Neal Griffin is a twenty-five year veteran of law enforcement. He's seen it all, from routine patrols to drug enforcement to homicide investigations, from corrupt cops to men and women who went far above and beyond the call of duty.
Benefit of the Doubt is a gripping thriller that exposes the dark underbelly of policing in small-town American, where local police departments now deal with big-city crimes and corruption.
Ben Sawyer was a big-city cop, until he nearly killed a helpless suspect in public. Now a detective in the tiny Wisconsin town where he and his wife grew up, Ben suspects that higher-ups are taking payoffs from local drug lords.
Before long, Ben is off the force. His wife is accused of murder. His only ally is another outcast, a Latina rookie cop. Worse, a killer has escaped from jail with vengeance on his mind, and Newburg—and Ben Sawyer—in his sights.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
At the start of Griffin's uneven debut, Harlan Lee, fresh out of a 17-year stint in a Wisconsin prison, murders the girlfriend of the prosecuting attorney who figured in his imprisonment the first of many well-planned and often grisly acts of revenge. Harlan sets his sights on the small town of Newberg, Wis., the home of another potential revenge target, cop Ben Sawyer, who has his own haunting backstory. An ill-advised encounter with a fugitive in Oakland, Calif., resulted in Ben's resignation and an ignominious return to Wisconsin. In Newberg, he's an outsider, mistrusted by his fellow officers. Further complicating Ben's life is an increasing estrangement from his wife and son. Things in Newberg are tense, and they just get more so as Harlan zeroes in on Ben. Griffin is at his best in presenting the culture of the contemporary police force his previous career was in law enforcement though the plot itself feels dated, like a 1950s muckraking thriller.