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Guilt By Association: A Rachel Knight novel [Kindle Edition]

Marcia Clark

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You must read this book: it is wildly and complexly plotted, ebulliently witty and filled with riotous humor; it details the inner workings of the L.A. legal system with unprecedented accuracy and verve - and to top it off, it is a damn, damn, good thriller. James Ellroy Marcia Clark's debut novel showcases her experience and knowledge of the legal system. The pace, plot and dialogue are as sharp as they come in the genre. David Baldacci This introduction to LA special prosecutor Rachel Knight charms from the first line then surfs a tide of knockabout humour, sassy backchat and armour-piercing observation Daily Telegraph Knight makes a compelling protagonist - rebellious, straight-forward, salty Guardian An accomplished debut...Clark is a polished writer who knows her material Sunday Telegraph Australia Her first legal thriller, about a tenacious Los Angeles DA, is on the money Daily Mail A corker of a debut novel Kirkus Review A triumphant fiction debut...Readers will want to see a lot more of Knight, who combines strength of character and compassion with all-too-human foibles. Publishers Weekly Remarkably accomplished...A top-notch legal thriller that will leave readers wanting more. Booklist


'You must read this book: it is wildly and complexly plotted, ebulliently witty and filled with riotous humor; it details the inner workings of the L.A. legal system with unprecedented accuracy and verve - and to top it off, it is a damn, damn, good thriller.' -- James Ellroy 'Marcia Clark's debut novel showcases her experience and knowledge of the legal system. The pace, plot and dialogue are as sharp as they come in the genre.' -- David Baldacci 'A corker of a debut novel' -- Kirkus Review 'A triumphant fiction debut...Readers will want to see a lot more of Knight, who combines strength of character and compassion with all-too-human foibles.' -- Publishers Weekly 'Remarkably accomplished...A top-notch legal thriller that will leave readers wanting more.' -- Booklist


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1080 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 369 Seiten
  • Verlag: Mulholland Books (12. Mai 2011)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B004YD1KP8
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Erweiterte Schriftfunktion: Aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #109.397 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.1 von 5 Sternen  285 Rezensionen
70 von 73 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Another win for Marcia Clark 5. April 2011
Von Susan Tunis - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
After having previously written about her life and role as chief prosecutor on the O.J. Simpson trial, former Assistant District Attorney Marcia Clark has turned her hand to fiction. And multiple starred reviews in the publishing trades attest that she hasn't done a half-bad job of it.

After a brief prologue, Guilt by Association opens with colleagues toasting a legal victory at the end of the workday. The victor is ADA Rachel Knight, who was just handed a guilty verdict in record time. The wins are why she and her colleagues put in the long hours, and no one is a bigger workaholic than Rachel, except perhaps for Jake. When Jake and Toni head out for the night, Rachel promises she'll follow just as soon as she gets a little more work done... And, after all, home is only a six-block walk from the office. Once outside she hears sirens and quickly comes across an unfolding crime scene--a homicide by the looks of it. She's waiting around out of professional curiosity when a ranking cop tries to send her packing. Rachel is confounded and annoyed--until she sees the face of one of the two victims. It's Jake; hard-working, nice guy Jake.

The next morning, the news gets worse. The crime appears to be a murder-suicide. Jake was in a sleazy motel room with a 17-year-old boy, who he appears to have shot before then shooting himself. There was a naked photo of the kid in his pocket. Hung-over and still in shock, Rachel doesn't believe it. The facts are damning, and even though no one really knew about his personal life, she just knows Jake can't have done what they're saying. Unfortunately, she's warned off Jake's case in no uncertain terms. Rather, she's asked to take over one of the cases that Jake had been working on, that of the rape of affluent 15-year-old Susan Densmore. Rachel, with the help of her detective friend Bailey and a host of other allies, launches herself into both cases, constantly fearing she's about to be fired for insubordination. "I took another sip of my drink and pondered what I could do on my own. Being a prosecutor, I was not, as they say, without resources." True that.

It's a strong debut, no doubt. Right from the opening, you just can't help thinking as you read, "Wow, this woman REALLY knows what she's writing about!" So much of the novel has the ring of verisimilitude. It may be the greatest strength. Even so, this novel really wasn't what I was expecting. It's been described as a legal thriller, but truthfully, it was far more a police procedural. There wasn't a single scene in a courtroom. Rather, Rachel was frequently out in the field, partnering Bailey, gun literally in hand, as they investigated the cases. She's not a lawyer content to sit behind a desk while the cops do their job, and I have to wonder how realistic the depiction is. It's not that it was unbelievable, but it was surprising. Either way, it's fiction, and I was willing to go along for the ride.

