Reasonable Doubt – Marcia Mickelson

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.

(This book was published in 2007 by Cedar Fort.)

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