It’s evident from the first page of Clear My Name that Paula Daly’s heroine, investigator Tess Gilroy, is as adept at keeping secrets as she is at uncovering them. Between Tess and Carrie, the woman she’s trying to prove innocent of murder, we’re left with two narrators who are simultaneously sympathetic and also inherently unreliable. Add exquisite pacing and a plot with some real twists, and you have a recipe for a book bound to keep you up all night ... Eventually Tess’ and Carrie’s narratives collide in a way that is genuinely shocking. The last quarter of this mystery doesn’t so much as unfold as it explodes; the tension is at a fever pitch and the final revelations are genuinely surprising ... With a wonderfully executed mystery and two unreliable narrators, Clear My Name straddles the line between psychological thriller and good old-fashioned whodunit.
A sixth winner for Daly...with a timely theme, the incarceration of the wrongly convicted, at its core ... Fans of domestic thrillers will find the revelations about families and the lengths that mothers and daughters will go to protect one another both disturbing and touching.
...[a] powerful thriller ... As Tess searches for the break that could give Carrie back her life, the author skillfully explores the question of whether Tess can finally manage to do the same for herself. Daly’s fans will welcome this gritty departure from her popular novels of domestic suspense.
Daly’s...thrillers are engaging and well plotted; there is a nice mix of investigative process (driving the same route in different conditions in order to make or break an alibi, for example) as well as character development. Tess is a hard character who keeps people at a distance, but she’s still easy to sympathize with; her exasperation with Avril, as well as their developing understanding, adds a nice layer to the story. The mystery itself is not terribly complex, however, and the ending feels a bit lackluster and anticlimatic. An easy summer read; engaging while it’s in your hand, forgettable once you put it down.