Anatomy of Innocence

Can you imagine being arrested for a crime you had nothing to do with? A crime so horrible, you’re nauseated just thinking about? Can you imagine finding yourself in a courtroom, trusting that the system works, so it can’t possibly find you guilty…except it does?

Can you imagine spending your life behind bars for a crime you did not commit?

Anatomy of Innocence is a story composed of slices from the lives of fifteen men and women convicted of terrible felonies. Each section is written by a bestselling crime writer: SJ Rozan writes about how one woman’s nightmare began; Sara Paretsky explores the horrors of an interrogation.

Mine is chapter three: the trial. The man whose story I tell was convicted through mistaken identification, fake science, and poor representation. Basically, he spent 29 years in prison for the crime of being black.

And the truly amazing part?  These people aren’t bitter.  They come out of having their lives stolen from them, and they shine.

The book comes out on March 28, and we’ve just had the Booklist review:

Anatomy of Innocence: Testimonies of the Wrongfully Convicted

Caldwell, Laura (Editor) and Klinger, Leslie S. (Editor)

….Though each personal history is fascinating based on its facts alone, the exonerees are paired with mystery and crime writers (including Sara Paretsky, Lee Child, and S. J. Rozan) to tell their stories. The book’s structure follows the sequences of the criminal-justice system, from the initial knock on the door to the interrogation through trials, appeals, and freedom….editors Caldwell and Klinger add context from research conducted by the Innocence Project. The structure and multiple authors create an uneven collection of chapters: those focused on appeals and prison time allow for greater exposition of the trial history and personal context, while early stories leave readers with more questions. However, the collection shines in its focus on people whose stories should be urgently told. Featuring a previously unpublished essay by Arthur Miller, this book will captivate readers interested in justice and the U.S. legal system.

The writers and editors will be doing various events across the country, and there’s a panel on the Innocence Project that I’ll be on at Left Coast Crime.  More on those events later.

And you can pre-order a copy from your local Indie bookseller here, from Amazon here, or from Barnes & Noble here.


  1. John Thomas Bychowski on February 2, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Looking forward to this book and it’s important stories.

  2. John Thomas Bychowski on February 2, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Darn autocorrect! Its, not it’s.

    • Laurie King on February 2, 2017 at 9:32 am

      Yes, although I’ve stopped being critical since it happen’s to me all the time…

      • Rachel Keeney on February 2, 2017 at 10:39 am

        Thank you; I needed that laugh.

  3. Kay Lundgren on February 2, 2017 at 9:27 am

    I will be reading this. I love all of you for combining your talents and sharing with the rest of us. Thank you.

  4. Agnes on February 2, 2017 at 11:21 am

    The description of the person you profiled sounded familiar and I looked it up to see if it was the case that happened around here recently – but it wasn’t. Sad to think that the broad outlines of the situation probably apply to quite a large number of people.

  5. Merrily Taylor on February 4, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Sounds like a marvelous and much-needed book. It’s terrifying to think how often that this has happened in the U.S. and that it could happen to anyone, and personal stories always make something more Real than simply hearing about it on the news.

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