Cover Image: Clear My Name

Clear My Name

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Member Reviews

When Carrie was accused of brutally murdering her husband’s lover, she denied it. She denied it when they arrested her, when they put her in front of a jury, and when they sent her to prison. Now she’s three years into a fifteen-year sentence, away from the daughter she loves and the life she had built. And she is still denying that she is to blame. Tess Gilroy has devoted her life to righting wrongs. Through her job for Innocence UK, a charity which takes on alleged miscarriages of justice, she works tirelessly to uncover the truth. But when she is asked to take Carrie’s case, Tess realises that if she is to help this woman, she must risk uncovering the secrets she has struggled a lifetime to hide. 

Sometimes a book comes along that inexplicably grabs you under the collar and refuses to let you go. This is one such book. I very quickly, and seemingly for no reason, found myself obsessed with this read and completely incapable of being able to put it down. I say for no reason because there is no one aspect that I can pin point as to why this was but it is there, it has happened and I loved this read.

We read in the present day as Tess begins her work and investigation into Carrie's case, as well as flashback chapters to give us an insight into events before the murder and the initial investigation. Daly gets the balance between the two just right and ensures there is an air of mystery in the plot throughout that always had me thinking and guessing where the plot was going to go. As the read progresses the intensity increases until you realise there has to be a showdown, but when and between whom? I will leave that up to you to discover for yourself. 

We have Tess' side plot as well in this and Daly uses this to perfectly balance what happens in Carrie's life, I enjoyed reading the sub-plot as much as the main plot and I think Daly has done a fantastic job at creating a gripping, twisting read that is full of family secrets. 

The characters are great as well, very well developed and whilst not always likeable they are human. I particularly enjoyed Avril and the innocent humour she provides in this read. Daly's location of Morecambe works well too, and dare I say it, she has made it sound like quite an idyllic seaside town. 

'Clear My Name' is a fast-paced, secret filled thriller that I was completely obsessed with. I loved reading this and highly recommend this intense read.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK for an advance copy.
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This was an excellent book 
I absolutely love books that are based around courtrooms, appeals, barristers and anything to do with the criminal legal system. 
This books tells the story of Carrie, who has been convicted for murdering her husband’s lover. But did she really do it?! Tessa, who works for Innocence UK takes on her case to prove whether or not Carrie is really innocent
This book was superbly written and I had my doubts whether or not Carrie was innocent. There was one piece of forensic evidence which proved the case and it was a fantastic twist. I’ve not seen a twist like this in a long while 
If you enjoy legal thrillers then this is one that you need to read. Highly recommended
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Clear my Name was Crime Thriller, a suspenseful novel that revolved around Tess and Carrie. Carrie spending her 4th year in prison convicted of murder and Tess trying to clear her name. It was about mother-daughter relationship, betrayal, imperfections of human beings, guilt, lies, mistakes made in life, and suffering and turmoil of being alone, away from loved ones.

Tess was as permanent employee of Innocence UK who investigated cases, looked into matters where police failed to and tried to save her client. She had many sides. She was honest, upright, no-nonsense kind, but her personal life was messed up. She had everything job she was good at, money, success but she lived lonely life, afraid to commit to anyone, she felt she didn’t deserve to be in someone life, but why? That why, created a mysterious picture of her. She was flawed, made mistakes in life, and had secrets. But her style was impressive.


Avril was cute. She too was flawed, she was shy in the beginning but turned out clever and strong eventually. Duo of Avril and Tess was perfect. They brought out best in each other.

Carrie was clever woman, filled with emotions, feelings and lots of love for her daughter that made her to live unhappy married life, remain under one roof with a philandering husband and after being accused of murder tried to clear her name by contacting Innocence UK so that she can be with her daughter who needed her. She was unreliable but at the same time it was hard to decide if she was innocent or not. She was amazing character and I liked to read her life story.

All characters were developed, flawed and so very interesting.

What I liked-

Writing was gripping and flawless. The description of murder, characters, evidence, police procedure, and investigation was well presented. Story was third person narrative told in present and past. Present scenario was about the case investigation, Tess’s life and her story and how characters related to case felt or were going through while the past told Carrie’s story, her relation with her husband and daughter, her daughter’s mental health issues and what she did in life to make her feel safe, day of her arrest and what happened then on.

