Category Archives: Clear My Name

Review: Clear My Name by Paula Daly

Title: Clear My Name by Paula Daly
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Paula Daly is widely acclaimed for her masterful plotting and thrilling page-turners. Now she delivers Clear My Name, a page-turning new thriller about an investigator, who in order to free her client, must confront secrets she has struggled a lifetime to hide.

When Carrie was accused of brutally murdering her husband’s lover, she denied it. She denied it again when they found her blood inside his house, again when they put her in front of a jury, and again when they sent her to prison. Now she’s three years into her fifteen-year sentence, gradually losing hope and separated from her pregnant daughter, but she is still maintaining her innocence. Tess is the only paid employee of Innocence UK, a charity that helps clear people wrongfully convicted of crimes, and which accepts Carrie’s case. But can she trust Carrie? Tess is no starry-eyed recent grad—her assumption is that “they’re all lying.”

Meanwhile, Tess is also paired with Avril, a naïve young investigator-in-training, with the hope that by mentoring her, she can eventually double the group’s investigative workload. But Tess unexpectedly bolts when she’s tipped off to a witness that could possibly prove Carrie didn’t commit the crime. While Tess and Avril work the case, re-interviewing witnesses and testing assumptions made at the time of the arrest, the tension ratchets up in both the case and Tess’s personal life.

An innovative spin on the crime novel full of wicked twists readers won’t see coming, Paula Daly’s Clear My Name raises the stakes in a grave miscarriage of justice and proves that even in a cold case, things still run hot.


Clear My Name by Paula Daly is a clever mystery with a wonderfully unique premise.

Former probation officer Tess Gilroy is the chief investigator at Innocence UK. The charitable organization’s latest case is trying to prove the innocence of convicted murderess Carrie Karma.  In the face of blood evidence linking Carrie to the crime scene, Tess is initially skeptical she has been wrongly convicted. She and investigator trainee Avril Hughes begin re-interviewing witnesses and taking a second look at the evidence. Tess begins to believe Carrie is innocent, but will she overcome her reluctance to talk to the one person who might have information that could turn the case around?

Tess is in her mid-forties and lives a fairly solitary life moving from place to place. She has sharp instincts that she relies on during her investigations.  Unhappy at being forced to return her hometown Morecambe, Tess attempts to keep her personal and professional lives separate. She is thrilled when they learn a new witness might provide them with new evidence that Carrie is innocent.  But will her private demons prevent Tess from performing her professional duties?

Chapters from Carrie’s perspective offer an insightful and intriguing glimpse of her life leading up to her arrest for murdering her husband’s lover, Ella Muir.  Carrie is very devoted to their daughter Mia who has trouble coping with stressful situations. Her marriage is strained and learning about Ella adds to her resentment against Pete. Carrie has proclaimed her innocence right from the start, but will Tess and Avril find evidence to back up her claim?

Clear My Name is a very compelling mystery that is fast-paced. Tess is a flawed but extremely likable lead protagonist.  The storyline is multi-layered and  quite riveting. Paula Daly brings this suspenseful mystery to a twist-filled, jaw-dropping conclusions. I very much enjoyed and highly recommend this absorbing novel.

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Filed under Atlantic Monthly Press, Clear My Name, Contemporary, Mystery, Paula Daly, Rated B+, Review, Suspense