Century Books January 2018
Twenty years ago, Dennis Danson was arrested and imprisoned for the brutal murder of a young girl in Florida’s Red River County.
Now he’s the subject of a true-crime documentary that’s whipping up a frenzy online to uncover the truth and free him from his wrongful conviction.
Thousands of miles away in England, Samantha is obsessed with Dennis’s case. She exchanges letters with him, and is quickly won over by his apparent charm and kindness to her.
Soon she has left her old life behind to marry him and campaign for his release.
But when the campaign is successful and Dennis is freed, Sam begins to discover new details that suggest he may not be quite so innocent after all.
But how do you confront your husband when you don’t want to know the truth?
The premise of this book hugely appealed to me, like many others I am fascinated by serial killers and equally intrigued by the women who love them. It never fails to surprise me how attractive incarcerated murders are to some women! Amy Lloyd has created a cast of interesting and authentic characters in this book, none of whom are particularly likeable but thrown together make for a great story.
Samantha, lonely in life and somewhat of a fantasist, meets and falls in love with Dennis, a prisoner on death row with a core of fans campaigning for his release. All fine for Samantha until he is released and she finds herself married to a man who has spent his adulthood locked up and who she hardly knows. Her romantic bubble bursts and reality strikes. And Dennis, is a great unknown. His story is told initially through excerpts from documentaries and court reports with a bias towards his innocence, but we know he grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in small town USA, a misfit, an outcast. Over time we and Samantha learn some more troubling facts as we accompany them on their post prison journey back to Florida, back to the scene of the crimes and back to a place where not everybody is pleased to see them and not everybody is convinced of Dennis’s innocence.
And of course, the final questions, Is Samantha safe? Did Dennis do it? Questions which kept me gripped until the end, an end which in parts I had figured out but not in its entirety, and an end with a fit conclusion in the epilogue which left me with a satisfied smile on my face as I passed the book to my husband, telling him this one was a must read!
About the Author
Amy Lloyd studied English and Creative Writing at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Her writing combines her fascination with true crime and her passion for fiction. In 2016 she won the Daily Mail Competition for her novel The Innocent Wife, Amy lives with her partner, who is also a published novelist.