I have been such a lucky blogger, I’ve been gifted some unbelievably amazing reads! I love a good thriller, something that’s unpredictable and keeps me on my toes. One of those thrillers is Paula Daly’s new upcoming novel Clear My Name. I was kindly sent a proof copy by Hayley at Transworld after her tweet calling for book-bloggers, so thank-you Hayley for providing me with my copy, and Paula for the increased heart-rate and sleepless night!
Clear My Name is set to hit shelves in its hardback form, and your kindle shelves as an e-book on the 8th of August 2019. If you’re a paperback only reader, you’ll have to hold in there tightly until the 23rd of January… so worth the wait though! You can pre-order your copy here!
Paula is the author of several books, including Open Your Eyes, The Trophy Child and Keep Your Friends Close. Daly’s female – led series set in The Lake District is to be produced into a six – part drama for ITV called Deep Water, congratulations!
The official cover of Clear My Name hasn’t been released yet, but here’s the blurb:
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.
The main concept of Clear My Name focuses on the Innocence Network UK. This charity was first established by Dr Michael Naughton, an academic expert on miscarriages of justice and the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of the innocent, that has been running in the UK since 2004. The purpose of Innocence UK is to look into cases (pro bono) in which the convictions were based on evidence that wasn’t 100% reliable – holes in the prosecution’s case for example.
One major impact of Innocence UK, includes the case of Dwaine George. In December 2014, his conviction for murder became the first innocence project case overturned in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) following an Innocence Network UK (INUK) referral to a member innocence project (Cardiff Law School) to follow up on identified lines of further investigation.
You can find out more about Innocence UK here.
I read Clear My Name in a day, between toddler naps, my to do list and the school run. The writing is so engaging, it will draw you in to the razor sharp, taut and fantastically researched setting that is the life of Tess and the Innocence UK charity. Tess has worked as a case co-ordinator and examiner of cases that cross the Innocence UK desk for nine years, in all that time, she has never seen a female case picked up. That is about to change. Carrie has been imprisoned for murdering her husbands girlfriend in cold blood, all evidence; forensic and otherwise points to her. She’s been in prison for four years when her case is picked up by I.UK.
The storyline involves a dual narrative, I do love a dual narrative in thriller reads! The point of views contributing towards this narrative are that of Tess and Carrie – four years apart – Tess’ present and Carrie’s past. This allows the reader to gain information from all angles that help creates a web of suspicion and machination, that will have you hooked. Paula has put thought into all characterizations, including some underlying secrets which creates a further literary dimension of mystery and depth. So many of those deliciously great *gasp* moments, I wish I could talk about them but this is a review not a spoil-for-you!
Clear My Name is an excellently original domestic thriller where secrets have a funny way of revealing themselves no matter how deep under the surface they lie. As you can guess, I love that Paula Daly delved in to the world of miscarriages of justice, because it’s not a rare occurrence, it happens all the time – not all the guilty are guilty, like not all the innocent are innocent, it’s all about the prosecution and defences evidential sway on reasonable doubt. This being said, the underlying themes woven into the narrative are completely plausible, real and horrifying. The book shows how in-depth Paula researched the processes of I.UK, court and forensic evidence. This book deserves a huge round of applause, can we also have some sort of televised series please?!
The writing builds up an easy to follow sequence of events, with a beginning, middle and end through both dialogues, this helps to form an overall picture of what has / is going out without confused fuzziness that no reader enjoys – how Carrie’s life has changed in a click of the fingers – including past scenes that bring so much perspective to the present events. We get an insight into Carrie’s family life which, this allows a tale to be woven of her possible murderous motives! Cassie seems the polar opposite of Tess, who is a rather closed off character, quite like a hermit in the sense that she would rather not let anyone get too close, there’s an eeriness that was around the nature of her leaving her home town, why? Why will she not keep contact with old acquaintances from there? What is she running and hiding from? She comes across as heartless and ‘by the book’ – personification of the term dark horse.
I love a police / court procedural type read, Paula has not only nailed it but has taken it to a whole different dimension by centring her narrative around miscarriages of justice and how the innocence project in the UK help to overturn those convictions in which sufficient evidence or even tampering has affected decisions. Clear My Name an unpredictable book punch to the solar-plex that left me winded! Applause for Paula!
BUY, READ and RAVE, you can thank me for this reading recommendation afterwards! Thanks again to Hayley and Transworld for providing me with an early proof of Clear My Name, I really enjoyed it!
What’s your favourite Paula Daly read? Are you a blogger that got their hands on an early proof too? Let me know what you thought!