Guilt by Association - Marcia Clark
Released April 20, 2011
Many people will immediately recognize the name Marcia Clark. If not, think back to OJ Simpson's murder trial. Ms. Clark was lead prosecutor. Guilt by Association is her debut fiction novel.
I honestly can say I wasn't certain what to expect. I admired her work on the Simpson trial, even if the outcome enraged some and delighted others. However, moving from lawyer to author doesn't always work out. I've read amazing books by lawyers turned authors and I've read a few duds. Usually, the duds are so filled with legalese that I can't stay focused. Knowing that, I am thrilled to say that Guilt by Association falls into the "amazing" category.
Realistically, there are two stories at play in Clark's Guilt by Association. Assistant D.A. Rachel Knight works for L.A.'s Special Trials Unit. This group of attorneys handle high-profile and challenging cases. Her latest case involves the rape of a teenage girl whose father is a prominent L.A. doctor. The police have a suspect and the girl's father wants him arrested and found guilty ASAP. The problem is the girl denies the suspect is her rapist. Rachel must wade through the evidence to unravel what really happened that night.
This is only one case consuming Rachel's every move. One her way home one night, she comes across a crime scene. She learns a close friend and fellow prosecutor is dead, victim of a murder-suicide that makes her friend look like a pedophile. Due to her relationship to the deceased, Rachel's office is not authorized to investigate. However, that doesn't mean she won't sneak around in an effort to clear her friend's name.
The entire book flawlessly covers both of these cases. Sometimes, I find books with two strong plots end up losing my interest in one storyline. This time, I had to closely follow every word because I was hooked in both of them. Halfway through the book, I was telling my husband that he really, really needs to read this book. It's one I highly recommend.
Rachel's strengths and weaknesses are clear. She becomes extremely likable within just a few pages. Plus, there's a romantic angle as Rachel begins to move on from her failed marriage. For those who enjoy a dose of romance in their mystery or suspense novel, Guilt by Association really delivers. I, for one, can't wait to read more about Rachel and her friends in future novels. Hopefully, there will be future novels featuring this legal unit.