Matters of Doubt
A Cal Clayton Oregon Mystery
Warren C. Easley
Poisoned Pen Press
Does it make a difference if a lawyer knows whether or not his client is guilty? Their job is to defend the person to the best of their ability. Lawyers normally defend criminals who they know and believe are guilty? What if they truly believe the person is innocent even if circumstances make the defendant look guilty?
Cal Clayton has this problem. He has agreed to represent Danny Baxter, known to his friends as Picasso. Danny's mother disappeared eight years ago when he was just twelve. He would like Cal to investigate this cold case and he claims that he can even pay for the services.
Danny has dyed black spiky hair, a ring in his eyebrow and lip, a tattoo of a snake around his neck, tattoos on his arms and is homeless. How will he pay?
Finally her body is found. Danny firmly believes that it was her boyfriend, Mitchell Conyers who killed her. Cal asks if Danny has ever spoken to the police about his suspicions, but then he realizes that they would not believe him because of his youth and appearance.
Danny's aunt has kept his mother's records: her appointment book, computer files, address book, and newspaper clippings and has given these to him. Danny firmly believes that somewhere in these documents is the clue to what really happened to his mother.
His mother had been a newspaper reporter who at the time was investigating something big. Even though her editor knew that the story would be revealing, he had no idea what secret was about to be revealed.
Danny has plans to meet his mother's former boyfriend and when Cal discovers this, he immediately drives to Mitch Conyers' house only to find Danny already there, stating that Mitch is dead. Did Danny kill him or did he really just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time? Danny had both motive and opportunity. This definitely creates " Matters of Doubt."
"Matters of Doubt" is an excellent mystery where the reader is discovering the clues along with the protagonist, Cal Clayton, even making the mistakes and assumptions along with him. The story is well-organized and written as an enthralling narrative with realistic characters.
The strength of this novel is unquestionably bringing to light the multiple social issues of society such as the homeless, free clinics, veterans, post traumatic stress disorder, and the social class system. These are woven throughout the mystery creating a deeper understanding of the problems and the realism of dealing with people, not just statistics.
Author Warren Easley has a background as a research scientist and an international business executive while now he writes and tutors individuals with earning their G.E.D.
Anyone who enjoys well-written, realistic mysteries, would thoroughly enjoy "Matters of Doubt."