The plot was clever. I liked the theme miscarriage of justice how Innocence UK saves innocents from life long suffering of these miscarriages by overturning wrongful convictions. I was surprised to read how many factors affected the cases- lousy police work, missing evidence, lab blunders, and forensic screw ups -and decided the life of a person weather person is culprit or victim or someone totally innocent.

Book started with introduction of Tess, Innocence UK, and its advisory panel, why they were considering Carrie’s case, the case details and how Tess will work on case with her trainee Averi on Carrie’s case. It was all so interesting hooked me instantly to the book.

Whole book was around one question, was Carrie innocent? Can Tess clear her name with no other suspect and with all evidences against her? And then there were other mysteries, a car following Tess, her past life catching up as soon as she set foot in Morecambe to investigate Carrie’s case, what happened in Tess ‘s life, from what she was running away and why she never allowed anyone to love her back.

It was not usual thriller. Story progressed slow and steady. From the very beginning you get this feeling, something is amiss in this case, things were not adding up. Carrie felt unreliable, the feeling of either she was lying or holding something back was always there. What baffled me most was, Carrie was living with her husband even though she knew he was unfaithful. Mia also felt unreliable. I still couldn’t figure out if she really was anxious person.

Events took interesting turn when Tess got a letter from her solicitor. I thought all kind of scenario, made many theories, why she was staying away from her hometown but that letter was out-of-box. Investigation was interesting, some evidences going in favor of Carrie while others against her and then there were dead end. 

Suspense was wonderful. Author did awesome job with characters and mystery. It kept me flipping the pages until last chapter, until I knew who the murderer was, until I knew what Tess’ story was. It was shocking to read the revelation. I kept thinking what would I do if I was in Tess’ place, would I have done the same, wouldn’t anybody come forward and help, and more shocking was to read why killer murdered Ella and what happened in the end. It was all so well thought and well written.

Overall, it was gripping, suspenseful, thought-provoking mystery thriller with realistic characters and clever plot. I would love to read other books by author.
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Paula Daly has done it again!

Clear my Name was a novel I was very much looking forward to read. Our main character Tess works for Innocence UK, an organisation who investigates cases where people might have been wrongly convicted. As such, she starts working on the case of Carrie, who was convicted of killing her husbands girlfriend.

The story itself switches between present time and around the time the crime was committed. I really enjoyed reading this a lot, the story was cleverly written and I would recommend this to anyone!
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Another excellent book by Ms Daly

This is the third book that I have read by Paula Daly, and she never disappoints. This particular book is about 45 years old Tess Gilroy, a former Parole Officer who is working for Innocence UK, an association that looks at cases of potential wrongful convictions and aims for a re-trial and hopefully release from prison, hence the title, Clear My Name.  

Paula and her team receive hundreds of requests and have to decide which case to take on. The decision is made to look at Carrie Kamara, 3 years into a 15-year sentence, accused of murdering her husband's lover. All the evidence seems to confirm that Carrie is guilty in particular the discovery of her blood inside the house of the victim, Ella Muir.

However, Carrie's husband Peter had been having affairs for many years. Carrie is resigned to this state of affairs and is prepared to turn a blind eye for the sake of her young daughter Mia. Why did she suddenly snap over this particular mistress and go round to her house and stab her in a frenzied attack 150 times?

The author writes this story for both Tess and Carrie, switching between the present and 4 years ago when the alleged crime took place, enabling the reader to form their own opinion of how guilty or innocent Carrie really is. 

However, to add more interest to the plot, the murder was committed in Morecambe. We discover that this is where Tess has grown up in an unhappy childhood, and something else happened that she has always hidden and refuses to even acknowledge. Tess has moved from place to place around this part of Lancashire, never settling down and unable to form proper relationships. Now she has to go back and confront her demons.

The various different strands within the plot are always so clever and make Ms Daly's books so enjoyable to read. Not only did I really want to find out the truth about the first murder and as always there are twists that I just did not see coming, but also, the characters are always so well defined and I was able to sympathise with most of them. 

I loved this book, as I have loved all her previous books and am so impressed that Ms Daly can write books that have such different plotlines that always keep you guessing.

I have no idea if this is a one-off Tess Gilroy book, but I feel that it could well inspire a whole series based on the casework of Innocence UK. However, whatever way the author decides to go in her next book, I want to read it!!     


Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review
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When Carrie was accused of brutally murdering her husband’s lover, she denied it. She denied it when they arrested her, when they put her in front of a jury, and when they sent her to prison. Now she’s three years into a fifteen-year sentence, away from the daughter she loves and the life she had built. And she is still denying that she is to blame. 

