Book Review: Guilt by Association by Marcia Clark

Guilt by Association
Marcia Clark
Mulholland Books, March 2012
ISBN 9780316198967
Trade Paperback

Take a trip to Los Angeles, where prosecution has its own style. Written by one in the know (and how), Clark delivers up a double shot of high profile cases and a whole lot of trouble. Travel from the manses of the wealthy to the dive motels in the poorest neighborhoods. It’s L.A., baby, and it’s a whole ‘nother country.

After celebrating a victory with her coworkers in the Special Trials division of the District Attorney’s office, Rachel Knight walks home only to be distracted by sirens nearby. She discovers, to her horror, one of those friendly coworkers, Jake Pahlmeyer, being carried out on a stretcher, dead. Immediately, she is warned off the case, a potential murder/suicide with Jake allegedly killing a teenage prostitute, then himself. However, she soon has more to worry about when she is assigned the rape case of a wealthy doctor’s daughter. Investigating suspects in the rape she disobeys orders and continues to dig into Jake’s case. Her car being destroyed by graffiti and also being shot at doesn’t discourage Knight’s determination.

Rachel Knight is a drinker, a woman who wants desperately to watch her diet, and who’s afraid of starting up a new romance. Clark puts so much personality into Knight’s character, making her more than just a routine prosecutor. I enjoyed the dichotomy between the classes – wealthy versus poor, doctor versus foster mother, lavish hotel versus junkies’ haven. There is so much of Los Angeles here. With cynicism and tense action scenes, Guilt by Association thinks outside the jury box.

Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, March 2012.
Author of Night Shadows and Beta.