Sunday, April 17, 2011

Guilt By Association by Marcia Clark

book cover

Guilt By Association
by Marcia Clark

ISBN-13: 9780316129510
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Released: April 20, 2011

Source: Advanced Reading Copy from the publisher.

Book Description from Back Cover (modified):
D.A. Rachel Knight is a tenacious, wise-cracking prosecutor in Los Angeles' most elite division. Her close colleague, Jake, is found dead at a seedy hotel with a teenage male prostitute. The evidence points to Jake having secretly been a gay pedophile who committed a murder-suicide. Rachel doesn't believe the accusation and wants to clear his name, but the Feds aren't trying hard enough. She's determined to solve his murder even if it means risking her career by doing things illegally. She also must take over Jake's toughest case: the rape of a young woman from a rich, influential family.

Dead end follows dead end, but she and her friends aren't going to give up...even after someone starts taking shots at them.

About the Author:
Marcia Clark is a former Los Angeles deputy district attorney.

My Review:
Guilt By Association is a fast-paced mystery/detective suspense novel. Though Rachel is a D.A., she spent most of her time solving the mystery at the side of her police detective friend rather than in the court room. However, details about her job and the investigation were woven into the story along with vivid details about the setting. (This is an example of an author giving more description than was vital to telling the story, but she'd connect it in to the story to make it relevant even if it wasn't vital.)

The characters were quirky, varied, and interesting...though the amount of drinking and illegal behavior made me start to have doubts about our legal system. (It's just a story...written by a D.A., but it's just a story...I hope.) Rachel did deal with doubts about Jake even as she worked to clear his name. Several of the characters had relationship hang-ups, though we never learned all of the details of why Rachel had her hang-up.

The end wrapped up a bit quickly when things finally came together. The detective and Rachel followed up on the leads as soon as they had the evidence--and, in one case, made an arrest before all of the evidence was confirmed. Since, for most of the book, they'd held off on making judgments until all the evidence was in, it almost seemed like they jumped to conclusions on slim evidence in that one case. Nonetheless, it was a clever mystery, but it wasn't the type where readers have a chance to guess whodunit ahead of time.

There was a fair amount of crude language and explicit bad language. There were no sex scenes. Overall, it was an entertaining novel.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
"Guilty? Already? What'd they do, just walk around the table and hit the buzzer?" Jake said, shaking his head incredulously.

I laughed, nodding. "I know, it's crazy. Forty-five-minute verdict after a three-month trial," I said as I shook my head. "I thought the clerk was kidding when she called and told me to come back to court." I paused. "Now that I think about it, this might be my fastest win ever on a first-degree."

"[Bad word], sistah, that's the fastest win I done heard on anythang," Toni said as she plopped down into the chair facing my desk. She only talked ghetto as a joke.

"Y'all gotta admit," I said, "homegirl brought game this time."

Toni gave me a disdainful look. "Uh-uh, snowflake. You can't pull it off, so don't try." She reached for the mug I kept clean and at the ready for her on the windowsill.

I raised an eyebrow. "You've got a choice: take that back and have a drink, or enjoy your little put-down and stay dry."

Toni eyed the bottle of Glenlivet on my desk, her lips firmly pressed together, as she weighed her options. It didn't take long. "It's amazing. For a minute there, I thought Sister Souljah was in the room," she said with no conviction whatsoever. She slammed her mug down on my desk. "Happy?"

I shrugged. "Not your best effort, but they can't all be gold." I broke the small ice tray out of my mini-fridge, dumped the cubes into her cup, and poured the equivalent of two generous shots of Glenlivet.

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