The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd
Hanover Square Press: 3/6/18
eBook review copy: 336 pages
The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd is a so-so thriller where a lonely woman falls in love with an imprisoned killer.
Samantha (Sam), 31, is a British school teacher who became obsessed with
an old true crime documentary called "Framing the
Truth: The Murder of Holly Michaels." The man convicted for the murder
Danson. He was eighteen at the time of his conviction and has been on
death row in
Florida's Altoona Prison for twenty years. Sam frequents message boards
and online sights about his case and his innocence before she takes the
next step and writes to him. The two exchange letters and fall in love.
Sam, who ardently believes in his innocence, flies to to the US to meet
him, fight for his freedom, and perhaps help with the new documentary
being filmed about his case. Dennis proposes to her and the two are
married in the prison. When his conviction is overturned and Dennis is
released to a media frenzy, Sam is full of doubt and scared that she
made a mistake. The couple are now living together, but share no
intimacy and Dennis doesn't seem to be who she thought he was, unless it
is just her own self-doubt. Adding to the mix is Carrie, the director
of the first film and who is a
friend of Dennis and working on the second documentary.
I'm conflicted on my feelings for this book. At first it held my
attention, then it became... different. Believing that a lonely,
emotionally insecure woman could write letters to and fall in love with a
convicted killer is doable. Then they declare their love for each other
and marry, huh, okay, but with raised eyebrows. He is then released
from prison and their relationship is awkward. Well, duh, what exactly
did you expect? And you have to accept this premise because the rest of
the story builds on it. The story is presented with excerpts from a
biography of Danson that portrays his troubled past. Sam also shares a
bit of her past, which helps explain some of her insecurities.
As the story continued, it became boring and felt too contrived. I had
no empathy for Sam. Finally, I felt early on that the hefty number of
pages between action was daunting.
My review copy was courtesy of Hanover Square Press.