Unreasonable Doubts: A Novel

Unreasonable Doubts: A Novel

by Reyna Marder Gentin


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Jaded New York City Public Defender Liana Cohen would give anything to have one client in whom she can believe. Dozens of hardened criminals and repeat offenders have chipped away at her faith in both herself and the system. Her boyfriend Jakob’s high-powered law firm colleagues see her do-gooder job as a joke, which only adds to the increasing strain in their relationship.

Enter imprisoned felon Danny Shea, whose unforgivable crime would raise a moral conflict in an attorney at the height of her idealism—and that hasn't been Liana in quite a while. But Danny's astonishing blend of good looks, intelligence, and vulnerability intrigues Liana. Could he be the client she’s been longing for—the wrongly accused in need of a second chance? Is he innocent ? As their attorney-client relationship transforms into something less than arm’s length, Liana is forced to confront fundamental questions of truth, faith, and love—and to decide who she wants to be.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631524134
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 11/13/2018
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 160,904
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Reyna Marder Gentin grew up in Great Neck, New York. She attended college and law school at Yale. For many years, she practiced as an appellate attorney representing criminal defendants who could not afford private counsel. Gentin studies at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, and her work has been published in The Westchester Review and online. She lives with her family in Scarsdale, New York. To learn more, please visit www.reynamardergentin.com.

