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category: Fiction
published: Feb 2016
ISBN:9781464205149

Unreasonable Doubt

by Vicki Delany

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police procedural, women sleuths
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $27.95
edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback Hardcover
category: Fiction
published: Feb 2016
ISBN:9781464205149
Description

"Another brisk whodunit in a beautiful western Canadian setting with an appealing protagonist in Molly, whose personal life gets as much attention as her professional one." Booklist on the previous Constable Molly Smith mystery, Under Cold Stone.

What would it be like to return to your hometown after twenty-five years in prison for a crime you have maintained you did not commit? And why would you?

Walter Desmond is back in Trafalgar, British Columbia, having been officially exonerated when new evidence showed corruption at worst, incompetence at best, by the Trafalgar City Police conducting the investigation. His pitbull attorney is seeking five million in damages from the provincial government. But Walt has not returned to Trafalgar to pursue money or revenge. He just wants to know the why of it.

The family of the murdered girl, Sophia D'Angelo, is bitterly determined to see Walt returned to prison - or dead. But for Trafalgar's police, including Sergeant John Winters and Constable Molly Smith, the reality is: if Walter didn't kill Sophia, someone else did.

So, case reopened. It lands on Winters' desk. The records are moldering. One investigating officer is dead, the other is retired - and not talking. The police are instructed to treat Walt as if he'd never been arrested or convicted. Someone else apparently killed Sophia, someone still walking free.

But too many minds remain closed. It's good luck for Walt that a group of women in town for the dragon boat race are staying in the B&B where he's booked, women with no local prejudices. But then a townswoman, then a boat woman, are attacked by a rapist, the media gets active, and tempers dangerously flare.

About the Author
Vicki Delany is one of Canada's most prolific and varied crime writers, and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than twenty-five books: from clever cozies to Gothic thrillers, gritty police procedurals to historical fiction, and novellas for adult literacy. Under the name of Eva Gates, she writes the Lighthouse Library cozy series for Penguin Random House. Her latest novel is Elementary, She Read, the first in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series from Crooked Lane. Vicki is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada. Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.
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Editorial Reviews

The plot is laid out so that it flows smoothly and quickly. I found "Unreasonable Doubt" to be a very enjoyable read and look forward to checking out future books in the Molly Smith series.

— <b>NetGalley</b>

Love this series, it never disappoints!

— <b>NetGalley</b>

He always claimed he was innocent of the crime he was jailed for. Now, after 25 years, his case has been turned over and he's set free. Despite advice from his attorney, he goes home. More realistically, he goes to the village he used to live in. No one is very welcoming and most people still think he's guilty. Even the cops aren't sure... The plot was interesting and a bit twisted in nature. I like Molly and her police techniques and this book made John Winter shine. He's another excellent cop. It's not a perfect ending but it is a realistic one. Even Walter has some hope at the end.

— <b>NetGalley</b>

4.5 Stars I really liked this book a LOT. A man is proven innocent after spending 25 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. Of course, most of the town is against him and do horrible things to him. The cops being the worst... When the investigation is reopened, and the new investigator gets involved, it is amazing what actually happened. This one wanted to make just slap somebody to realize that there people out there like this. Of course, any book that can rile up that kind of emotion out of me tells me, it's a dang good book... Thanks go Poisoned Pen Press for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing the free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. This one is sure to delight and get your blood boiling!

— <b><i>Booklikes</i></b>

Delany's excellent new procedural (Under Cold Stone, 2014, etc.) is a real page-turner, ratcheting up the tension as each secret from the past is painfully revealed.

— <b><i>Kirkus Reviews</i></b>

Twenty-five years earlier Walter Desmond was convicted of a bloody rape and murder. He is now back in Talfalgar, B C a free man when the appeals court through out the conviction and order a new trial. Tension in town is high because many feel that Walter is a killer. Two attempted rapes do nothing to quiet the feelings of the residents. Molly along with all the other officers have been ordered to leave alone. His lawyer is seeking damages from the town and any contact could be considered harassment. The original case has been reopened. Molly need to keep tempers from exploding and sees a couple of officers threatened Walter. Is he guilty or framed? The descriptions describing the area and tensions put you on spot. All the players in the series are present. This book can be read alone. I have read only one other and look forward to reading the rest of the series.

