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Only the Innocent

(DCI Tom Douglas #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  22,116 ratings  ·  985 reviews
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 ret
Kindle Edition, 470 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Thomas & Mercer (first published 2011)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  22,116 ratings  ·  985 reviews

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I’m not sure why I waited so long to try this series. After all, most of my thriller-loving Goodreads friends have read Ms. Abbott’s works, and with the name Abbott, her books always come up first on my sorted-by-author to-be-read list. I have also collected 5 of her books over the years through Amazon sales. Only the Innocent finally called my name and I settled in with great anticipation.

At first I was disappointed. I am currently in police procedural mode with my reading, and since the series
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
I have had a number of Rachel Abbott's books sitting on my shelf for some time. Why I hadn't read them I don't know because I love English murder/mysteries and this one was a cracker!

Although I had the who and how figured out reasonably early on, there was enough going on to keep me interested - very interested. You really have to wonder about some families....

Hugo Fletcher is wealthy and charming. His good works freeing and rehabilitating Eastern European prostitutes is well known. When his dea
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very disappointed in this book!
A strong opening chapter that draws attention, however the rest of the book is just boring!
The main character has such a weak, pathetic voice that is barely distinguishable to that of her ex sister in law.
Also, the poor attempt of trying to weave the background of the characters into the story through unsent letters is entirely unimaginative and boring, not to mention forced!
The author has not seemed to have mastered the fundamental rule of showing, not telling the
Feb 08, 2018 rated it liked it
It all ended up being a bit predictable and drawn out. Could have been at least 50 pages shorter .... seemed to go around in circles towards the end. I liked DCI Tom Douglas. Did not really care about any of the other characters ... zero romance so if you are looking for that, you will have to look somewhere else.

Bad guy was a total psycho. Female lead was a bit of doormat and very naive.

I may continue the series. As I said, I did like Tom.

Lewis Weinstein
Parts of the telling of this story were just brilliant; other parts not so much.

There is a murder, a rather bizarre murder, and it was clear to me early on who did it. But the why of it, which was dribbled out in tantalizing bits, kept me glued. Plus the introduction of several new characters, all of them interesting, added to the complexity and the suspense. This is definitely a family I was happy to read about but which I would never want to actually know.

The detectives were well portrayed, b
Mar 31, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely awful. Absurd storyline, utterly unlike able characters and poorly written, how many times can you refer to their smile being insincere? The letters between the 2 friends were ridiculous, no one write to a friend in that way. I got this book based on the 5 star reviews it's received, I really can not understand who would ever rate this book highly, rubbish! ...more
A.C. Flory
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The blurb that accompanied 'Only the Innocent' raised questions about women who commit apparently perfect, cold-blooded murder so I was primed for a story about a psychopath. The fact that this psychopath was going to be a woman merely added a touch of spice to my expectations. While the book did not disappoint me in the slightest, it did not turn out to be anything like what I was expecting.

The last thing I want to do is to spoil this story for anyone so all I will say is that 'a woman' did pla
Barry Doughty
I can see by the majority of reviews I am in the minority with this one and I’m sorry but if it was meant to be a murder mystery I’m afraid the mystery was depleted by its glaring predictability. I read this book on a kindle and found myself willing the percentage line at the bottom of the screen to move faster. The only emotion this stirred in me was when Laura, the main character, puts up with so much sick and disgusting behaviour, from her husband that I really wanted to punch her myself. Sor ...more
J.A. Kahn
I can see I'm in the minority with my review, so apologies to Rachel Abbott, and her fans of the book and series. I hate posting negative reviews but feel compelled in this case :(

My first Rachel Abbott novel and sadly probably my last. I was really looking forward to reading Abbott's work after learning of her tremendous success and rise up the authoring ladder, but this is definitely not one for me. It was all rather disappointing and unbelievable.

'Only The Innocent' was rather predictable. T
Beverly Drake
Jun 13, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I cannot believe how many people have highly rated this tediously written book. I quite enjoyed Back Road and so decided to read Only the Innocent ...a total disappointment.

