William Morrow | 10 May 2022 | 304 pgs
The story starts off with a bang with our protagonist, Hannah Rokeby, gaining an interview with Professor Rob Parekh through her manipulative/blackmailing email. Prof Parekh is heading The Innocence Project at the University of Virginia and his team (consisted of some law students volunteers) are trying on a case to free Michael Dandridge, who is convicted of rape and murder of Sarah Fitzhugh. Hannah has an agenda alright, but it has nothing to do with righting the justice or freeing Dandridge. In fact, she's doing the opposite - she's going to make sure that Dandridge will never walk out from the prison, ever.
This is simply one side of the story. On the other end, the reader get to know the backstory of Hannah’s mother, Laura, through her diary entries as she chronicled about her past, her romance and the death of her lover. The police had closed the case of his death as accidental, but Laura suspected murder although she has no proof. All these have hit her hard and eventually Laura become depressed and drink to drown her sorrows. The relationship between Hannah and Laura is complicated; there are times that Hannah finds Laura too much of an emotional burden, yet she couldn't turn her back to her. As the story progresses and the two stories intertwine, you'll soon realise that things are not what you've expected initially.
What made this a compelling read in my opinion is the balance/combination between suspense and the character-driven aspect of the story. All the characters are intriguing in their own ways; and the slowburn of the suspense worked well in this case for that big reveal in the end. Hannah may be bold and determined in many cases, but she's also manipulative and a cheater to get her ways so that made her an unpopular protagonist. I don't want to say too much so suffice it to say it was a twisty suspense thriller that had me hooked throughout.
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