- source: my local library
- first published 2011
- this copy published by Thomas & Mercer
- ISBN 978-1611-097849
- 459 pages
- #1 in the DI Tom Douglas series
- available on Kindle
Every moment of Sir Hugo Fletcher's life has been chronicled in the British press: his privileged upbringing, his high-profile charity work to end human trafficking - even his two marriages. But when the billionaire philanthropist is discovered murdered in his London home, tied naked to a bed, the scandal is only a shadow of the darkness lurking off-camera.
Laura Fletcher returns from an Italian vacation to find her husband dead and her home under siege by paparazzi. Is she shocked? Yes. But is she distraught? Not exactly. Especially when Chief Inspector Tom Douglas reveals his suspicions that Hugo's killer is female.
Laura always knew she wasn't the only woman in Hugo's life. And she knows she wasn't the only one with a motive to kill. The deeper Douglas digs, the more sordid details about Hugo Fletcher he uncovers. And yet nothing compares to the secret Laura guards, a secret that could bring the guilty to justice - or destroy an innocent life forever.
This reads like it must be in the middle of a series, because there are events referred to that have happened prior to the action of this novel, but it is actually a debut title. I've found that a strategy other authors have used in fairly recent publications.
DI Tom Douglas is an unusual detective as he doesn't keep his distance. When he begins to investigate the murder of Sir Hugo Fletcher he quickly gets on to first name terms with Lady Laura Fletcher. He knows instinctively that she is the clue to understanding Hugo's death.
ONLY THE INNOCENT has a complex plot with quite an array of characters. It is not a novel for the faint-hearted reader either. The structure is interesting. There are letters that Laura has written to her best friend Imogen which have never been posted which explain what has happened to Laura since her marriage to the high-profile Hugo. There are also occasional passages which describe the plight of a girl who has been imprisoned and is waiting for a release that may never come. These strategies heighten the tension and suspense in the novel.
Excellent reading, and in particular an excellent start for 2015.
My rating: 4.8
About the author (collected from Amazon and Fantastic Fiction)
Rachel Abbott published Only the Innocent in November 2011. It raced up the UK charts to reach the top 100 within 12 weeks and quickly hit the #1 spot in the Amazon Kindle chart (all categories) and remained there for four weeks.
Originally Only the Innocent was a self-published title, but since the success of the early version, the novel was re-edited and the new version was launched in the US by Thomas and Mercer in paperback, audio and Kindle versions on 5th February 2013, hitting the number one spot in the Kindle Store in August 2013. Her second book, The Back Road, was also published by Thomas and Mercer.
Her third book, Sleep Tight, was published in February 2014.
Rachel Abbott was born just outside Manchester, England. She spent most of her working life as the Managing Director of an interactive media company, developing software and websites for the education market. The sale of that business enabled her to fulfil one of her lifelong ambitions - to buy and restore a property in Italy.
Rachel now lives in Alderney - a beautiful island off the coast of France, and is now able to devote time to her other love - writing fiction.