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The innocent wife : a novel
2018
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  Library Journal Review

[DEBUT] A compelling premise gives way to a lack of momentum in Lloyd's debut novel. British teacher Samantha, raw from a bad breakup, finds herself increasingly obsessed with an American murder case that found international attention after being featured in a true crime documentary. Twenty years ago, Dennis Danson was arrested and convicted of the murder of Holly Michaels in Florida. Citing a lack of evidence and a police force apparently uninterested in looking at other suspects, a small but dedicated online group is now trying to overturn the conviction. As she learns more, Samantha begins writing to Dennis. Letters turn into a visit, and soon Samantha abandons her job and her home to marry Dennis and campaign for his release. It doesn't take long for her to start wondering whether he truly is innocent of Holly's murder and whether he may be connected to other missing girls in the area. Having created such a great setup, Lloyd doesn't seem to know quite what to do with what she's built. For long stretches, her characters don't do much at all, and when they finally do, it's almost too much, too fast. Despite these flaws, Lloyd is clearly a writer with promise; she did win the 2016 Daily Mail First Novel competition. Hopefully, her next effort is a more even one. Verdict For die-hard fans of psychological suspense. [See Prepub Alert, 8/28/17.]-Liz Kirchhoff, Barrington Area Lib., IL © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

In British author Lloyd's labored debut, Samantha, an English schoolteacher, becomes obsessed with the case of Dennis Danson, who has been on death row since 1993 for the gruesome murder of a high school girl in Florida's Red River County. He was suspected of killing four other girls, but their bodies were never found, and Sam is convinced he's innocent. Sam starts to correspond with Dennis, and they develop a bond that prompts her to fly to the U.S. to visit him in Altoona Prison. Their initially awkward romance eventually results in their marrying; an unexpected confession leads to Dennis's release from Altoona. Sam, naive and unconfident, and Dennis, secretive and withdrawn, move into the remote Danson family home in Red River, where they must face the hostility of the locals. Dennis's reconnecting with a sinister childhood friend, Lindsay Durst, complicates the couple's uncomfortable life together. Dennis's backstory-growing up poor with an abusive drunk of a father and a chronically depressed mother-follows familiar lines. The contrived and unexpected climax disappoints. Fans of serial killer fiction will find nothing new. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER<br> <br> You Love Him. You Trust Him. So Why Are You So Scared?<br> <br> Twenty years ago, Dennis Danson was arrested and imprisoned for the brutal murder of a young girl. Now he's the subject of a true-crime documentary that's whipping up a frenzy online to uncover the truth and free a man who has been wrongly convicted.<br> <br> A thousand miles away in England, Samantha is obsessed with Dennis's case. She exchanges letters with him, and is quickly won over by his apparent charm and kindness to her. Soon she has left her old life behind to marry him and campaign for his release.<br> <br> When the campaign is successful and Dennis is freed, however, Sam begins to discover new details that suggest he may not be quite so innocent after all.<br> <br> But how do you confront your husband when you don't want to know the truth?<br> <br> The winner of the Daily Mail First Novel Competition, Amy Lloyd's The Innocent Wife is gripping psychological suspense from a brilliant new voice in crime fiction.
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