Guilt By Degrees
Mulholland Books, May 2012
Time for another trip into the wild country that is Los Angeles. From the mountains to Malibu, from the alleys to the beaches. And let’s not forget those fabulous restaurants. Prosecutor Rachel Knight takes on a case that will bring up old ghosts and reveal more skeletons than she’d like to see.
Seeing another prosecutor tank a case where the victim was homeless, Rachel Knight of the Special Trials Unit steps in to take charge. With investigator Bailey Keller as her partner, Knight uncovers the truth behind the killing. The victim was the brother of a cop who was murdered two years previously. The alleged murderess? His wife, Lilah, who was subsequently acquitted and almost immediately dropped from sight. Knight hops on the trail to track down Lilah. In her search, she uncovers secrets worth killing for. However, Knight doesn’t just have an old murder case to solve, she must face her own tragic history. As a child, she was witness to her sister’s kidnapping and disappearance. Knight’s current boyfriend brings up this past event which leads to an argument and a breakup. Rachel must deal with both personal problems and both personal and political attacks as she perseveres to bring a killer to justice.
Clark delivers another winner in the Rachel Knight saga. I enjoy the subplot with Knight’s sister. I’d love to know the outcome of that old case. I also love being driven around Los Angeles and it’s numerous suburbs to see the life and the culture. Clark‘s descriptions of the county jail to the Biltmore, to the eateries and residences are so true to life. I will definitely be looking forward to more Knight reading.
Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, March 2012.
Author of Night Shadows and Beta.