explores everything from maternal bonds to the difficulties and intricacies of overturning a conviction. Recommended!
Check out the other stops on the tour: