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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm looking forward to more books featuring Rachel Knight
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...
Published on 13 May 2011 by Cathy G. Cole

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid legal thriller that will appeal to fans of Grisham
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...
Published on 26 Feb. 2012 by Geek Goddess


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm looking forward to more books featuring Rachel Knight, 13 May 2011
By 
Cathy G. Cole (Phoenix, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
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... Rachel enjoys her alcohol a bit too much. She needs to take care.

Clark also has a good turn of phrase, as when she describes the entrance to the county jail as "the gates of Mordor", or when she talks about a faded woman looking "as though she'd been run through the wash too many times."

I thought I had the mystery solved-- several times. Each time I had the solution in the bag, Clark put a knot in the plot and made me rethink everything. I like that. Am I looking forward to more books featuring Rachel Knight? You bet I am!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another win for Marcia Clark, 8 April 2011
By 
Susan Tunis (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
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. Rachel, with the help of her detective friend Bailey and a host of other allies, launches herself into both cases, constantly fearing she's about to be fired for insubordination. "I took another sip of my drink and pondered what I could do on my own. Being a prosecutor, I was not, as they say, without resources." True that.

It's a strong debut, no doubt. Right from the opening, you just can't help thinking as you read, "Wow, this woman REALLY knows what she's writing about!" So much of the novel has the ring of verisimilitude. It may be the greatest strength. Even so, this novel really wasn't what I was expecting. It's been described as a legal thriller, but truthfully, it was far more a police procedural. There wasn't a single scene in a courtroom. Rather, Rachel was frequently out in the field, partnering Bailey, gun literally in hand, as they investigated the cases. She's not a lawyer content to sit behind a desk while the cops do their job, and I have to wonder how realistic the depiction is. It's not that it was unbelievable, but it was surprising. Either way, it's fiction, and I was willing to go along for the ride.

Rachel Knight is a strong, likable protagonist. Ms. Clark has imbued her with enough idiosyncratic detail that she, too, has the ring of verisimilitude. For instance, Rachel's obsessed with every calorie she puts in her mouth, unless it's in an alcoholic beverage or eaten off someone else's plate. While this is a stand alone novel, it's easy to image that Rachel and the various supporting characters may be back in future novels. If so, Guilt by Association serves as a good introduction. The novel is not perfect. There were times when Clark told instead of showing. Another time Rachel took an unbelievably stupid risk. And the plot did suffer one big fictional cliché, but I can't mention it without spoilers. Still, those are relatively minor complaints.

Clark keeps things moving along briskly, and while the pace never lags, about midway through things really pick up and stay up straight through the novel's end. It's a nice, tight, coherent plot with plenty of surprises and a satisfying conclusion. Looks like you've racked up another win, Ms. Clark.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid legal thriller that will appeal to fans of Grisham, 26 Feb. 2012
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Effective legal-style crime investigation in LA, 22 Aug. 2011
By 
Maxine Clarke "Maxine of Petrona" (Kingston upon Thames, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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. Rachel is a pleasant protagonist in her sympathy with the witnesses and suspects she visits who live in the dregs of the city or who are in prison. She's also kind to Susan, and helps the girl to rediscover her strength after her ordeal, despite her overbearing father. The character of Rachel is not sufficiently rounded, though - there are a lot of parts but it might take another book or two for them to gel. The same goes for her friends Bailey and Toni.
Even so, I really enjoyed this novel, partly because of its apparently authentically depicted world of lawyers, gangbangers, police officers, barmen and lifestyles of the rich and poor alike; and partly because of its total absence of longueurs. The ending is somewhat hasty and slightly unsatisfying, but on the whole I can recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good investigative plot. Although Rachel is a lawyer and spends plenty of time working through her caseload, the book isn't really a legal story (as I had assumed) - there are no courtroom scenes or legal minutiae for example - but it's an energetic, realistic-seeming account of two crimes and the methods by which they are investigated and solved - as well as providing some hard-hitting depictions of the difference between the haves and have-nots (or have-negatives) in LA.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable debut, 17 May 2011
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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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4.0 out of 5 stars good thriller, 17 Sept. 2013
A Deputy DA Rachel Knight walks home along the dark streets of Los Angeles when he hears the sounds of fire sirens. Out of curiosity, Knight, taking advantage of an acquaintance, steps on the police cordon area to take a look. From the cheap hotel where has been a fire, the coroner's assistants come out with two bodies, and in one of them she recognizes her colleague, also a DA Jake. When later it appears that the second victim was a young boy prostitute, Knight can not find a reason what Jake would do in a place like that with a male whore. Jake as Knight knew him was sweet and kind person. FBI starts an investigation, working a theory that it was a murder/suicide: a pedophile Jake first killed the boy and then himself. Knight does not believe in this version and, risking his ass, tries to lead an independent investigation. The main case in this novel becomes another investigation: rape of the daughter of a rich doctor, holding a few clinics in LA. After the death of Jake his working cases have been spread out to other prosecutors, and Knight gets not the easiest one of them. Knight uses help of LAPD Detective Bailey Keller in searching for criminals (rapist and Jake's killer). Soon Knight gets more threats, and what was obvious, becomes no longer obvious.

A former prosecutor herself, Marcia Clark knows how the justice system works. Knowledge of the inner game is a huge plus of the novel. We have read many books where the detectives conduct their own investigation against orders. And in these books, everything goes quickly and smoothly. In «Guilt by Association» Clark describes in detail the danger of interference with the investigation, which FBI is involved in. Knight then actually risks not only her career but also her freedom, risking ending up behind bars.