— <b>NetGalley</b>

The detective Molly and the series is a new one for me and one I will definitely be keeping an eye out for...Told cleverly and in a methodical manner the story unfolded in stages and you knew you were getting somewhere.

— <b>NetGalley</b>

...Delaney does a good job providing an unsavory view of old-boy small-town cop cliques, reminding us that some people don't get what they deserve.

— <b><i>Publishers Weekly</i></b>

Another great addition to the Constable Molly Smith series. I would like to see a Dragon Boat race. What fun! Nice side story counterbalancing the terrible injustice done to an innocent man. This tale got off to a slow start for me, but since I was familiar with the series I knew I would enjoy it eventually. It did not take that long before I was fully engaged. NetGalley provided an ebook in exchange for my honest review. Loved the ending(s).

— <b>NetGalley</b>

The author has written an interesting take on the subject, especially with regard to the advisability of whether Desmond should, so to speak, return to the scene of the crime to find out why he was picked to be the murderer, or just remain in Vancouver and not face a hostile population. An excellent series, well-written and always thought-provoking, and recommended.

— <b><i>Midwest Book Review</i></b>

The past has a way of popping up when you least expect it, sometimes with dire results. The ending is satisfying, there's a bit of romance, and hope that a wrong can be righted with a little help.

— <b><i>Kings River Life Magazine</i></b>

A Pleasant Read... Firstly I would like to thank Netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press for an advance copy of Unreasonable Doubt which is a pleasant, cozy police procedural about a miscarriage and justice and what happens afterwards....It is well plotted and written with ordinary characters - hardly a hang up in sight - which make it an easy, undemanding read but not boring. If you want to while away a few hours with an interesting plot and pleasant characters which don't overtax the brain This is a good way to do it.

— <b>Goodreads</b>

Walt Desmond spent 25 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit... No one understands why he would return to the town in British Columbia that betrayed him. And then the attacks begin again. Delany's eighth series title (after Under Cold Stone) is a taut, well-written whodunit.

— <b><i>Library Journal</i></b>

This is a very well-written police procedural set in a small town in British Columbia, Canada. The book is part of a series referred to as the "Constable Molly Smith" novels. It's interesting that Molly takes the center-stage when she is not a high-ranking detective. Sergeant John Winters, as well as Molly's mother, Lucky, also play important roles in the investigation. All three could be considered the main characters of the book (and the others in the series) and all are likable characters who are easy to relate to, especially in this installment of the series... "Unreasonable Doubt" is my favorite in this series. The conviction in a murder trial is overturned and the man who served time for twenty-five years returns to the scene of the crime and the citizens of Trafalgar are suspicious of his new "innocent" status. I was fearful this would end up being predicable, but the direction of the story was unexpected and I was pleased with the twists and turns the book took. This well-written series reminds me of Naomi Hirahara's Ellie Rush series, and I enjoyed the likable characters and the complex plot very much.

— <b>Goodreads</b>

The murder mystery solution was not quite what I expected and I was pleasantly surprised by that.

— <b>NetGalley</b>

Unreasonable Doubt is a nice mix of police procedural and the personal lives of Molly and her family and that of John Winters. I have really grown to like the characters over the course of the series, especially Lucky, Molly's mom. Lucky came to Canada with Molly's father during the Vietnam War and never went back. They built a successful life in Canada and Lucky's politics never changed. She is involved in every protest, knows everyone in town, and is a shrewd judge of character. I think Delany did a particularly good job in showing just what it is like to lose 25 years of your life for a crime you did not commit. Sadly, Canada does not seem to do much better than the US in these cases, of which there are too many. A nice cash payout is good, but hardly compensation for a ruined life.