The tragic thing is she has wasted an opportunity to really explore issues that are very prevalent in today's society- those of human trafficking, child sex abuse and prostitution. It almost seemed trivialised.
I am sure that was not Rachel Abbbots objective but really Rachel if you want to write about these topics at least
Sandy Hall
I was really disappointed with this after reading such glowing reviews. The character interactions were rote, the verbiage was stilted and the contents of the letters verged on ridiculous! Who would write to a friend or even in their diary in those terms and phrasing?! It would have been more appropriate to have set this in the 1700's, it would have made the central characters a bit more believable. Bad romance trying to pass as a mystery. ...more
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
Great start to DCI Tom Douglas books!
Full review on
Jul 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I read Sleep Tight first (apparently the third one in this series) quite by chance and was totally engrossed in it. Realising I had bought Only the Innocent some time ago and, for some unknown reason had overlooked it, I started reading it with relish as I had so enjoyed Sleep Tight. I also wanted to know more about the background of the wonderful and gorgeous, DCI Tom Douglas who I really like, and his sergeant, Becky Robinson.

I have to say I struggled with this one, sadly. I just felt like it
May 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, thriller
Only the Innocent is the first book in the new series called DCI Tom Douglas by Rachel Abbott. DCI Tom Douglas first case was the death of Sir Hugo Fletcher. At first, it looks like a sexual encounter that went wrong, however, more DCI Tom Douglas investigators more they realise there was more to Sir Hugo Fletcher then anyone thought. DCI Tom Douglas became more frustrated with Lady Laura Fletcher and Imogen Kennedy he knows they are hiding something but does not know what. The readers of Only t ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I would have discovered this author sooner because this was one of the very best books ever!!!!! I cannot wait to get to number two in the series.
Liz Barnsley
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hugo Fletcher, a pillar of society, loved by the public and famous for his charity works is found murdered. Tom Douglas, convinced that the murderer is a woman, is on the case. This creates the basis for the story, and wow what a story it was. My favourite thing about this novel was the storytelling - Ms Abbott gives you information in small doses whilst all the time filling out the personalities of her characters until you understand their actions and reasoning. What appears on the surface is n ...more
Terry Palardy
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rachel Abbott has written an incredible story with many layers of mystery. The tale of a young successful woman who captures the eye of a well known philanthropist and suddenly finds herself awaiting her wedding day with understandable anticipation. This cultured gentleman insists on handling all of the details for the ceremony and reception, which invites early disapproval from Laura's mother.

Seeing this as a step up in class, Laura struggles to accept her new husband's polite insistence on co
A couple of years ago, I listened to The Back Road by Rachel Abbott and really enjoyed it. Then I discovered that The Back Road was actually the second book featuring DCI Tom Douglas. Only The Innocent is the first. If I had started with this one, I don't think I would have bothered with the second.
At the heart of it, Only The Innocent has a really promising story of prostitution, human trafficking, sexual and domestic abuse to tell, but the execution was disappointing. Part of the story is tol
Mark Chisnell
Dec 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rachel Abbott’s Only the Innocent was one of the big independently-published hits of 2012, and I was intrigued to finally read it. The cover and blurb promise an edgy thriller, and there’s no doubt that all those elements are there – sex, abuse, murder. Nevertheless, the book still has a lot in common with a ‘cozy’ mystery, as the detective work revolves around the drawing room of an old manor house - but no, it wasn’t Colonel Mustard with the knife in the kitchen, the end was much darker than t ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Richard Louden
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I expected great things of a novel which reached the top of the Kindle charts. To some extent, Only the Innocent delivers. The murder plot is intriguing and its twists and turns are intelligently crafted. Rachel Abbott's writing is fluent and easy to read and the moral dilemma which lies at the heart of the novel is one to which any reader can relate.
That said, I have a few issues with it. The lead characters aren't sufficiently multi-dimensional. The murdered man, Sir Hugo, is so unremittingly
Robin Webster
Sir Hugo Fletcher is found murdered in his home and tied to the bed in such a way that it is obvious to the police that sex games were involved which leaves them convinced that the perpetrator of the crime must be a woman. Sir Hugo was very controlling in his relationships, particularly within his marriage to Lady Fletcher. As the book develops we begin to see what a dangerous and destructive character Sir Hugo really was. I felt the book started really well but as it went on I found there was a ...more
Jan 01, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended for anyone who likes their crime fiction as far removed from reality as possible.

