Beyond All Reasonable Doubt
1998. Fifteen year-old Katrin Björk is found murdered in her home. The police get an early break in the case when Stig Ahlin, a thirty-five year-old doctor, comes forward and admits he had been involved with the victim. When the police discover Ahlin’s former wife had accused him of sexually abusing their four year-old daughter, Ahlin becomes their primary suspect in the murder case.
Thirteen years later, defense attorney Sophia Weber’s old law professor asks her to take on Ahlin’s appeals case. At first, she is incredulous – Stig Ahlin, or “Professor Death” as he had been dubbed in newspapers at the time of the murder, was known as one of the country’s most ruthless criminals. And even though Ahlin had maintained his innocence over the years, Sophia, just like the rest of the country, is convinced that the police got the right man. Making a successful petition for a new trial is a nearly impossible feat and Sophia has no desire to work a hopeless case with little or no compensation. But her old professor is adamant. He claims the investigation was poorly conducted and contained many inconsistencies. Moreover, Ahlin’s former legal council had done a less than perfect job defending his client.
Despite her misgivings, Sophia can’t help reading the case files. The more Sophia learns about the investigation, the more she starts to think that perhaps the police got the wrong man after all. And isn’t it every attorney’s dream to be able to help overturn a wrongful conviction? Sophia finally decides to take on the case and help Stig Ahlin with his appeal for a new trial.
As Sophia begins to poke holes in the investigation, interest from the media and the public for the old case is reawakened and she receives threatening emails from people who are enraged by the fact that she’s defending a paedophile and murderer. And even though Sophia finds many flaws in the police investigation, she still isn’t sure of her client. Is he really innocent? Or is she working to get a monster out of prison on a mere technicality?
Beyond All Reasonable Doubt is international bestselling author Malin Persson Giolito’s break-out novel about defence attorney Sophia Weber. Through a bone-chilling story that grabs hold of the reader from the very first page, Persson Giolito questions the judicial security we take for granted. Are we all equal before the law or can pressure from public opinion pervert the course of justice?