A young schoolteacher falls for a man on Death Row whom she believes is falsely accused, only to begin wondering after their marriage – and his release.
Twenty years ago Dennis Danson was arrested for the brutal murder of Holly Michaels in Florida’s Red River County. Now he’s the subject of a Making a Murderer-style true crime documentary that’s taking the world by storm – the filmmakers are whipping up a frenzy of coverage to uncover the truth and free the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice.
Samantha may be thousands of miles away in Britain, but she is as invested in Dennis’s case as any of his lawyers. Perhaps even more so, as her letters to the convicted killer grow ever more intimate. Soon she is leaving her life behind to marry Danson and campaign, as his wife, for his release.
But when the campaign is successful, and Dennis is freed, events begin to suggest that he may not be so innocent after all. How many girls went missing in Red River, and what does Dennis really know?
My Review: Firstly I would say don’t read the reviews.. but that’s a bit silly as I am posting my review in the hope I can encourage you to read the book! If you do read the reviews you will see that The Innocent Wife is a real MARMITE book, but as I love marmite I wasn’t put off by the negative comments.
I’m not going to rehash the blurb here, but will say this book has really unlikable and unsympathetic characters and I did read most of the book thinking “why, why, why?” when reading about Samantha and her obsession with convicted child killer Dennis Danson. It’s a disturbing and uncomfortable read especially knowing there are women who do correspond with Death Row prisoners.
My emotions were all over the place throughout the book ranging from pity to shock and never quite knowing who to believe. The Innocent Wife is a thought-provoking and well written debut novel. Personally I really “enjoyed” it and it kept me gripped throughout.
About the Author:
When I started writing The Innocent Wife, I was trying to write the book I wanted to read. I love true crime and was fascinated by the new wave of true crime that was gaining popularity, like Making a Murderer and Serial, so I wanted to play on that phenomenon. I love the way that when we consume this kind of true crime, we think we are detectives ourselves and we feel passionate about righting the wrongs in the justice system. I also like the more sinister implications of this new trend. What if a documentary wasn’t telling the whole truth? How can we ever be sure that someone is innocent or not?
I’ve also been curious about the kinds of people who write to inmates and especially women who marry dangerous men on Death Row. Often they seem to believe the men are innocent despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Do they really believe they are innocent, or are they drawn to the danger of these men? What would happen if that man were suddenly released and they were thrust into the reality of being married to them?
The Innocent Wife was my chance to explore all these questions and put them into the kind of fast-paced thriller I love to read. To me, it is the characters that turn a good book into a great book and I loved creating flawed and messy characters who don’t always do what they should.
I hope you enjoy The Innocent Wife as much as I enjoyed writing it! Thank you so much for the support and hopefully there will be lots more like this to come.
“You can hear the ominous music from the first line onward – this is a fantastic thriller.’ Lee Child
‘If you’re an addict of true crime documentaries, you will binge all night on The Innocent Wife. In this breathless, pounding ride, Amy Lloyd keeps us guessing about a convicted killer thrust into the world as innocent online hero and the woman who begins to reluctantly dig into his murky past.’ Julia Heaberlin, author of Black Eyed Susans
‘I read The Innocent Wife in one sitting – a deliciously wry and dark exploration of fascinating subject matter that will keep you guessing until the last page. Amy Lloyd is a fresh and original new voice in thriller writing who deserves to go straight to the top.’ – Sarah Pinborough author of Behind Her Eyes
‘Loved The Innocent Wife! Dark, twisted and compelling. Kept me guessing and totally gripped! 5 stars’ CJ Tudor, author of The Chalk Man
‘The Innocent Wife is a stunner that leads the reader down a twisty path to a surprising, yet satisfying conclusion. You won’t be able to stop turning the pages!’ –Karen Dionne, author of The Marsh King’s Daughter
‘I devoured The Innocent Wife in one sitting! A unique setting, deeply flawed characters, a crackling mystery, and an unexpected ending make this a must-read!’ Hollie Overton, author of Baby Doll.