Review: Reasonable Doubt by Xanthé Mallett


Title: Reasonable Doubt

Author: Xanthé Mallett

Published: July 28th 2020, Macmillan Australia

Status: Read August 2020, courtesy Pan Macmillan Australia


My Thoughts:

In Reasonable Doubt forensic anthropologist and criminologist Xanthé Mallett examines the flaws in the Australian criminal justice system that have contributed to five wrongful murder convictions, and a shocking legal scandal whose repercussions will likely see the guilty go free.

Reasonable Doubt is not intended as an indictment of the system as a whole, Mallett’s focus is on the failures of law that lead to a wrongful conviction, irrespective of the innocence or guilt of the accused. She presents an intelligent and thoughtful study of its weaknesses, which range from poor police investigative processes, to unreliable evidence, to corruption, resulting in convictions that ostensibly contradict the intent of justice.

While I’ve always accepted miscarriages of justice happen, I was still shocked to learn just how badly things can go wrong, and how difficult it is to correct those mistakes. The case studies presented span the country, and involve alleged perpetrators from different socioeconomic backgrounds and races. I was only vaguely familiar with two of them but found each case fascinating.

Mallett’s research appears to be meticulous and impartial, based on her investigation of the facts available. She includes information from experts in their fields to explain relevant legal concepts or provide further forensic detail.

With its accessible narrative, and thought-provoking and fascinating subject, Reasonable Doubt is a must read for fans of the true crime genre, or anyone with interest in the Australian legal system.


Available from Pan Macmillan Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mystica
    Aug 08, 2020 @ 19:42:06

    Eye opener. How far can miscarriage of justice affect people. We are now reading of more and more such cases.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  3. Verushka, an editor (@SydneyEditor1)
    Aug 11, 2020 @ 21:03:00

    This book shocked me too. I still can’t believe some of the cases in here.

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Tracey (Carpe Librum)
    Aug 25, 2020 @ 00:08:54

    I enjoyed your review Shelleyrae 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Trackback: Nonfiction November 2020 | book'd out

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