Tess Gilroy has devoted her life to righting wrongs. Through her job for Innocence UK, a charity which takes on alleged miscarriages of justice, she works tirelessly to uncover the truth. But when she is asked to take Carrie’s case, Tess realises that if she is to help this woman, she must risk uncovering the secrets she has struggled a lifetime to hide . . .

Absolutely loved this book. It is written through the perspectives of both Carrie and Tess, cutting from present day to past, back to when Carrie was first arrested for the murder. As the story unfolds you find yourself constantly questioning who is really guilty. Just when you think you know, a new piece of evidence surfaces, or is denied, that leaves you questioning yourself yet again. With an end that will shock you to your core, this book is a fantastic modern day thriller. Highly recommend!
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Absolutely loved this.  The writing style had. E hooked I couldn’t put it down.  Amazing thriller I’d recommend to anyone.
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I banged through Clear My Name in record time even for me, I just couldn’t stop reading it once started so it’s a good job I had a day off.

This is another tense page turner from Paula Daly who has an intuitive eye for character and setting, always keeping things unexpected and plotting everything perfectly to suck you in then spit you out the other side slightly dazed looking.

I am a fan of stories featuring possibly innocent inmates and this one was beautifully done, with lots of nuance and excellent twisty moments- I really didn’t know where it would end up, the solution when it came was terrific – I often overall judge a novel by its pay off and this one was hugely satisfying.

Let’s hope for more tv adaptations is all I can say. And of course for lots more novels like this one.

Loved it. Highly Recommended.
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I really enjoyed this thriller. When a mother gets sent down for the murder of her husbands lover the Innocent project get involved to investigate if it was a miscarriage of justice. What follows is a twist and turn story of thriller as we delve into what ultimately happened and who the villains actually are as well as the investigator finishing her daughter who she put up for adoption mixed up in the whole affair.
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Having read and loved several of Paula Daly’s other books, whenever she has a new one I cannot wait to get my hands on it!!

Tess Gilroy works for the charity Innocence UK, an organisation that works at overturning wrongful convictions.

Tess’s new case is Carrie Kanara who is married to Pete and they have a daughter Mia. Carrie has served three years in prison for killing her husband’s lover Ella, who was repeatedly stabbed. There are now doubts of Carrie’s conviction. 

Tess and her new employee Avril delve into previous evidence and interview witnesses, as the case builds Tess believes Cassie is innocent but needs the proof. 

Tess returns to Morecambe, her childhood home that she has not visited for twenty six years, to investigate the case.

Paula Daly has a way of writing that keeps you hooked and is very descriptive in bringing her characters to life. 

There is a very clever twist where Tess’s private life collides with a potential witness and we discover what happened to make Tess so cynical and afraid to settle down.

Don’t miss out on this truly addictive story. There are twists galore and an unpredictable ending that made me gasp out loud!!

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.
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What do you think is worse: a) someone getting away with a crime they have committed, or b) someone getting wrongfully convicted for a crime they didn’t commit? According to Paula Daly, the answer a majority of the public voted for, was b. Yes, there are few things scarier than living out your days in jail when you are completely innocent, a hapless victim of a shoddy investigation and the justice system, framed for murder, unjustly convicted by a jury of 12 who were eager to get back to their own lives. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that makes Daly’s latest novel so compelling, because she confronts us with this very possibility – that Carrie Kamara, serving a life sentence in jail for the murder of her husband’s lover, is indeed innocent.

I’m not familiar with the British justice system, but seeing that our is based on it, I am guessing its cogs turn very similarly to ours, and once a case has been presented to the jury for a verdict it takes a lot to overturn it. If you are the person rotting in jail, there would seem to be little hope of ever finding someone who believes in your innocence, let alone one prepared to fight for it. This is where Tess Gilroy comes in. Tess works for Innocence UK, and organisation standing up and fighting for victims of the criminal justice system, people who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes. It’s lucky for Carrie that so far only male clients have been represented by the organisation, which is trying to level the scales, otherwise her case may never have caught their attention. Once Tess looks closely at the evidence, she believes that Carrie could indeed be innocent – the difficult part will be finding proof.

