CLEAR MY NAME by Paula Daly

CLEAR MY NAME

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KIRKUS REVIEW

One woman, fighting to free another who may be wrongfully imprisoned, must confront the tragedies of her own past.

Tess Gilroy enjoys her work with Innocence UK, a nonprofit organization that investigates past crimes with an eye to overturning wrongful convictions; she knows she has made a real difference in the lives of those she’s helped. When the group votes to take on the case of Carrie Kamara, convicted of murdering her husband’s lover four years earlier, Tess finds herself forced to return to the town of her childhood, the town she left behind and has tried to forget for most of her adult life. Carrie has always maintained her innocence; she admits that she confronted husband Pete’s mistress (not his first) but that she never went inside the woman's house. Her blood, however, was found on an inside doorknob, and Carrie has never been able to explain how it got there. As Tess and her sidekick, junior investigator Avril Hughes, look to uncover police mistakes as well as possible explanations for the bloodstain, Tess finds herself confronting a piece of her past that she has tried very hard to avoid and forget. Daly’s (Open Your Eyes, 2018, etc.) thrillers are engaging and well plotted; there is a nice mix of investigative process (driving the same route in different conditions in order to make or break an alibi, for example) as well as character development. Tess is a hard character who keeps people at a distance, but she’s still easy to sympathize with; her exasperation with Avril, as well as their developing understanding, adds a nice layer to the story. The mystery itself is not terribly complex, however, and the ending feels a bit lackluster and anticlimatic.

An easy summer read; engaging while it’s in your hand, forgettable once you put it down.

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-8021-4783-7
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2019




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