Rachel Knight is a strong, likable protagonist. Ms. Clark has imbued her with enough idiosyncratic detail that she, too, has the ring of verisimilitude. For instance, Rachel's obsessed with every calorie she puts in her mouth, unless it's in an alcoholic beverage or eaten off someone else's plate. While this is a stand alone novel, it's easy to image that Rachel and the various supporting characters may be back in future novels. If so, Guilt by Association serves as a good introduction. The novel is not perfect. There were times when Clark told instead of showing. Another time Rachel took an unbelievably stupid risk. And the plot did suffer one big fictional cliché, but I can't mention it without spoilers. Still, those are relatively minor complaints.

Clark keeps things moving along briskly, and while the pace never lags, about midway through things really pick up and stay up straight through the novel's end. It's a nice, tight, coherent plot with plenty of surprises and a satisfying conclusion. Looks like you've racked up another win, Ms. Clark.
40 von 42 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen This is really good 5. April 2011
Von sb-lynn - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Brief summary and review, no spoilers.

First I want to make a disclosure. I know Marcia Clark. In fact we are good friends. I was concerned when I first read the book because I worried, "What if I don't like it?" - and it's so hard to tell someone you like something like that. But there was no need for worry because this book exceeded my best expectations. This is my honest and heartfelt review.

The story - Rachel Knight is a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney assigned to the elite Special Trials Division, where the deputies take on the cases from the ground up. This means that they often will be part of the investigation before the case is even filed.

Rachel's best friends in the division are fellow prosecutors Toni and Jake. Whereas Rachel and Toni are friend's outside of the office and share stories about each other's lives- Jake is more private. In fact Rachel soon comes to realize she knows very little about Jake outside of his D.A. persona.

The book starts out with Rachel winning a case in court and going up to her office to share a drink with Toni and Jake. Jake gets up and leaves early, and Toni stays a while longer. After putting in her usual long hours, Rachel then leaves the Criminal Courts Building to walk home - which is for now the fabulous Biltmore (there's more about that in the book.) As she is walking, Rachel sees fire trucks and police cars by a seedy motel and when she goes over to check it out, is horrified when she sees Jake's body being taken out on a gurney. What is he doing there? And how did he die? And when it turns out a nude teenage boy's picture was in Jake's pocket, and the boy was found dead along with Jake, the police assume it was a murder suicide.

Realizing that she doesn't know much about Jake, Rachel still refuses to believe what seems to be the obvious, and through her determination, smarts and loyalty she is determined to find out what happened - even if it's just for her own peace of mind.

The next day, back at the office, Jake's cases are divvied up among the remaining attorneys and Rachel gets the case of a 16 year old girl raped in her home in the affluent city of Pacific Palisades. The girl's father is a big supporter of the current District Attorney, and Rachel is put under a lot of pressure to resolve the case and get a conviction.

Rachel is officially told to stay away from Jake's murder investigation which has now gone to the FBI due to a conflict with the DA's office. But it's not in Rachel's nature to back off anything, and when she is able to get her favorite police detective Bailey Keller to work with her on both the rape case and unofficially on Jake's case, the story takes off.

There are plenty of nifty twists and turns in this novel, as with any good mystery. But what makes this book a step above the rest is the spot on dialogue which has some of the funniest laugh out loud moments I've had while reading. The witty banter between Rachel and her detective Bailey are some of the best moments, but by all means not the only ones.

Rachel Knight is a terrific, one of a kind character, and she absolutely comes alive on these pages. You not only get to read a good mystery novel, but you also get an inside and intimate look at what it's like to be a Deputy District Attorney in these special units, from someone who was there. You've heard of police procedurals - and in this case I would say it's a D.A. procedural as well.

I really liked it. I'm thrilled to review it. And I'm recommending it to everyone I know.
28 von 30 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Pure Entertainment 13. April 2011
Von Melissa - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
As a member of the elite Special Trials division, Los Angeles DA Rachel Knight was accustomed to investigating and prosecuting high profile cases. When a close associate and fellow prosecutor within their division is found dead, she simply cannot believe that the obvious explanation of a murder/suicide is accurate. Convinced that Jake was not a pedophile, did not commit suicide or murder, with the help of her friend Detective Bailey Keller, Rachel risks her job and her life to covertly find the answer to Jake's death.

Though Rachel would like to fully devote her time to finding Jake's killer, her job as DA continued. She is assigned one of his cases, the rape of Susan Densmore--the teenaged daughter of an extremely successful and wealthy doctor with strategic connections within the DA's office. As she investigates Susan's case, the threats against her life become very real as does the increasing danger of her secret probe into Jake's death. In an intelligent and highly enjoyable thriller, Guilt By Association features a sharp female lead character with a witty, sarcastic charm who makes this story leap off the pages.

