Jennie Hansen wrote a review of my book, Reasonable Doubt, on Meridian Magazine. She reviewed four other books. To read the entire article entitled, Five Books for Sleepless Nights, click here. This review means a lot to me because I am a huge fan of Jennie's books.
Another book that appeared toward the end of 2007 that hasn’t received the attention it deserves is Reasonable Doubt by Marcia Mickelson. It features Julia Harris, the only female attorney in a small law firm that is a little too “boys club” for her comfort.
She is assigned by her boss to defend a college basketball player accused of murdering his fiancé. She welcomes the challenge even though she believes her client is guilty. She acknowledges to herself that she could be biased by her own traumatic rape by a classmate she trusted during her own college years, an experience that has left her wary of men.
Winning a case so important to her boss is an important career step for her. Unfortunately, she finds herself saddled with a co-counsel, a man new to the firm. She not only must share her case with him, but her office as well.
This book presents an exciting mystery, confronts a couple of social issues, and delivers a tender love story. The solution to the murder mystery is too obvious too early in the story, but the journey to the villain’s unmasking is still fascinating. Romances generally have happy endings, so there’s no surprise in that part of the plot. Even so watching the relationship unfold added a nice touch to the novel. The healing journey for a woman victimized by rape is the most solid portion of the book and is handled tastefully and realistically. There are also solid insights into sports obsessions, biases, and issues of trust.
The technical quality of Reasonable Doubt is generally high. The storyline holds the reader’s attention, the plot twists show excellent timing, and the copy is low in errors. The characters show sufficient development for readers to identify with them. The dialog is a little stilted in a few places, particularly at the beginning, but overall, this book was an enjoyable read.
Tristi Pinkston also reviewed Reasonable Doubt on Families.com. Click here for the link.
Julia was the victim of rape while in law school, and she can't help the feelings of anger and hatred she feels whenever she has to interact with men. Now as a promising lawyer in a firm comprised entirely of men, she is working extra hard to earn her place as partner, not wanting to be held back because of her gender. It doesn't make things any easier that her boss is a sports fan and likes to take the guys out for a round of golf from time to time, leaving her out in the cold.
At night, Julia hangs out at an online forum for rape victims. She shares her story and offers legal advice, encouraging the women to turn their attackers in, something she herself never did, regretting it ever since.
When the murder case of a prominent female athlete is brought to the firm, Julia is chosen to take it, but her instincts tell her the client is guilty. He's also an athlete, a star on the University of Utah team, and his fiancé was the victim. Julia can't push aside her distrust of men long enough to really listen to him, but her new co-council, Pablo, believes in their client's innocence. Well, of course he would - Pablo's a guy too, and they all stick together.
The more Julia and Pablo work together, the more respect she gains for the man Pablo is. He's thoughtful and considerate, has absolute integrity, and treats her well even when she's lashing out at him. As she comes to know him, she also becomes more willing to listen to his theory, and soon she's working to prove their client's innocence. Before, she wanted to win the case in hopes of making partner, but now she's got a different motivation - her client is innocent and she wants to get him free.
This is an interesting LDS mystery, but even more interesting to me was the interaction between Julia and Pablo, and how his personal belief system softened Julia's heart and helped her to realize that she could go on, despite her painful past.
I did find some editing goofs - repetitive words and the like, but I enjoyed the interaction between the characters and the eventual outcome of the investigation.