Release date: January 25, 2018
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?
I’m so delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for The Innocent Wife! I have a wonderful guest post from the author to share.
My Top 5 True Crime Reads
This list does not include In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. We all know we’re supposed to read In Cold Blood and we totally will! No need to keep banging on about it here.
1. Killing For Company – Brian Masters
Brian Masters has written a few great true crime books but this was my personal favourite. It’s about Dennis Nilsen, a serial killer active in Britain in the late 70s and early 80s. Nilsen murdered young men and kept the bodies in his home, dressing them up and sitting them on the sofa for company. If that isn’t the darkest thing you can imagine then I am afraid of you.
Brian Masters shows an incredible amount of empathy towards Nilsen and a lot of people have been critical about the way in which he writes about him in the book. It’s a unique dynamic between writer and subject and offers a deep insight into the mind of a serial killer.
2. The Stranger Beside Me – Ann Rule
There will never be another true crime like this. Ann Rule was an established true crime author when one of her friends (a fellow volunteer on the crisis helpline she worked at a few nights a week) became a suspect in a series of local murders. Surely good-looking, mild-mannered Ted Bundy couldn’t be involved in anything like that?
How much Ann Rule suspected Bundy’s guilt and the ethical problems that arise from her continued friendship with him only makes this book more fascinating.
3. Columbine – Dave Cullen
The Columbine high school shooting was one of the most shocking crimes of my lifetime.
In an attempt to understand the horrific killings a narrative was quickly written to explain the motives of the teenage boys responsible. We were led to believe these were misfits, bullied relentlessly by their classmates, and taking revenge in the most brutal way imaginable. It was a fake narrative perpetuated by Bowling for Columbine and one that made me, as a teenager, believe that I had anything in common with Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.
This book completely destroys that narrative and offers a well-researched account of what happened and what really motivated the killers.
4. The Adversary – Emmanuel Carrère
One day Jean-Claude Romand killed his entire family with a shot gun and set fire to their home in order to cover his tracks. Friends are shocked and confused. Jean-Claude can’t possibly have done this. He’s a loving father and husband, a doctor working with the World Health Organization, a perfectly happy and ordinary man.
The Adversary tells the story of a double-life and seeks to understand Jean-Claude on a deeper level. A bizarre and dark story handled with genuine class and sensitivity.
5. The Fourth State of Matter – Jo Ann Beard
The less I say about this, the better. It’s my favourite personal essay/short story of all time and you can read it on the New Yorker website.