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Unreasonable Doubts: A Novel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous 10 months ago
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lorraine Cobcroft for Readers' Favorite Liana Cohen works as a Public Defender in New York City, but she has lost faith in the system and in her clients. She no longer has any passion for the job. And her love life isn't going too well either, with her boyfriend, Jakob, putting his career with a high-powered law firm front and center. It doesn't help that his work colleagues see no value in the work Liana does. And then her best friend hands Liana a case that captures her attention in more ways than one. Defending Danny Shea compels Liana to confront tough challenges, and to make hard decisions about who she is and how she wants her future life to play out. As we observe her struggles, we - as readers - ponder the same questions about love, faith, and trust. We question our belief in the legal system. We ponder what makes for a good friendship, and we grieve with Liana over the loss of a true friend. Readers might share her dilemma over what qualifies someone to be a life partner, rather than just a companion and lover. You might question your own self-control and the validity of your judgments of others as you mourn Liana's indiscretions. But you will undoubtedly applaud Liana's capacity for empathy and kindness and cheer her victories. In Unreasonable Doubts, Reyna Marder Gentin gives us a little legal drama, a little psychological thriller, a taste of crime story, and lots of romance. Best of all, she gives us characters who come to life as real people who will stay with us long after we close the book. She gives us fascinating insights into the world of Public Defender lawyers, the traditions of Jewish people, the machinations of a far-from-perfect legal system, and the psychology of a felon with whom we can't help but sympathize until... Reyna Marder Gentin sends powerful messages in this story. She shares impressive wisdom, but she does so with admirable discretion and subtlety in a story that offers rich entertainment. I suspect lovers of the works of some of my favorite authors - Jodi Picoult, Erica Spindler, Richard North Patterson, and John Grisham - will enjoy reading Unreasonable Doubts. This novel is a page-turner, for sure. It is evocative. The story elicits, in my view, just the right mix of emotive responses, and it ends on a note of positivity that leaves the reader well satisfied. Reyna Marder Gentin is definitely an author to watch. I'll be looking for more of her works.
NovelKim More than 1 year ago
Liana, the protagonist, started her professional career path as an idealist. Sounds like a difficult stance in the Public Defender’s Office writing briefs for the appeal of convictions. This seems even more problematic when these briefs are for defendants who have been found guilty of horrible, perhaps heinous crimes. It is Liana’s job to find the courtroom error, the loophole, the miscue, the misrepresentation or lack of competent counsel which would entitle these convicted defendants to a new trial. But Liana is no longer drinking the “Kool-Aid” preached by her boss and has lost her compassion and quite possibly her interest in her job. Along comes a spider, his name is Danny Shea. His case has been assigned to Deb, her friend and colleague, who is so behind on her caseload that she has had his file for over seven months and not been able to get to it. Deb challenges Liana to take his case as a test for Liana’s “all business, no empathy methodology.” This is where things get very sticky. Liana is about to make the biggest mistake of her legal career, her personal life and just about everything else. Got your attention? There is much to like about this book. The love aspect and relationship between Liana and her boyfriend Jakob reads true. The legal arguments are strong and interesting. The exploration of underpaid morally committed public defenders vis-à-vis corporate lawyers and the rigors of being a part of the world of billable hours are given a hard look and compared. The references to religious rituals, traditions and sense of community pushed the envelope just a bit but it did allow the author to insert an interesting and sympathetic character who I would love to know and have in my life. From her bio Gentin obviously writes from first-hand experience. This is a strong debut and I look forward to her future writing. Thank you NetGalley and She Writes Press for an ARC.
teachlz More than 1 year ago
Lindas Book Obsession Reviews “Unreasonable Doubts” by Reyna Marder Gentin She Writes Press, November 13, 2018 Reyna Marder Gentin, Author of “Unreasonable Doubts” has written an intense, intriguing, captivating, suspenseful and riveting novel that is extremely thought-provoking. The Genres for this book are Legal Suspense, and Fiction. The timeline for his book are in the present and go to the past or future only when it pertains to the events or characters in this story. The author describes her characters as complex and complicated. Liana Cohen is a Public Defender that has mixed feelings now when dealing with the legal cases she has to represent. She deals with hardened criminals. rapists, murders and is starting to lose the enthusiasm that every person is innocent until they are proven guilty. Liana’s boyfriend Jacob, is working his way up the ladder in a successful law firm. Jacob’s colleagues refer to Liana as the “do-gooder”. Why is Liana so confused at this point in time? One of Liana’s co-workers gives her a case of Danny Shea, who is in prison for rape. When Liana reads Danny’s letters, something in her makes her want to give him a second chance. Often as a Public Defender, the best form of attack is to find some mistake in the process from the first trial. Soon Liana becomes obsessed with this case. Is she in danger? I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy legal suspense novels that offer so much more. There are twists and turns and surprises in this story. Happy Reading!!
Reader_Views More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jennifer Wilson for Reader Views (10/18) “Unreasonable Doubts” is an intelligently written novel by Reyna Marder Gentin that somewhat chronicles a year in the life of New York City public defender Liana Cohen as she endeavors to find true meaning in work, relationships, and self. What I thought would be a stereo-typical “lawyer novel” was more in-depth regarding the life and relationships of the lead character Liana Cohen. The focus of the novel wasn’t only the court case of Jennifer Nash vs Daniel Shea, although important. As the novel opens we meet Liana at a time in her life when she is pushing thirty and strongly questioning her place in the world, trying to mesh faith, work, and love. Liana is an Ivy League graduate with a handsome and successful boyfriend, Jakob, an apartment in an upscale neighborhood, and by everyone’s standards, a great job. However, her discontent is evident, at least to her co-workers. To spend one’s life essentially looking for ways to help criminals win their appeals is no longer appealing to Liana. She has lost the hope of finding and helping that one truly innocent client and making a tangible difference in the life of someone let down by the “system.” When it looks like making her quota is an impossibility, Liana’s friend and co-worker Deb hands her the case that may just change everything. Daniel Shea is not your ordinary criminal and his case proves to be anything but routine. He is articulate, intelligent, engaging, and, not least of all, Calvin Klein-model gorgeous. A combination that does not pair well with Liana’s already present disillusionment. Liana decides to throw everything she has into this case in the hopes that Danny Shea is the one true innocent in a sea of guilty clients. Will this case be the game-changer she hopes? As she researches for the upcoming appeal, learns of a dear friend’s illness and tries to figure out where exactly she fits into Jakob’s completely packed schedule, we see Liana struggle with what most of us face as we get older and our lives change. Growing up is hard, plain and simple. Learning whom to trust is hard. Figuring out whom you should not trust, is exceptionally hard. “Unreasonable Doubts” by Reyna Marder Gentin has some truly fantastic elements. The writing is great, and the characters flow well with the story. I would have loved a little more history on the character of Daniel Shea, however I can see why the author chose to leave some mystery there. There is something in this story for everyone, and if you are like I was, the ending is going to be worth the wait.