Clear My Name by Paula Daly is another book which has been sat on my TBR pile for quite a while now and I’m glad I’ve finally had the chance to read it.
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 a powerful novel by Paula Daly. It is also the first novel by Paula which I’ve read, and I can see what I’ve been missing out on.
Paula Daly tells a haunting story. Tess and Avril both work for Innocence UK, a charity specialising in helping people wrongly convicted of a crime. They are facing a particularly tough case. Carrie has been found guilty of killing her husband’s lover. But Carrie continues to insist that she is innocent. When Innocence UK takes up the case, Tess is convinced that Carrie is telling the truth. Tess is determined to help Carrie, just as she is to find the real culprit, who Tess believes is walking around free and is a potential danger. This is what she must do to prove Carrie’s innocence.
I thought Tess and Avril were both very well rounded characters. I think a lot of readers may struggle to warm to Tess, however. Tess can be quite spiky but what I really liked about her is her determination to see the case through. You can see how much she cares about delivering justice for Carrie. I think her character did improve towards the ending of the book, which is what made the ending feel, for me, very satisfactory.
I found it fascinating as I read the scenes when Tess and Avril set about trying to prove Carrie’s case. You can really sense Tess’s frustration as she begins to unravel the true backstory, and what the police potentially may have missed. As the reader, it made me feel really angry, and I wanted Tess and Avril to succeed. It made me think about real-life cases when this has happened as well; I can’t imagine what must go through a person’s mind when they know they have been wrongly convicted of a crime. This is what makes the book really intriguing, as well.
Although I could see that Tess really believed that Carrie was innocent, I still couldn’t quite make up my mind about her. Carrie is definitely a troubled character. As the plot thickened, I began to wonder if I could trust what she was really saying.
I found Clear My Name to be a really suspenseful read, and I could not put it down; I finished it in just a couple of days. I thought it was a really refreshing take on a crime thriller and I’m eager now to read more of Paula Daly’s novels. Highly recommended!
Publisher: Bantam Press
Publication date: 8th August 2019
Print length: 304 pages
Clear My Name is available to buy: