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Guilt By Association: A Rachel Knight novel Hardcover – 12 May 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books (12 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444707485
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444707489
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 793,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marcia Clark is a former Los Angeles deputy district attorney, and was the lead prosecutor in the OJ Simpson murder case. She co-wrote a bestselling non-fiction book about the trial, Without a Doubt, and is a frequent media commentator and columnist on legal issues. She lives in Los Angeles, where the Rachel Knight series is set.

You can visit Marcia's website at, follow her on Twitter @thatmarciaclark or find her on Facebook at

Product Description


You must read this book: it is wildly and complexly plotted, ebulliently witty and filled with riotous humor; it details the inner workings of the L.A. legal system with unprecedented accuracy and verve - and to top it off, it is a damn, damn, good thriller. (James Ellroy)

Marcia Clark's debut novel showcases her experience and knowledge of the legal system. The pace, plot and dialogue are as sharp as they come in the genre. (David Baldacci)

This introduction to LA special prosecutor Rachel Knight charms from the first line then surfs a tide of knockabout humour, sassy backchat and armour-piercing observation (Daily Telegraph)

Knight makes a compelling protagonist - rebellious, straight-forward, salty (Guardian)

An accomplished debut...Clark is a polished writer who knows her material (Sunday Telegraph Australia)

Her first legal thriller, about a tenacious Los Angeles DA, is on the money (Daily Mail)

A corker of a debut novel (Kirkus Review)

A triumphant fiction debut...Readers will want to see a lot more of Knight, who combines strength of character and compassion with all-too-human foibles. (Publishers Weekly)

Remarkably accomplished...A top-notch legal thriller that will leave readers wanting more. (Booklist)

Book Description

In Rachel Knight, author and OJ Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark has created a feisty heroine with class and style - a terrific character for a heart-thumping new thriller series set in LA.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cathy G. Cole on 13 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
First Line: He snapped his cell phone shut and slid it into the pocket of his skin-tight jeans.

Los Angeles District Attorney Rachel Knight is a member of the small, select group known as Special Trials, and as such, she's used to dealing with the most complex and high profile cases. Rachel and the rest of the group are used to spending a lot of time in each other's company, but they talk shop; they don't talk about their lives outside the job.

When another member of the group, Jake Pahlmeyer, and a young boy are found dead in a rent-by-the-hour motel, Rachel is in total shock. She must also take over his toughest case: the rape of a young woman from a rich family.

But that's not all. No matter the gossip swirling around Jake's death, no matter that she didn't know what Jake did in his time away from the office, Rachel knows something's not right, and she's willing to put her job-- and her life-- on the line to uncover the truth.

Normally I would steer well clear of a book written by a celebrity author, but the synopsis sounded so good that I knew I had to give it a try. I'm glad I did. Clark shows skill in developing an engrossing plot that moves at an assured pace. Her familiarity with Los Angeles came through loud and clear, and the character of Rachel was extremely well done.

How well done? Her intelligence and skill at her job were very evident, and a few of her flaws made me shake my head (a sure sign that the character is becoming real to me as I read). If you eat out with Rachel, be warned: she's always on a diet and thinks nothing of stealing food from everyone else's plate. Keep your fork handy. Also, Rachel gave details every time she made a wardrobe change. I'm not a typical female, so the fashion updates got a bit boring. And...
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis on 8 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
After having previously written about her life and role as chief prosecutor on the O.J. Simpson trial, former Assistant District Attorney Marcia Clark has turned her hand to fiction. And multiple starred reviews in the publishing trades attest that she hasn't done a half-bad job of it.

After a brief prologue, Guilt by Association opens with colleagues toasting a legal victory at the end of the workday. The victor is ADA Rachel Knight, who was just handed a guilty verdict in record time. The wins are why she and her colleagues put in the long hours, and no one is a bigger workaholic than Rachel, except perhaps for Jake. When Jake and Toni head out for the night, Rachel promises she'll follow just as soon as she gets a little more work done... And, after all, home is only a six-block walk from the office. Once outside she hears sirens and quickly comes across an unfolding crime scene--a homicide by the looks of it. She's waiting around out of professional curiosity when a ranking cop tries to send her packing. Rachel is confounded and annoyed--until she sees the face of one of the two victims. It's Jake; hard-working, nice guy Jake.

The next morning, the news gets worse. The crime appears to be a murder-suicide. Jake was in a sleazy motel room with a 17-year-old boy, who he appears to have shot before then shooting himself. There was a naked photo of the kid in his pocket. Hung-over and still in shock, Rachel doesn't believe it. The facts are damning, and even though no one really knew about his personal life, she just knows Jake can't have done what they're saying. Unfortunately, she's warned off Jake's case in no uncertain terms. Rather, she's asked to take over one of the cases that Jake had been working on, that of the rape of affluent 15-year-old Susan Densmore.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Geek Goddess on 26 Feb. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Fans of John Grisham and Lisa Scottoline will love this, the slick fiction debut of former deputy district attorney Marcia Clark. Clark, up until now most famous for being lead prosecutor in the OJ Simpson case, has crafted a taut, smart legal thriller featuring a likeable and engaging heroine, Deputy DA Rachel Knight. When Knight's colleague is found dead in a motel room in an apparent murder-suicide with an underage boy, she is driven to prove his innocence, but of course things are never that quite straightforward... While it's tough to add anything original to such a well-worn genre, Clark's inside knowledge of the system gives the book a pleasing ring of veracity, and it's good to see a strong female lead with a convincing (and functional) set of female friends, rather than the overdone trope of isolated and dysfunctional lone wolf. Feeling very much like the start of a series, this is a welcome addition to the genre.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maxine Clarke VINE VOICE on 22 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Rachel Knight of the DA's office in LA is a hard-working, wisecracking lawyer, who drinks far too much and whose diet consists of egg-white omelettes and steamed vegetables as she's always watching her weight. As the book opens, Rachel's close colleague Jake is found dead in an apparent murder-suicide in a seedy dive. Shocked and upset, Rachel, her friend Toni and their other colleagues are assigned Jake's caseload. One of the cases Rachel is given concerns the rape of Susan, the 16-year-old daughter of awesomely rich paediatrician and campaign contributor Frank Densmore.
The book follows Rachel's investigation into these two cases, aided by police detective Bailey. Events proceed at a blistering pace, as Rachel bonds with Susan, refuses to accept Densmore's insistence that a young man being tutored by Susan was responsible for the rape, and together with Bailey tracks down every possible lead among the nannies, house painters, security guards and gardeners of the exclusive gated community.
At the same time, Rachel refuses to keep out of the FBI investigation of her colleague Jake's death. Realising that Jake is likely to be portrayed as a criminal, she tries to find out as much as she can about his life - which proves hard. Gradually, her belief in Jake begins to waver as the evidence stacks up.
Seasoned readers of crime fiction might wonder at the get-go whether the two cases will turn out to be related. I shan't reveal the answer here, but will say that it is 300 pages in before you'll find out for sure. In the meantime, Rachel, Bailey and Toni have been to numerous name-checked restaurants and bars; Rachel has been shot at and had her car trashed; and we learn of Rachel's and Toni's various romantic ups and downs.
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