Goodreads ~ "Benefit of the Doubt" is a gripping thriller that exposes the dark underbelly of policing in small-town America, 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.
Harlan Lee spent almost 20 years in prison for murder. When he is gets out, he is determined to make everyone who was involved with him going to prison pay ... the DA, the sheriff, the witness and the cop who found the murder weapon in his car.
Ben was a cop in Oakland. He let his temper get away from him when he used excessive force on a suspect. He loses his job and heads home to Wisconsin with his wife, Alex, and son to the small town where he and Alex grew up. Her father was the chief of police and hired him on to the police force. Because of this, Ben has no allies on the police force nor the respect of his fellow officers. When his father-in-law has a stroke, the new chief makes it quite clear that he'd like Ben to quit. Unfortunately he is keeping all this in and his marriage and family life is suffering. When Alex is arrested for the murder of her friend, it's up to Ben to prove his wife's innocence.
This is the debut novel by this author, a former cop. I thought the story was interesting. There are no secrets as to the "whodunnits" ... you know who is doing what and why. I liked the writing style. It was written in third person perspective. As a head's up, there is violence and swearing. I thought the main characters were likable. Despite all the obstacles that Ben came across, he never gave up.
I look forward to reading future novels by this author.