Title: Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
He’s a serial killer. A murderer of young women, all killed in brutal attacks.
But despite Hamish Wolfe’s conviction, he’s always stuck to his story—he’s innocent and he’s been wrongly imprisoned. And now he wants someone to investigate and, more importantly, to write his story.
Maggie Rose is a notorious defense attorney and writer whose specialty is getting convictions overturned. At first, Maggie is reluctant to even acknowledge Hamish’s requests to meet, ignoring his letters. But this is a very charismatic and persuasive man, good-looking and intelligent.
Eventually even she can’t resist his lure…
Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton is a spellbinding mystery about a serial killer’s efforts to get his conviction overturned.
Maggie Rose is a reclusive defense attorney and true crime author who is famous for successfully getting several notorious murderer’s convictions overturned. After refusing to meet with Hamish Wolfe, a handsome doctor convicted of murdering three young women, she is approached by his mother who asks her to reconsider her decision. After she learns more about Hamish and the murders, she decides to meet with him so he can present his case to her in person. Although not fully convinced of Wolfe’s innocence, Maggie agrees to look over the evidence but she warns him she will most likely not change her mind about representing him. However, the deeper she delves into the cases, the more intrigued she becomes and Maggie officially accepts Hamish as her client. While the odds of discovering new evidence that will exonerate Wolfe are not in her favor, Maggie is soon embroiled in her investigation. Will she find information that will clear Hamish? Or will Maggie discover irrefutable proof that he is, in fact, guilty of the crimes he has been convicted of committing?
Although she lives a low-key life out of the limelight, Maggie is a bit of a contradiction. She does not hesitate to help rescue a possible drowning victim and her hair is dyed bright blue. She is fiercely independent and values her privacy, but after a series of vaguely threatening incidents at her home, she comes to the attention of Detective Sergeant Pete Weston, who, coincidentally, arrested Wolfe for the murders. He has absolutely no doubt he arrested the person responsible for the killings but he is willing to hear Maggie’s theories once she begins digging around in the case. However, Pete is not swayed by her theories and he continues to try to dissuade her getting involved with Hamish.
During the course of her investigation, Maggie dissects Wolfe’s life both in the past and the present. He might be a well-liked and well-respected surgeon now but in his college days, there were whispers of impropriety about him and a group of his friends and their ill-treatment of overweight women who bear a striking resemblance to the three women he is convicted of murdering. Even more chilling is the unexplained disappearance of his college girlfriend Daisy Baron, who vanished without a trace years earlier while they were dating. With plenty of rumors hinting at a dark side to Wolfe, Maggie refuses to heed his requests to leave the past alone. After she discovers troubling information that might link Wolfe to the murders, Maggie is running out of time to find exculpatory evidence that will lead to a new trial.
Written from multiple points of view, Daisy in Chains is a compelling psychological mystery that is initially a little slow paced but eventually becomes impossible to put down. The characters are richly developed and although flawed, they are easy to root for. The novel is well-written with chapters alternating between the various characters’ perspectives and a series of newspapers articles, e-mails and letters. Although Sharon Bolton eventually drops enough clues for the reader to guess the killer’s identity, the novel comes to a suspense-laden conclusion that contains a few unexpected plot twists. An entertaining mystery that fans of the genre will enjoy.