— <b><i>Not a Book Snob</i></b>

Told cleverly and in a methodical manner the story unfolded in stages and you knew you were getting somewhere.

— <b><i>Mystica</i></b>

I don't know why but I thought this was going to be more of a cozy mystery,and I do enjoy them, but what I really love is a meaty thriller that I totally lose myself in, and I'm very pleased to say that this totally meets that description. I loved Molly what a great character, and her Mum too, and I loved the descriptions of the town and the surrounding scenery makes me want to go and visit. Walt was a great character too in fact all the characters were very well drawn but not at the expense of the story and the action, for me this book had it all and I couldn't read it fast enough. It's going to take a seriously good book to take my mind off this one even though I've finished it. I can't recommend this one enough no spoilers but it was a cracking thriller that for me had it all. I want to read more by this author for sure.

— <b>NetGalley</b>

What an interesting book this one was! I have not read any of the others in the series but will if I find them in the future!... Walt Desmond, an innocent man, has been released from prison after spending 25 years there for a murder he did not commit. He wants to know WHY people lied and did not find the real murderer SO he heads back to Trafalgar to find out. The town is divided with some thinking he is guilty and others feeling he got a raw deal. This is a story of miscarriage of justice and finding out, eventually what really happened. It is also a love story, police procedural and social commentary.

— <b>NetGalley</b>

Great cover! Dragon boating is huge in Vancouver where I live so it is quite a familiar sight. I love the Constable Molly Smith series set in British Columbia's Kootenay region by author Vicki Delany. Delany captures the essence of the town of Trafalgar (based on the real city of Nelson) perfectly. She also portrays Hope and Vancouver realistically as well. I enjoyed the tale opening in Hope...I had never really thought about the steep mountains there as being suffocating. Interesting perspective...to me Hope is just Hope! We eat breakfast there quite often on our adventures!... I have read all the previous books in the Constable Molly Smith series and I like that the continuity is always there. I have enjoyed following the characters journeys. Vicki Delany is a great writer who knows how to plot a mystery... Unreasonable Doubt follows the story of Walter Desmond a former Trafalgar realtor. He was wrongly convicted of murder and is back in town...why? You would think he would go far away but back he is. Most people are not happy to see him. He is staying at a B&B that is hosting a number of women who are in town for fun and dragon boat racing. At least the ladies there are visitors who are friendly to him... In Unreasonable Doubt, Sergeant Winter's wife is assaulted, then one of the dragon boat ladies at the B&B where Walter is staying. And the rumors start buzzing about B&B guest Walter. Constable Molly Smith has to deal with other members of the force bad behavior toward Walter. But good police work prevails and the ending is very satisfying... Highly recommend Unreasonable Doubt by Vicki Delany. Looking forward to the next book set in Trafalgar!

— <b><i>MysteriesEtc</i></b>

From its outset in 2007 the Constable Molly Smith series has been a strong contender, with its engaging cast of characters, atmospheric settings, and well-structured plots. But in UNREASONABLE DOUBT Delany has ramped her work up a notch: the writing is more self-assured, the treatment of the characters is more nuanced, and the narrative nicely builds toward the climax. Delany's latest work can hold its own against anything in the genre being published today. Witness the evocative opening passage of UNREASONABLE DOUBT:.. Walter Desmond felt something move, something low in his belly that he might once have recognized as happiness. It had been many years since he'd known what happiness felt like. He gazed out the window of the bus, full of wonder. The mountains were so high, the slopes closing in on the highway, their ragged tops still white with snow even though it was July. In the valleys, lakes and rivers sparkled blue in the sunlight... A shade of blue he'd forgotten could exist... Adding to its literary merits Delany's exploration of a significant and complex social theme, and UNREASONABLE DOUBT is clearly her strongest work to date, well worth the wait.

— <b><i>Reviewing the Evidence</i></b>

The book is well written, easy to read and puts readers in detective mode to find the real killer. The plot is one that keeps your interest and has enough twists and turns to keep readers engaged.

— <b><i>Reader Views</i></b>

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