Title: Claim of Innocence by Laura Caldwell
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Length: 448 pages
Book Rating: B+
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
Forbidden relationships are the most tempting. And the most dangerous.
It was a crime of passion–or so the police say. Valerie Solara has been charged with poisoning her best friend. The prosecution claims she’s always been secretly attracted to Amanda’s husband…and with Amanda gone, she planned to make her move.
Attorney Izzy McNeil left the legal world a year ago, but a friend’s request pulls her into the murder trial. Izzy knows how passion can turn your life upside down. She thought she had it once with her ex–fiance, Sam. Now she wonders if that’s all she has in common with her criminally gorgeous, younger boyfriend, Theo.
It’s Izzy’s job to present the facts that will exonerate her client–whether or not she’s innocent. But when she suspects Valerie is hiding something, she begins investigating–and uncovers a web of secret passions and dark motives, where seemingly innocent relationships can prove poisonous…
In Claim of Innocence, Laura Caldwell weaves a complex tale of friendship, murder and betrayal. Although it is the fourth novel starring Izzy McNeil and there are references to incidents in previous novels, Claim of Innocence can be read as a standalone novel.
Claim of Innocence opens with Izzy re-entering the legal world as a civil attorney who quickly finds herself drawn in a criminal court case by good friend Maggie Bristol. As Izzy plunges headlong into the trial and investigation, she discovers there are no easy answers when it comes to a client’s guilt or innocence. She also learns that sometimes the answers to her questions are more complicated than she could possibly imagine.
Interspersed with the trial and investigation are Izzy’s intricate relationships with family, friends, and boyfriends, past and present. When her ex-fiancé Sam reappears in her life, she is forced to re-evaluate their past relationship and her present romance with the much younger Theo. She is also dealing with changing family dynamics as they continue to cope with the unexpected reappearance of Izzy’s long missing father.
Claim of Innocence is a compelling and well-plotted novel. Laura Caldwell engages the reader with interesting subplots, multi-faceted characters, and an intriguing mystery. Unexpected twists and turns bring Claim of Innocence to a surprising and satisfying conclusion.
This review was originally posted at The Readers Roundtable