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 a man who has been wrongly convicted.
A thousand 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?
I think we have all heard the stories and people corresponding with inmates sort of like pen pals. According to reports, there are hundreds of women who correspond with death row inmates. Some end up establishing a relationship despite the restrictiveness of their engagement/contact. Serial Killers like Ted Bundy reportedly had a lot of fan mail from female groupies. This might sound a bit odd given the fact that he killed many women. However, he even got married while awaiting trial. I have always been curious about these relationships and this is what drew me to this book. I was curious about Sam and Denis.
The story begins with Denis behind bars serving time for murder. He is also suspected to be behind the disappearance of a number of women. Sam is a teacher who gets pulled into Denis’ story and soon starts corresponding with him. Readers get to see the romance blossoming. I liked the fact that the author shared the letters between the two. It sort of let us in to their world and it made their romance feel real and normal despite the circumstances.
The story is mainly narrated through Sam’s POV. We get to learn about her life after meeting Dennis and the way it changed especially once he was freed. I did sympathize with Sam at some point. Her longings, disappointments, happiness all came alive through the pages. However, I can’t say that I supported her decisions. The author did a fantastic job though in developing this character such that I might not have understood why she did most stuff but I did get why that stuff seemed normal to her. I can’t say the same for Dennis though.
This was an entertaining read. As I have already mentioned, the relationship between the two was interesting to read about especially at the beginning of the story. My only issue with this story was that there were sections that dragged a bit. I found my interesting waning off at some point and then suddenly, there was a lot going on towards the end. However, despite the pacing being a bit up and down, I enjoyed reading this book and certainly liked the premise. I also liked the creepy vibe at the end of the narrative.