Happy publication day to Paula Daly, Clear My Name is out today! And it’s my pleasure to host one of the publication day stops on this blog tour.
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.
Clear My Name is one of those books which bridges the gap between true crime and crime fiction. It delivers a story of a potential wrongful conviction, which will appeal to nonfiction fans, but written in a fictional manner with all the suspense to keep crime fiction fans engaged. And it really is the suspense that drives this novel forward; it’s a character-driven story and as the plot progresses, and new facts are discovered, you form (and reform) your idea on whether or not Carrie is guilty.
Being a fictional novel, Daly has the chance to push the boundaries, add in danger to make you worry for the characters, but she still keeps the plot realistic, and that was essential for the story told. The believability factor in a plot such as this is important if the reader is to be engaged.
And being character-driven, it is essential that the characters are well developed. Daly achieved this too, with a cast of complex characters, who’s lives gives this novel its thought-provoking nature. What also stood out for me in this novel is its focus – at first I failed to see what one subplot added to the story, but on reflection, I see how it all draws back to the central theme: questions of morality, and due to the slow-burning nature of this novel, you have time to ponder these questions of guilt and innocent, right and wrong.
This novel also contains a ‘past’ and ‘present’ narrative, something I have come to love, because it adds an element of excitement, tension, as you just know the timelines will collide, and you eagerly await the fallout!
Clear My Name is well written, it reads fluidly, and although at one point I felt the pace slowed a little too much, it’s a novel I recommend, particularly to those interested in wrongful conviction. There’s a nice balance between the case itself and the character’s backstories, particularly with regards to our lead investigator, Tess.
Is this a novel I’d recommend? Yes! Would I read more from Daly? Absolutely!
*My thanks to the publisher (Bantam Press) for providing me with a copy of this novel and Emma (damppebblesblogtours) for inviting me to join the tour*
About The Author
Photo: © Stephen Lea
Paula Daly is the critically acclaimed author of six novels. She has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year award, and her books have been developed for the new ITV television series, Deep Water, starring Anna Friel. She was born in Lancashire and lives in the Lake District with her husband, three children, and whippet Skippy.
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