Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Guilt By Association by Marcia Clark

Title: Guilt By Association
Author: Marcia Clark
ISBN: 9780316129510
Publisher: Mulholland Books, 2011
Hardcover, 368 pages
Genre: Legal Thriller
Rating: B+
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewer program

First Line: He snapped his cell phone shut and slid it into the pocket of his skin-tight jeans.

Los Angeles District Attorney Rachel Knight is a member of the small, select group known as Special Trials, and as such, she's used to dealing with the most complex and high profile cases. Rachel and the rest of the group are used to spending a lot of time in each other's company, but they talk shop; they don't talk about their lives outside the job.

When another member of the group, Jake Pahlmeyer, and a young boy are found dead in a rent-by-the-hour motel, Rachel is in total shock. She must also take over his toughest case: the rape of a young woman from a rich family.

But that's not all. No matter the gossip swirling around Jake's death, no matter that she didn't know what Jake did in his time away from the office, Rachel knows something's not right, and she's willing to put her job-- and her life-- on the line to uncover the truth.

Normally I would steer well clear of a book written by a celebrity author, but the synopsis sounded so good that I knew I had to give it a try. I'm glad I did. Clark shows skill in developing an engrossing plot that moves at an assured pace. Her familiarity with Los Angeles came through loud and clear, and the character of Rachel was extremely well done.

How well done? Her intelligence and skill at her job were very evident, and a few of her flaws made me shake my head (a sure sign that the character is becoming real to me as I read). If you eat out with Rachel, be warned: she's always on a diet and thinks nothing of stealing food from everyone else's plate. Keep your fork handy. Also, Rachel gave details every time she made a wardrobe change. I'm not a typical female, so the fashion updates got a bit boring. And... Rachel enjoys her alcohol a bit too much. She needs to take care.

Clark also has a good turn of phrase, as when she describes the entrance to the county jail as "the gates of Mordor", or when she talks about a faded woman looking "as though she'd been run through the wash too many times."

I thought I had the mystery solved-- several times. Each time I had the solution in the bag, Clark put a knot in the plot and made me rethink everything. I like that. Am I looking forward to more books featuring Rachel Knight? You bet I am!


  1. I am very interested in reading Clark's book, and I'm glad you liked it! I will keep an eye out for it.

  2. I'm looking forward to more Rachel Knight books too! I really enjoyed this one.

  3. I had just read Kathy of bermudaonion's review of this and decided to read the book. Your endorsement just adds to that decision. Never thought I would pick up a book by Marcia Clark - really couldn't stand her during the OJ trial.

  4. Cathy - Thanks for this. You know, I wasn't going to read this because like you, I really do prefer to stay away from celebrity authors. And yet, your review has me interested. I may just try this one...

  5. Third review I've read this morning of this book. I will have to read it and I never expected to. When I saw the author, I was not impressed, but now...sure, I'll give it a try. LOL

  6. Kate-- I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    Kathy-- I'm just about ready to head over and read your review!

    Barbara-- Neither could I!

    Margot-- Just goes to prove that there's no hard and fast rule about reading celebrity authors.

    Kay-- LOL!

  7. A female attorney and a very credible character? Why do blog rounds have to be full of temptations?

  8. Dorte-- Just like death and taxes?

  9. I started reading this book a couple of days ago and, even though I have so many other things to do/read, I keep coming back to it. I like the way she keeps the suspense going.

  10. Margot-- Yes, the suspense was very well done.


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