CLEAR MY NAME was one of those books where I instantly warmed to the characters and felt invested in their fates. Tess, who seems like a ruthless, no-nonsense investigator and yet has a past that still haunts her; Avril, the newly appointed trainee who is shadowing Tess to learn from her experience, and whose innocent belief in people makes a refreshing difference from her older counterpart; Carrie, convicted of murder, who would have every motive to kill her husband’s lover and yet still proclaims her innocence. Then there are the nasty characters I loved to hate (every book needs those, too) like Pete, Carrie’s unfaithful and conceited husband (why did she ever stay with him?). 

As with her previous books, I loved Daly’s writing style, which immediately drew me into the story and brought it to life for me. Daly has a keen eye for human behaviour, which lends life to each and every one of her characters and created suspense as they were set on their collision course on their search for truth – or to keep the truth hidden. I especially loved Tess and Avril and have secret hopes that we may see them back in future books? Maybe? Hopefully? As the two very different women work together to find new clues and solve the mystery, their own secret hopes, dreams and demons brought a depth to the story lacking in many other mysteries.

I picked up CLEAR MY NAME in the afternoon and read much too late into the night because I could not put it down before finding out “just one more clue”. And although I was not totally fond of the way things played out, it certainly took me by surprise.

All in all, CLEAR MY NAME was a compelling and original thriller with the high quality writing we usually see in Paula Daly’s novels and characters that got under my skin and who I would love to see back in future novels. It was entertaining and intriguing, so I recommend allowing time to get totally immersed, as you will be loathe to put it down once you start reading. I enjoyed it very much and look forward to see what Daly comes up with in her next book.
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I must admit I am a massive fan of Paula Daly, but that is only because she is not only a fabulous storyteller but she actually makes me 'feel' the story she is telling.

Clear My Name is an absorbing tale. Carrie has been imprisoned for the murder of her husband's lover, and Innocence UK has taken up her case as a miscarriage of justice. 

For me this was, as always with Daly's work, a one sit read.It is engrossing as it is interesting, the author does a good job at describing the workings of Police work and this works perfectly alongside the actual tale of the wrongdoer and wrong done by. 

It is an emotive, believable and totally immersive read that holds the attention of the reader and I could not wait for the explosive end. 

Every character is perfectly portrayed and gives depth to what I think is a brilliant insight into what is an all to real life story. I loved how I was drawn into Carrie's story and how I empathised with her and those involved with her case. 

Avril was adorable, she comes across as naive,  but oh my what a delight she is. I totally identified with her andher youth which helps her to stand up for herself and admit her weaknesses and her strengths,  I hope she crops up again in one of Daly's tales. 

This is a fabulous read and once again I cannot wait to see how Daly tops it with her next masterpiece.
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I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Paula Daly’s books and this is no exception. The novel follows Tess, who works for Innocence UK,  a charity that helps victims of miscarriages of justice. Carrie is currently serving a 15 year jail sentence for the murder of her husband’s lover and Tess is responsible for finding any evidence that supports her innocence. Alongside this investigation, Tess is struggling with her own personal demons as her past comes back to find her. 

I loved the investigative nature of this story and found the parts set in Carrie’s female prison fascinating. I was unsure of her innocence throughout the book and the novel moved at a fast pace, keeping me interested. I can’t honestly say that I was completely satisfied with the way the book ended, but I would still recommend this to friends.
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Crime is probably my most read genre and this was a very interesting and different point of view, looking at what happens if someone believes they have been falsely accused and who they can turn to.
Tess works for a charity - Innocence UK - who look into these cases, where there has possibly been a miscarriage of justice. Her latest case is Carrie who has been charged with the  brutal murder of her husbands lover. 
Along with new girl Avril, a perky, upbeat trainee who ends up shadowing her throughout this case, they go back through the evidence with a fine tooth comb, looking for inconsistencies and missed leads to try and build an appeal case good enough to take to the appellate court.
With a few chapters giving back story for both Tess and Carrie, this story chugged along at a perfect pace with a great steady build up and I still wasn't sure right up until the end about what had really happened!
Definitely recommended!
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I absolutely love Paula Daly's work but felt unfortunately that this was not her strongest novel. She is one of the best writers of domestic noir around but felt plotting let her down here. I will however continue to read her work.
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My thanks to Netgalley and Bantam Press for a copy of “Clear my name” for an honest review

