Image of Don't Believe It


Image of Don't Believe It

Don't Believe It isn't your average police or detective procedural. Instead it focuses on the creation of a true crime documentary series, with all the competing pressures and demands for attention that involves. The more active plot that kicks in closer to the end is a bit more immediately compelling, but it also wraps up fairly swiftly (and starkly, which is a strength here). Certain aspects do settle into the convenience of fiction, but a lot of the appeal is of the verisimilitude that Donlea manages to pull off.

Sidney Ryan has only made a few documentaries, but she’s been able to free more than one unfairly convicted prisoner, so it’s no surprise that plenty of people want her attention. Now that she’s settled in at a TV station with the possibility of doing a longer form crime documentary series, she turns her attention to an old case. Ten years ago the St. Lucian justice system swiftly found Grace Sebold guilty of the spring break murder of her fiancé. Grace insists on her innocence and has troubling reports of a sloppy investigation to back her up. But as Sidney puts together her show week to week and more and more people start watching, two things happen at once: everyone else starts thinking Grace is innocent, and Sidney starts uncovering tiny signs that the story may not be that simple. (KENSINGTON, May, 304 pp., $26.00)

Reviewed by: 
Ian Mathers