Following a night at The Silver Dollar dance hall, a teenage girl turns up dead in a gravel pit. The last person reported to have seen her is Owen Williams, an introverted soldier stationed with the local garrison of “Zombies”-conscripted men unwilling to serve overseas. When Lieutenant Bernard Dorkin, a young lawyer from Saint John, volunteers to defend Williams, whom he believes is innocent, he finds himself up against a theatrical local favourite leading the prosecution and a public mostly hell-bent on a foregone conclusion. The Case Against Owen Williams explores the potential for wrongful conviction and the gaps in the justice system that allow it to flourish.
From Nimbus Press website.
There was a time when murder mysteries and courtroom dramas were all I read. But over the past several years I’ve moved away from the genre. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I read a murder mystery. Well, The Case Against Owen Williams may just be the book that pulls be back into the genre.
This is a quiet book. It may be hard to explain, but let me try. While the court case itself may be sensational and emotional, the way Donaldson writes and describes it isn’t. His writing and pacing are quiet and slow, but in a very, very good way. I felt that it lent itself perfectly to the story and added to my enjoyment. If this was written as a face-paced, flashy story, I don’t think I would have liked it nearly as much as I did.
Even though Lt. Dorkin was always 100% convinced of Owen’s innocence, I never was, and I LOVED that. The mystery of the case remains until the end and when the truths eventually started to trickle out slowly they took me by surprise.
I really, really enjoyed The Case Against Owen Williams. The case, the characters, the writing and the pacing were perfect.