Title: The Innocent Wife
Author: Amy Lloyd
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Published on: 25 January 2018
ISBN: 978 133 595 3735
The Innocent Wife is written by Amy Lloyd and tells the story of Sam and Dennis. Dennis Danson is the subject of a true crime series (a la Making a Murderer) in which the network tries to uncover the truth about the murder case he was involved in. Did he do it, or did he not? Sam follows the series closely and starts writing letters to Dennis, letters that start getting more and more intimate as they go on. She visits him in prison and starts fighting for him, eventually as his wife, to get him free of his Death Row sentence. When the campaign succeeds and Dennis is released, Sam starts doubting his stories. Is he really as innocent as he says he is, and what does Dennis really know about the girls that disappeared twenty years before.
It was that description of the book that got me all excited to read this. I wanted to read this book so badly because I hoped it would bring the same thrill that the true crime documentaries on Netflix bring me. I love watching them because I like researching and finding out if someone really did or didn’t do something. I like getting into the mind of a person, as well as that is allowed in these documentaries of course. I heard a lot about this book on Goodreads and my twitter feed. The book was blurbed as addicting and completely twister.
It’s been a while since I read this book, but when I watched the Ted Bundy documentary, I saw some similarities. For example how a young, handsome, charismatic man is being prosecuted for murder, is on the Florida Death Row. How someone is able to have a relationship whilst there. Of course it’s not exactly the same, but there definitely are some similarities. Ted Bundy married while in prison and even was able to conceive a child.
Sam is a 31 year old woman from England. She’s always felt really alone and felt the need to need something or someone to believe in. In Dennis Danson she finds both. It all starts when she sees the documentary; “Framing the truth: the murder of Holly Michaels”. The documentary is about Dennis, who is locked up on Death Row for the murder of a young girl. Dennis has always sworn that he is innocent and a large group of supporters tries to get him out and proof his innocence.
After seeing the documentary, Sam gets completely obsessed with the case. She can talk about it for hours with other ‘researchers’ from behind her computer screen. Together they discuss the case and other suspects and theories. Then she finds out that there’s going to be a new documentary about him and she writes him a letter…
The letters start getting intimate fast and I had the idea that there was supposed to be so much more in between that wasn’t there, which I found disappointing. I would’ve loved to read all of their letters, I am nearly ashamed that I was that involved in the book. I loved the first part of the book, but it seemed to freeze after a while and then start going in different directions. I wanted to find out how it was going to end, but even though the ending was a surprise, it was confusing and concluded too quickly. I don’t want to give anything away because I hate that with a passion but the entire book is a slowburner and the thrill is build up slowly. But when the final pages were quickly and explosive, I wasn’t too sure what to think of it.
I do recommend this book to everyone who likes shows like Making a Murderer, this is what you’re looking for! All in all I like this book a lot, you’re completely pulled into the story. The only thing that I didn’t like is that Sam would constantly talk herself down; she wasn’t pretty enough, she was too big, she was ugly. Other than that, GO READ THIS!