Nearly twenty years ago, the body of a child was found, burned beyond recognition, in the woods of Indiana. George Calhoun was arrested and charged with the murder of his daughter. His wife testified against him. A jury found him guilty and sentenced him to death. He’s stated from day one that it wasn’t the body of his child that they found in the woods, that it couldn’t have been her. But he refused to tell them why. He’s always said that the body in the woods couldn’t have been his little Angelina, but he never gave any proof or any other explanation other than his staunch denial that it was her and that he never did anything to harm his daughter.
Dani Trumbull is an attorney for the Help Innocent Prisoners Project (HIPP) and no matter how many times she tried to put George Calhoun’s case aside and tell him that he didn’t qualify. There was no evidence, no DNA, nothing. But what if the story was true? What if that little girl wasn’t Angelina? How could she sit back and let an innocent man go to his death if there was the chance that he could be innocent.
The plot was convincing enough for me to go ahead and add it to my TBR pile. I was sad when it just didn’t live up to my expectations. The plot was pretty solid and I did like the twist of why George Calhoun wouldn’t or couldn’t say why he was so steadfast in his belief that he did not kill his daughter. It was unexpected. Usually these types of plots are based on DNA material, eye witness testimony or a jail-house snitch. So I did appreciate a new take on a plot device that has been used quite frequently in many legal thrillers.
What I couldn’t appreciate were all of the sub-plots and side stories that seemed to bog down the story. What was with all the secretive actions by Eric Bergman? Where did that lead? There was so much filler that it really took away from the story. And there were a few places where you simply had to suspend belief completely.
Many of the characters were just unnecessary or unbelievable. Some I couldn’t connect with or empathize with at all. I liked George Calhoun and I did like Dani, but that’s pretty much where it ended for me. I just couldn’t get invested in anyone else or even what they added to the plotline. The end was good, but I’m not sure if it was worth slugging through everything that came before. Not a bad read, but not a great one.