Tuesday, 24 May 2011

CRIME REVIEW: Guilt By Association - Marcia Clark

Release Date: 12/05/11


A Deputy DA specialising in high-profile cases, Rachel Knight is addicted to her work and fiercely loyal to her friends. But when her colleague Jake is found dead in a seedy Los Angeles hotel room next to the body of a teenage male prostitute, Rachel realises she might not know those around her as well as she thinks.

The police want to write off Jake's death as a straightforward murder/suicide. Rachel doesn't believe it's that simple. Warned off the case but determined to track down her friend's killer, the investigation takes her through the dark and tangled city from its wealthy suburbs to its seamy downtown heart.

And a truth so dangerous it could kill her.


Guilt by Association is a debut novel for Marcia Clarke and is set following DA Rachel Knight as she crusades through her most important cases to her, the sexual attack on a politically connected man’s daughter and the murder of her friend and colleague Jake who is found dead with a teenage rent boy.

What Marcia does well in this title is bring the crimes to the reader’s attention as well as maintaining the linear requirements for an investigation and whilst there are twists that throw the principle characters for a loop they all help get to the bottom of the relevant cases in order to make sure that justice is done. The prose is reasonable, the investigation plausible and when blended with an authoritative look at the law system (well she was the lead prosecutor for the OJ Simpson case) keeps the reader going with enough material to make it hard to leave for long.

However that said, in my opinion, I absolutely detested the authors overuse of romantic descriptive clichés alongside an over fondness for going into detailed descriptions of the clothing. Personally, when I read crime I don’t care, I want a story that shows not tells me what happens rather than throwing me for a loop and getting off track on inane detail about the characters ensemble, just say that she got dressed and headed to the office.

All in, for a debut novel it was satisfactory and I think that Marcia clearly has a gift to bring it all to the fore, add experience into the story and it’s definitely a tale written based on what the author knows. I hope that the problems that I had are fixed in subsequent titles but if you can look past the descriptive errors then it’s a book that whilst perhaps not the best debut out there certainly one that deserves to be read.

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