Confessions of an Innocent Man

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When wealthy philanthropist Tieresse Kerryman is found murdered in her home, the prime suspect is obvious: her husband, Rafael Zhettah. As the case moves forward, the evidence against Rafael becomes more and more glaring; he was sleeping with other women, he was far younger than Tieresse, and her death resulted in his accrual of a substantial inheritance. The detectives, and ultimately the jury and judges agree that Rafael is guilty, and he is convicted to death row. Only here’s the problem: we know Rafael is innocent.

The horror of false sentencing becomes all too visceral as we follow Rafael’s failed attempts to appeal his case, and his struggle to navigate the politics of death row. When Rafael finally does regain his freedom, he realizes that freedom isn’t enough – that justice cannot be served through mere restitution.

The first half of this novel in particular moves quickly; it is as if we are dropped into the company of the amiable Rafael, who details his life with Tieresse and subsequent sentencing in such detail that it feels as though the reader is his lifelong friend. As a result, his shocking treatment at the hands of the justice system evokes a genuine response of anger, fear, and horror. Unfortunately, Rafael’s post-incarceration pursuit of justice was disappointing; I understand that we are supposed to feel that the damaged legal system is what turned Rafael into the monster it condemned him to be, but I felt disheartened by the idea that the only way he could seek closure was by, essentially, caving to the ill-fitted portrait the justice system initially crafted for him. All in all, a good read, but not as fulfilling as I had hoped – though perhaps that was the author’s intention.

Reviewed By:

Author David R. Dow
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 304 pages
Publisher Dutton
Publish Date 09-Apr-2019
ISBN 9781524743888
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue July 2019
Category Popular Fiction


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