Maddy's Reviews > Guilt by Association

Guilt by Association by Marcia Clark
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Mar 02, 12

bookshelves: 2011-reads
Read in February, 2011

PROTAGONIST: Rachel Knight, deputy district attorney
SETTING: Los Angeles
SERIES: Debut
RATING: 4.25

Quite often, the relationships that we form at work are among the most meaningful in our lives. That certainly is the case for Rachel Knight and Jake Pahlmeyer, both deputy district attorneys in Los Angeles. In the office, they are each other’s best friends. Surprisingly, though, they never share the details of their personal lives. So when Jake dies in what looks like a murder/suicide with the other victim being a boy who seems to be Jake’s lover, Rachel doesn’t know what to think. Trying to determine what the truth is, she finds disturbing evidence that looks like Jake may have cultivated an inappropriate relationship.

Rachel has a heavy case load and is warned off investigating Jake’s case by her superiors. Instead, she is told to concentrate on the rape of a young woman whose father, Frank Densmore, is an important man in the community. He is used to being in control and has already determined who the perpetrator is, a young man who Susan Densmore was tutoring to move from life in the streets and obtain an education. Trying to placate Frank proves to be quite a challenge.

Working with a friend who is a homicide detective, Bailey Keller, Rachel continues to try to clear Jake, despite the fact that if she is found out, she may lose her job. Bailey also helps her with the Densmore case. They are an excellent team. Rachel is further assisted by Lieutenant Graden Hales, a real hunk who shows more than professional interest in his underling.

The only area that wasn’t quite credible for me was Rachel’s work on Jake’s case. Although she had been told not to work on it, she continued to do so, spending quite a lot of time researching and pursuing leads. It didn’t seem that this would be easy to hide from her superiors. Secondly, Lieutenant Hales provided her with information that helped her figure out what really happened. This seemed quite unprofessional for someone of his level. Nonetheless, GUILT is well plotted and provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of the prosecutor.

GUILT BY ASSOCIATION marks Clark’s crime fiction debut, and an excellent one it is. Rachel is an inspired creation—a caring and loyal friend and extremely dedicated to her job. Clark’s own experience as a prosecutor shines through. Rachel shows real compassion and sensitivity to the people that she is trying to help. For example, she takes pains to treat Susan with respect and not further victimize her during the inquiry. She also has a wry sense of humor that breaks the tension of a dangerous investigation.

A real enhancement to the book is that Marcia Clark knows whereof she speaks. She was the deputy district attorney who served as the lead prosecutor on the O. J. Simpson murder case. GUILT BY ASSOCIATION is her first work of fiction, and it certainly looks like she will succeed in her new career. The second book in the series is due out in 2012, and I will definitely be adding it to my To Be Found list.

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message 1: by Lewis (new)

Lewis Weinstein I like your review, but I think Marcia Clark really blew the OJ case.


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