REVIEW: CLEAR MY NAME, BY PAULA DALY

When Carrie was accused of brutally murdering her husband’s lover, she denied it. She denied it again when they found her blood inside his house, again when they put her in front of a jury, and again when they sent her to prison. Now she’s three years into her fifteen-year sentence, gradually losing hope and separated from her pregnant daughter, but she is still maintaining her innocence.

Tess is the only paid employee of Innocence UK, a charity that helps clear people wrongfully convicted of crimes, and which accepts Carrie’s case. But can she trust Carrie? Tess is no starry-eyed recent grad―her assumption is that “they’re all lying.”

Meanwhile, Tess is also paired with Avril, a naïve young investigator-in-training, with the hope that by mentoring her, she can eventually double the group’s investigative workload. But Tess unexpectedly bolts when she’s tipped off to a witness that could possibly prove Carrie didn’t commit the crime. While Tess and Avril work the case, re-interviewing witnesses and testing assumptions made at the time of the arrest, the tension ratchets up in both the case and Tess’s personal life.

As we follow along with investigator Tess and her colleague Avril, in Clear My Name, we are taken back and forth in time to sort through the events of a murder and hopefully discover clues that will help them overturn the case against Carrie Kamara, who is in prison for the offense and suffering losses in her life because of it.

I liked Tess, who pushes hard to find what she needs to accomplish the task, even though her own past and some of her losses will suddenly insert themselves into her investigation and make her job more painful.

Just when we think Tess and her colleague have uncovered an important clue, another obstacle will appear until it sometimes seems like an impossible task to clear their client.

The intensity of their actions kept me glued to the book, hoping that they would find what they need to solve the case, even as they occasionally stepped into the path of potentially dangerous individuals.

Finally, after the case has concluded, something totally unexpected changes the course of Tess’s life forever.

I love this author’s books, so I knew I had to rapidly turn the pages until the end. 5 stars.

***

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