#BookReview: The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd @PenguinUKBooks #TheInnocentWife #damppebbles

the innocent wife.jpg“You’re in love with a man on Death Row in Florida, convicted of a brutal murder twenty years ago.

You’re convinced he didn’t do it, and you’re determined to prove it. You’re part of a mass online campaign that picks holes in the case, uncovers evidence of police incompetence, and agitates for this miscarriage of justice to be overturned.

Now you’re married to him, and he’s a free man, his conviction thrown out. You have the rest of your lives to spend together.

You’re overjoyed. After all, he’s innocent.

Isn’t he?”

I am delighted to welcome you to the blog today and to my review of The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd.  This book had a real buzz about it when it was first published in December 2017 (yes it has been on my NetGalley shelf for a while, yes I am a terrible book blogger who reads at a snail’s pace!).  I received a free eARC copy of The Innocent Wife which has in no way influenced my review.

I keep seeing mixed reviews for this book and I just don’t get it.  I know, I know, you don’t have to tell me – reading is subjective.  I totally get that.  I’ll say this though, if you’re anything like me you will love this book.  It has everything I want in a novel.  I loved the small town American feel of it, I loved how the author has used the nation’s love of true crime to give it a more authentic edge, I loved the plot and I loved the characters.  This is turning into an epic year of reading for me; nearly every book I pick up just blows me away!  And that includes The Innocent Wife.

Notorious convicted killer, Dennis Danson, comes to Sam’s attention when questions begin to be raised over the evidence and trial used to convict him and send him to death row.  An online group start petitioning for his release claiming the Red River Police got the wrong man.  Sam does what any normal (!) 30-something would do in this situation and starts corresponding with Dennis.  Before long a strong bond is formed between them and Dennis sends a visiting order.  Sam drops everything, packs her bags and flies off to Altoona Prison to meet Dennis in person, hoping he’s everything his letters lead her to believe he is.  After an awkward start, the couple relax into each others company and before long Sam has extended her visa to allow her to visit Dennis on a regular basis.  Then he’s released and everything changes.  Sam is married to a man she hardly knows.  And what’s more, what she was once certain of, she’s not anymore…

Character, character, character.  I flipping love a bunch of fascinating people!  I really felt for Sam.  I could feel her loneliness, her need to be loved and adored which emanated from the page.  I also found her a little frustrating at times because I wanted her to stop being so drippy and ‘woman-up’ a bit.  That didn’t stop me from wanting to read Sam’s story though.  She intrigued me.  I also loved the mysterious Dennis, although I doubt very much I was supposed to!  There was something quite dark and dangerous about him and that appealed. Other characters were great too such as the true crime documentary filmmaker, Carrie, who welcomes Sam to the US with open arms and then becomes her guardian angel.  She just knows Dennis is innocent and will do everything in her power to prove it.

Would I recommend this book?  I would, yes.  It’s a delicious slow burn of a read and I loved it!  I was absolutely fascinated to see where the story was going to go and I wasn’t at all disappointed.  Gripping, unnerving and it ticked so many boxes for me.  I would not hesitate to pick up another book by Amy Lloyd.  In fact, I can’t wait to read more from this author! Highly recommended.

I chose to read and review an eARC of The Innocent Wife.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd was published in the UK by Arrow Publishing on 4th October 2018 in paperback, hardcover, audio and eBook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukamazon.comWaterstonesBookDepositoryGoodreads |

about-the-author3

amy lloyd.jpgAmy Lloyd studied English and Creative Writing at Cardiff Metropolitan University. In 2016 she won the Daily Mail Bestseller Competition for her debut novel The Innocent Wife which, when it was published, became a Sunday Times top ten bestseller. Amy lives in Cardiff with her partner, who is also a published novelist.

Author Links:TwitterFacebook |

 

#BlogTour | #BookReview: The Bone Field by Simon Kernick (@simonkernick) @arrowpublishing

51-vigayfol-_sx331_bo1204203200_“When the bones of a 21-year old woman who went missing without trace in Thailand in 1990, are discovered in the grounds of an old Catholic school in Buckinghamshire, an enduring mystery takes on a whole new twist.