Covers rarely catch my attention, but big kudos to the cover art designers at Mulholland Books. I'm not a huge fan of a character on the cover, but they really nailed it this time. I love the necklace with the gun charm. It helped set the tone of the book and enhanced Rachel's character. Great job!

Now on to the book. Since I read a lot of action, thriller, somewhat violent, type novels, the majority of the lead characters are men. As a result I usually struggle with strong female lead characters. Too many times they feel like men dressed up as women or powder puffs trying to act macho. However, on occasion I come across a female character that feels authentic and it always brings a smile to my face. While Rachel has a strong degree of femininity, her hard edge and gun toting ways feel natural. She's intelligent, witty, and fun to follow, but she's also a tough, tenacious, no-nonsense prosecutor. Both sides are beautifully balanced to create a fantastic character that will most likely be just as enjoyable for men to follow as women.

In addition to a great lead character is a brilliant insider view of LA. Clark's intimate knowledge of the city adds depth to the story with smooth transitions between settings and locations. Equally impressive is her crafting of the legal and criminal aspects and the integration of them into the setting. With the characters comfortable in their surroundings and highly competent in their jobs, Guilt By Association flows smoothly at a pace that keeps the reader engaged as the events unfold.

For a debut novel, I have few complaints. I really would have liked more backstory for Kit, the teenager killed with Jake. My heart ached for him and other kids who have lived the life he had. While a former foster mom helped to add the appropriate emotion to his difficult life, I wanted a better fate for him and more than small snippets of how he ended up dead in a cheap motel. It also would have been nice to deeper explore some of the themes that stemmed from his life.

I was expecting primarily a legal drama, but most of the time is spent investigating Jake's death and the rape case. While I would have been good with a story that mainly focused on prosecuting a criminal, I really liked what Clark did with this one. It is pure entertainment and out and out fun. It's got a fantastic sense of humor to offset the more serious investigation of brutal crimes along with a wonderful touch of compassion. Guilt By Association is a great book, fun to read and reflective of Clark's enthusiasm, passion, and love for the story she's created.

Note for sensitive readers: This is a general market book. The opening pages let the reader know to anticipate some language, especially from the main character. While there is a moderate amount of language, it's really not that bad. With the exception of the rape, there is little sexual content, though main topics include child pornography and teenage male prostitution. All are tactfully handled and well within reason.

Review title provided courtesy of Mulholland Books
26 von 30 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Mystery showcases author's Intimate knowledge of DA office 11. April 2011
Von T. J. Mathews - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Marcia Clark has an intimate familiarity with the workings of the Los Angeles district attorney's office and has used it to craft an entertaining legal thriller dealing with kidnapping, child abuse and murder in the City of Angels. The parts dealing with trials, legal procedural matters and the simple workings of the district attorney's office come off as realistic and intriguing. Her protagonist, Rachel Knight, seems very much like a fictional representation of Clark herself to the point where the two often blended them into one in my mind. Clark also knows where all the best and trendiest bars and eateries in the area are and uses them as settings to the point where you almost get a legal thriller and a Frommer's guide all in one.

I know that there are no new stories under the sun but several elements of 'Guilt by Association' parallel other books on the market a little too closely. Examples include:
* An attorney inherits the caseload of a dead associate and works solve both cases (Lincoln Lawyer).
* The dead associate, a prosecutor, may be the victim of a set-up involving sex scandal and murder (Presumed Innocent).
* The investigating police officer is independently wealthy, having made a fortune designing video games (Rules of Prey).
* Heck, even the cover says 'Charlie's Angels-like'.

Also, at the risk of sounding sexist, I think Rachel Knight spends more time planning her daily wardrobe or obsessing about relationships than your standard hard-bitten investigator. I don't recall Spenser or Marlowe (or even Kinsey Milhone, for that matter) ever standing in front of the closet trying to choose between gabardine or twill or dashing upstairs to primp and freshen makeup before having drinks with a cop. I also can't picture them mentally calculating how much gym time is needed to justify eating a hamburger. It may be a realistic portrayal of a female attorney but as a male fan of noir fiction I keep wanting to check my watch, shake my head and mutter 'Keep this up and you'll be late for the final shoot-out'.

Disclosure: ARC copy obtained through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen I loved this book! 22. April 2011
Von Gentle Reader - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I got this book because I considered it a novelty that Marcia Clark had written a novel. But wow, the story flies, the dialogue is snappy and the details about life as a prosecutor are so deliciously authentic. I now feel like Marcia Clark has written more of a tell-all by writing this novel than she ever could have before. It was a wonderful surprise, this book. Highly recommend.
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