Unreasonable DoubtI never planned to become a police officer. It wasn’t something I dreamt about when I was a little girl. As the child of a 60s radical hippy mother and a Vietnam War draft-dodging father, it would have been pretty much unthinkable.

But things have a way of changing and when life as I’d planned it came off the rails, I found myself applying. And, to my considerable surprise, being accepted.

As it turned out, that was a pretty good decision.

I love the job. I love helping people in my community, I love taking down the bad guys. I like the variety; no two days are the same, that’s for sure. I’m proud to be part of the thin blue line, and I like the people I work with.

Most of them.

I’m lucky that by the time I came along, women were an accepted part of any police department. I didn’t have to fight to be accepted because of my gender, and I didn’t have anything to prove beyond what we all had to prove.

I know that’s not the way things are everywhere. I hear stories of women working in departments where they’re not welcome and sexual harassment still happens, sad to say. It’s not only the older guys who don’t think women can do the job. Some of the young ones seem to have crawled out from under rocks.

But, here in Trafalgar, it’s been a pretty good gig. I’ve got my partner’s back and I know he’s got mine.

Until today.

Dave Evans has never liked me much. I don’t take it too personally; he’s a pretty sour guy all around. But now he’s up to something. He deliberately disobeyed a direct order of our Chief Constable, Paul Keller. I know, and Dave knows I know.

The question for me is, what do I do about it? Do I betray my colleague and thus the thin blue line? Do I rat him out, because it’s the right thing to do?

I no longer feel that Constable Dave Evans has my back. And that is not a good place to be, not out on the streets.


Unreasonable Doubt is the eighth in the Constable Molly Smith series from Poisoned Pen Press, February 2016.

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.

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About the author
Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers, author of more than twenty Vicki Delany2published books (so far). Under the pen name Eva Gates she writes the Lighthouse Library mystery series set in a historic lighthouse on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and as Vicki Delany, the Year Round Christmas mysteries, both for Penguin Random House. A former computer programmer and systems analyst, Vicki lives and writes in bucolic Prince Edward County Ontario. She is the current President of Crime Writers of Canada. Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com and on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

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