Her boyfriend at the time, and the man who reported her missing, Henry Forbes, now a middle-aged university lecturer, comes forward with his lawyer and tells DI Ray Mason of the Met’s Homicide Command that he knows what happened to Kitty, and who killed her.

So begins a hunt for the truth that will focus on a ruthless crime gang, a rich, dysfunctional family with a terrible past, and a highly ambitious man so cruel and ruthless that he must be brought down at any cost.”

I am very excited, a little awestruck and incredibly pleased to welcome you to my stop on Simon Kernick’s The Bone Field blog tour.  And it’s my first blog post of the year, so a belated Happy New Year lovely booky people!  What a way to start 2017 huh?

Now I don’t think Simon Kernick needs much of an introduction as I (and many others) consider him to be a household name and one of the biggest names in UK-based thriller writing.  However, if you have never read a Simon Kernick novel before (…seriously? You’ve been missing out!) then all you need to know is that Simon has released a number of darn good, bestselling, high intensity thrillers over the years and continues to do so (I hope, for many years to come).  He leads the way for British crime thriller writers, leaving many in his wake.

The majority of Simon’s books are standalone thrillers chock full of action, adventure and heaps of excitement.  He has previously published a couple of three-part serial thrillers but this, The Bone Field, marks the start of a brand new series.  And what a series it’s going to be!  High energy, action packed reading that’ll keep your heart rate high and your attention glued to the pages.  Some books should come with a health warning and this is certainly one of them.  Edge of your seat stuff that I insist you read!

What I love about The Bone Field is that the author, as is customary in his previous books, has used fully developed, pre-existing, previously published characters but put them up against (or with, in this case!) a new ally.  The Bone Field features DI Ray Mason who is now working at part of the Met’s Homicide Command.  We have met DI Mason before when he featured in The Witness (published June 2016) but back then he was part of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.  DI Mason (who I love by the way, he’s nearly everything I look for in my detectives…just not quite grumpy enough!) contacts a PI by the name of Tina Boyd as part of the ongoing investigation.  There was something familiar about Tina to me.  A strange sense of recognition.  That was when I realised that she is the lead protagonist in Relentless (pub. 2006), Target (pub. 2009) and The Last 10 Seconds (pub. 2010), all of which I have read and very much enjoyed.  What a treat!  The simmering chemistry between Ray and Tina was quite addictive.  As I may have mentioned before, I’m not one for romance in my crime books but they really worked for me.

I loved the action which was well written and at a consistent pace throughout.  This novel was incredibly easy to read, I polished it off in two short days (that’s quick for me).  There is, unsurprisingly in a Simon Kernick novel, a number of violent scenes but regular readers of the blog will know that the more gore and violence in a book, the more it appeals to me. I would also like to mention the villain of this book who is by far one of the creepiest bad guys I have met in a novel for some time.  Expertly written much like the majority of characters within the pages of The Bone Field. I very much enjoyed the plot which I found twisty and unpredictable from start to finish.  And as for that last sentence….WOW!!

Would I recommend this book?  I would as it’s a high octane, well written thriller by an author who knows his characters inside out and round-side-round.  To be able to maintain such a high level of action and suspense is a real skill and Simon Kernick is a master of the thriller.  I can’t wait for the second book in this new series.

Four out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an ARC of The Bone Field.  Many thanks to Sam Deacon at Penguin Random House for providing me with a copy.  All of the above views are my own and are unbiased.

The Bone Field by Simon Kernick is published by Century | Penguin Random House on 12th January 2017 and is available in hardcover, eBook and audio formats (with the paperback to follow later this year) | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

the-bone-field-blog-tour

Smith & Sons (11)

253943Simon Kernick is one of Britain’s most exciting thriller writers. He talks both on and off the record to members of the Met’s Special Branch and the Anti-Terrorist Branch and the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, so he gets to hear first hand what actually happens in the dark and murky underbelly of UK crime.

Author Links:Website | Facebook | Twitter |