“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.
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.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | BookDepository | Goodreads |
Amy 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.