Thirteen years ago, 15-year-old Katrin was brutally murdered in her home. Stig Ahlin, a medical researcher, was convicted of the murder and has been imprisoned since then. Ahlin denied being guilty of the homicide, but as he admitted that he had slept with Katrin and at the same time was being investigated for abusing his own daughter, most people had no doubt about his guilt. Ahlin became known as something of a monster and was dubbed Professor Death by the press.
Sophia Weber, a young and ambitious lawyer, is asked to revisit the case and petition for a new trial. She is indecisive, but when she discovers critical flaws in the murder investigation, she decides to help Ahlin. But her decision to prove the innocence of a convicted killer upset many people, who are convinced of his guilt. And the more she learns, the more difficult her job becomes. What kind of man is her client really? What has he done and what has he not done? Will she ever find out the truth?
Past and present
The author builds tension by alternating between two time periods, Sophia’s present search for evidence to free Ahlin and flashbacks to the backgrounds of Stig and Katrin and the original police investigation of the murder. The focus is not on the violence but on the procedural process and Sophia´s assignment that poses important questions about guilt, justice and society. Still, it is a tense psychological thriller and as a reader you keep guessing right up to the finale.
Malin Persson Giolito grew up in Stockholm, and has worked as a lawyer in Sweden and as an official for the European Commission in Brussels, before becoming a full time writer. She is best known for her award-winning crime novel Quicksand and its recent TV adaptation. She uses her background as a lawyer and her insights in the judicial system to create suspenseful dramas with well-drawn characters and interesting legal and ethical issues. The title Beyond All Reasonable Doubt is a perfect description of Sophia Webers dilemma, where she must separate her emotions from her work. She is a smart and tough lawyer, but also troubled by insecurity and doubt – and I do hope she will return in another novel.