I hadn’t read anything by Paula Daly before, but after reading this and watching Dark Water on tv , I,ll definitely be reading more from her.
I was gripped from the start of the book and felt the storyline flowed really well.It kept me guessing right to the end , and I wasn’t disappointed by the outcome.
I could see this being the start of a series of books , and it definitely would work well on t.v.
Will be recommending to others
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This is another great book from Paula Daly. It features Tess Gilroy who works for a charity called Innocence UK which takes on cases where there may be a miscarriage of justice. The latest case involves Carrie who has been jailed for the murder of  her husband's lover.  The reader is never quite sure whether Carrie has been convicted unjustly or whether she is indeed guilty. Tess is also  harbouring a secret herself and is having an affair with a colleague. The ending was not quite what I was expecting and seemed a little rushed. However this was a most enjoyable read with an unusual plot.
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I loved the plot of this novel by Paula Daly - the idea of following a team trying to get appeals for convicted criminals is something different from the usual crime stories. During the first half especially I was often thinking how good this would be as the first in a series about Innocence UK and their investigations (I still think this is what Daly might do). The conviiction dealt with in Clear My Name is that of Carrie who was imprisoned for murdering her husband's girlfriend which she has always vehemently denied in spite of their being blood traces found in the location, where she claims to have never been inside.

Where the book let itself down was the number of coincidences involved, whether it be with the characters' connections or that Tess always seemed to follow up on discoveries at the exact time the other characters are going to end up in the same place. The main character, Tess, going back to the area she grew up in then ran away from is not a new concept but as the personal and professional lives began to overlap I lost a lot of interest. The ending could have been filled out a lot more after the appeal board decision; everything sped up at that point and didn't focus on any intentions or feelings.

A good read with good suspense writing which kept me guessing, but frustrating at times.
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I really liked the lead character in this book and would 'love' for Tess to feature in a series. In some ways she's kind-of an unlikely narrator... in her 40s and someone who didn't quite achieve all they wanted. And though she's settled into a job she enjoys, there's a sense she's biding time. (And worryingly I could kinda relate!)

So, Tess is a great protagonist. We pretty quickly learn she's far from perfect and is seemingly running from something. I'd initially guessed it was something that led her into the work she's in, but I was wrong. (Gulp, yes wr-wr-wrong!)

I was a tad affronted on behalf of Tess - that she wasn't consulted when someone was brought on (by her advisory board) to work with her... as a sole employee etc you'd think she would have been given some notice or have some say in who was chosen. But nope. Naturally I expected there's be some nefarious purpose to it all.

Tess feels a lot of antipathy about taking Carrie's case initially, though mostly because it involves returning to the childhood home town she left decades before (never to return).

But, the advisory board for Innocence UK are coping some flak because they've never taken a woman's case before so Tess has no choice.

I liked that Tess's role is kinda investigative. I assumed (initially) she'd be a lawyer and arguing some boring point of law or something, but instead Tess (and now her offsider Avril) are responsible for doing the groundwork required by her board of advisors - all of whom bring some expertise to the case at hand. In fact, as Daly was quite specific about their expertise it made me wonder if the series would continue, with each given some time in the spotlight. (And you're more than welcome to that idea if you'd like Paula! :-) )

Daly offers up Carrie's story from her point of view, though we never get to the actual murder for which she's accused. Rather there are some flashbacks to events in the lead-up... giving us a sense I suspect, of what was at stake. It doesn't necessarily bode well for Carrie who also admits that she's been less-than-honest. 

Because I'm such an avid reader of mysteries and thrillers - not to mention smug - I assumed I'd worked out who it was. In fact... my notes say something like, "Please don't let it be as obvious as....." And thankfully it wasn't. Phew.

I enjoyed the complexity Daly offers readers through the murder of Ella (Carrie's husband's lover). It's always easy to bastardise the victim when we like the potential perpetrator so we feel better about their demise, but Daly doesn't do that here and there's a lot more to Ella's story than initially expected.

Of course there's also Tess's own secrets and whatever it is that motivates her to keep everyone at arm's length. Despite having made it to her mid 40s as a fully functioning human, she feels very unworthy and unlovable... and we eventually learn why.

There's some interesting insights from Tess (well, Daly) about the criminal justice system and how some people (perhaps innocent) are eventually rewarded for admitting guilt and remorse in order to be released on parole and a reminder that sometimes accepting 'defeat' is easier than continuing to fight, if it seems unlikely you'll ever win. So... there's some ethical fodder to ponder here as well. 

Clear My Name by Paula Daly was published in UK by Bantam Press (Penguin Random House UK) and will be published in the US by Grove Atlantic in early September.
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I enjoyed reading this book. I always felt that Carrie was hiding something, but didn't expect the twist. I loved Tess and would love to read more books where she is the main protagonist
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