I’m a sucker for crime fiction. Unreasonable Doubt brings us back to Trafalgar along with a former resident who spent decades in prison for a horrific crime. New evidence has exonerated him while revealing corruption in the Trafalgar police department. Molly Smith ends up in the middle of a very heated local response, and is forced to question her personal and professional ethics.Meanwhile, the police are also investigating a series of violent attacks on women.
The most appealing thing about Delany’s books, as always, is the setting. She does a wonderful job of making Trafalgar real, both the landscape and the atmosphere. It’s cozy and slightly pretentious, close-knit and creepy. Perfect for a murder mystery.
The least appealing thing, again as always, is the lack of nuance. Characters are either good or bad; likeable or hateful. There’s no in-between, and it’s just not realistic. You’re always aware that you’re Reading A Book, which flattens out the narrative and distances the reader.
There’s also a motivation problem, here. Molly makes a very serious decision regarding her perennial nemesis, Dave Evans, and she provides a very specific reason for making it. Then, towards the end of the book, she offers a totally different reason for making the same decision. A small thing, I suppose, but it’s sloppy and it irritated me.
Still, Unreasonable Doubt is an entertaining read, so long as you’re not looking for anything remarkable.