This book contains possibly the most unprofessionsal, incompetent police force I've ever encountered outside of a comedy. By the end of the book, they hadn't even discovered anything that wouldn't be available on the first page of the average Google search. Interviews with suspects were allowed to be interrupted by colleagues for no good reason, or because yet another family member of the bereaved had bu
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only the Innocent really is a good title for this work. I thought this was both a well thought out and well written book.

A book that the author cleverly demonstrates her skill in serving us clues along the way, clues as to who has done what and why, almost in a slow, tantalising, drip feed fashion. I have to be honest and say I did work it out so the ending didn't come as a hughe surprise, just confirmation of all those teasing little herrings dotted here and there.

The characters were likable e
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The plot is really a straight forward whodunit. A rich charity worker is murdered by a women with red hair. It soon becomes apparent that this man, Hugo, is disliked by many and is cruel to his close family. We become drawn into the police investigation and get insight into Helen and her life with Hugo. I particularly liked the unsent letters Helen had written about her life.

My main complaint was that Hugo painted too black and too evil and Helen at times seemed rather pathetic. I would have lik
Malina Skrobosinski
So this is my third Rachel Abbott novel... yes, I know... I've read them out of order. Not sure how or why that happened, I think it started with borrowing one on my Kindle and not realizing it was part of a series. Anyway... I enjoyed that first read and decided to try others, so here I am, starting at the beginning in hopes of completing the series.

I can say that this will not be my favorite in the series, but this one certainly doesn't lack appeal. What it does lack however, is consistency.
Fiona (Titch) Hunt
I've had this book on my kindle for nearly 6 years. I've heard great things of this author, so started this book.

OMG the storyline is compelling and knowing it goes on behind closed doors still. Who killed Hugo Fletcher? What has the prostitutes got to do with his murder? All will be revealed in Only The Innocent.
Marguerite Kaye
This didn't work for me. Too many POVs, and done in such a way that you get a lot of internal narrative at a cost to 'showing'. I think if it had been limited to one or two of the main protagonists, it would have worked better, and I wouldn't have got so irritated at the constant shifting. Like a couple of the other reviewers, I really didn't like the way that letters were used to tell the back story - the way the letters were written, apart from anything else, made it clear they weren't really ...more
~ Cariad ~
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 00-audiobooks
I really enjoyed listening to this one.
It was dark without being too graphic considering the piece of shit they were dealing with and was well written from the unusual angles of the past (being in the form of letters to her friend detailing the awful life she was living) and the present, as it happened from both the POV of the major crimes detective leading the case and the wife...of said piece of shit.

Nicely narrated too, once I'd revved it up to 1.4 on Audible!

Looking forward to more in the s
Nicole P
Now this is what a mystery/thriller should be like! I was hooked from the get go, and even though the MC didn't grab my attention that much in the beginning, he definitely did have it by the end. An intricate, tangled web, with a lot of different relationships made this intriguing and a blast to read. I quite enjoyed it. ...more
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I was born and brought up in the north of England, and worked for many years as the managing director of an interactive media company. I wrote every day - everything from creative proposals to user manuals - but most exciting of all was writing interactive dramas - including for the Cluedo (Clue in the US) interactive games. I was fortunate enough to sell my company in 2000 and we moved to Italy w ...more

Other books in the series

DCI Tom Douglas (10 books)
  • The Back Road (DCI Tom Douglas, #2)
  • Sleep Tight (DCI Tom Douglas, #3)
  • Stranger Child (DCI Tom Douglas, #4)
  • Kill Me Again (DCI Tom Douglas, #5)
  • The Sixth Window (DCI Tom Douglas, #6)
  • Come A Little Closer (DCI Tom Douglas, #7)
  • The Shape of Lies (DCI Tom Douglas, #8)
  • Right Behind You (DCI Tom Douglas, #9)
  • Close Your Eyes (DCI Tom Douglas, #10)

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