Clear My Name
Author: Paula Daly
Date of Publication: August 8th 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Bantam Press
‘Emotional, twisty and a joy to read. It deserves to be a huge bestseller.’ Mark Edwards
‘Loved it – twisty, turny and as brilliant as ever!’ Jill Mansell
‘The UK’s answer to Liane Moriarty. Amazing.’ Claire McGowan
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.
‘Compelling concept, kick-ass characterisation and a gut punch of a sting in the tale.’ LV Hay
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
Holy Mother of all that is decent! Clear My Name was a heart stopper. Do you want a book that’s going to suck you in from page one? Do you want a book that tears up your conceptions and sets them alight? Do you want a book that bins the rulebook on Thriller formulas? Well look no further this book has it all in spades. There are thrills galore, this is certainly not likened to a pair of comfy slippers this is a hellish pair of stilettos whilst you dodge a minefield…the journey is that treacherous.
Tess works for a charity organisation called Innocence UK. The charity investigates potential miscarriages of justice and receives funding to dig deeper into the specifics of the case. Tess enjoys this line of work and gets immense job satisfaction from it. When the team vote on which case to tackle next they pretty much left with no choice, having not investigated any woman related cases. The uproar it would case isn’t worth it, so they take on the case of Carrie Kamara, convicted of murdering her husband’s lover, Ella, four years previously. Taking on the case means spending time in Tess’s hometown of Morecambe. Does Tess herself have a demon that could be snapping at her heels.
Carrie appears to be a very well put together individual even though she’s apparently innocent of murdering her husband’s lover. She isn’t the woman she once was, she’s put on a lot of weight, her hairs falling out and is generally just a shadow of the bright light she once casted. She maintains her innocence four years later, the story hasn’t changed with the time behind bars, she is still damn sure she didn’t commit this murder. The story is told in Tess and Carries POV’s and I particularly enjoyed reading Carries take on the events leading to the murder.
Now by this point your probably thinking – she’s in jail, there must have been some pretty damning evidence to get her in there? Well that’s a very sensible deduction, and you’d be right…when you find out how that damning evidence was carried out – you’d better hold on to your head because it’s going to spin so fast it’s in danger of falling off. This story is so complex and systematic in its storytelling and the character layering is bang on! The author throws in a lot of doubtful dialogue to make the reader go one way while she weaves it the other. Paula Daly is a Master Craftsman at misdirection.
This is a novel of unfinished business, creeping anxiety and deceit. Once convicted, can one woman’s word be believed or given the credence it deserves? It was an interesting take on how it appeared that Carrie was in more control of her life than Tess was. While Carrie was getting stronger, Tess’s life had taken an extreme nosedive. Her personal life was a bit of a shit show and didn’t really have things together.
As the events were becoming clearer nearer the end (even then it was as clear as mud). When I read the ending I was shocked, I did not expect to read what went down. I almost wanted to high five Carrie. She is the BOSS. The jigsaw puzzle was complete.