Both cases investigated by Knight are not the easiest, with a minimum of clues, but impudence and connections help the main character and her partner press to nail one suspect after another.

Despite the fact that Knight works in «Special Trials, the small, elite unit that handled the most comlex and high-profile cases», she has to deal with not high-ranking officials and corporate owners, but with the petty criminals: bangers, drug addicts and thieves. «Guilt by Association» has a very tight plot, no rabbits out of hats.

The main character Rachel Knight is not quite an original character, though. She is hard outside and soft inside. When she sees the body of her colleague, she almost loses consciousness. Several times throughout the book, the woman barely holds tears back. At the same time, Knight shows the hardness of the decisions and actions. To achieve justice and restore the honor of the late colleague for her is more important than losing a job.

There are also a few comic moments, such as the gang leader, who flirts with the prosecutor, which almost puts murder charges on him, or a police lieutenant who lives at the expense of what he and his brother used to come up developed a popular computer game.

Sometimes the novel gets too women-ish: Clark pays too much time choosing clothes for the heroine, and chapters begin with Knight's mornings. Actually, you can immediately get down to business without having these details.

On the cover James Ellroy's blurb suggests that it is «a damn, damn, good thriller». It is difficult to argue with it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Enough, 15 Jun. 2013
By 
E. Smith (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Guilt By Association: A Rachel Knight novel (Kindle Edition)
Let me start by saying Marcia Clark was a major part of my life during the OJ trial. I watched it every day for months and was fascinated by many of the personalities, particularly Marcia. Naturally I bought her trial book, which I found very interesting.

Anyway, I bought this book solely because of her name and because I was sure she'd have a relatively unique background as a writer of legal fiction. I suppose she's playing it safe by having the main character as a sassy female LA ADA, so no great stretch for Marcia.

To me it had a chick lit feel, probably unsurprisingly, and I found it a pleasant enough read for the 5 or 6 hours, but I can't say I really was grabbed or sucked in. I found the characters to be pretty much Rent-a-Script. Sassy intelligent lead - check; sassy intelligent, tough and good-looking cop friend - check; sassy intelligent, good-looking fashionista friend with relationship issues - check; tentative fledgling male love interest - you get the picture, etc etc, but then I suppose most books are that way anyway.

I kept getting reminded of Rizzoli and Isles, which I think is a great cop show, with a lot of similarities to this book, so I suppose that's another positive.

I did get curious about whodunnit, as it was pretty puzzling, but found the ending fairly underwhelming, although there were a few reasonable bends in the road. The little comments about DNA testing accuracy were an amusing nod to the OJ afficionados, which I thought was a sweet touch.

For a pound, I didn't mind, and feel that things will probably improve as Marcia develops the characters and her writing skills. If the next book in the series becomes a Daily Deal or is a low price, then I'd happily buy it just to satisfy myself that someone as undoubtedly sharp as Marcia will always win through in the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You will love these lifelike characters, 31 Dec. 2014
By 
Barbara Rhoades "Jackie of all Trades" (O'Fallon, MO USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Guilt By Association: A Rachel Knight novel (Kindle Edition)
This is the second book I have read but it is the first book in the series with the characters of Rachel Knight DA and Bailey Keller Detective. You will love these lifelike characters. The banter between Rachel and Bailey adds much to the story.

In this book, we are introduced to the cast of characters such as bartender Drew who becomes Bailey’s love interest and Graden Hales who becomes Rachel’s.

The story is about one of the DA’s own, Jake, and a young boy who is supposedly gay. They are found dead together. This brings up the question was Jake gay as well. Rachel has been told to stay away from Jake's murder investigation as the FBI is working the case.

The second story is about the rape of a young gal whose parents are extremely wealthy. The father puts pressure on Rachel to arrest the boy he believes is the rapist but Rachel is not so sure that the boy did it.

Naturally, Bailey and Rachel want to know the true facts in both cases. Several suspects are looked at until they finally find the rapist. When they do, he has driven his car off a cliff and wrapped it around a tree. At this point, they haven’t had any significant progress on Jake’s case.

There must be more involved. Are the two stories tied together somehow? To answer those questions, you will need to read this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, full of pace and easy to read, 20 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Guilt By Association: A Rachel Knight novel (Kindle Edition)
This book features Rachel Knight, lawyer-cum-sleuth, a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles. She seems to be in her mid-thirties, and she's hard working, determined and guess what.....single, with a tragedy in her youth. Yes, the computer model. And this extends to a marked degree to her glamorous colleagues Toni, another lawyer, and Bailey, a police detective. There are other oddities, too. Perhaps District Attorneys in California act as surrogate police officers, as pathologists do in the English soap "Silent Witness". But I found it interesting that a prosecuting lawyer took on such a role. It was also strange that Ms Knight seemed to know virtually nothing about the home life of her closest work colleague.

But having made those points, this is a good book, written by an insider, a well-known former prosecutor. It's interesting, pacey and easy to read. It holds your attention well. Certainly it merits a four star rating.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It Was OK, 18 May 2013
By 
Lynda Kelly "Lynda" (Shipton Bellinger, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Guilt By Association: A Rachel Knight novel (Kindle Edition)
I didn't mind this but found I got a little bogged down reading it and a couple of times wasn't intrigued enough to want to pick it up and get back into it. The story wasn't especially different or strange and startling. I WAS thrilled that I only spotted a couple of apostrophe errors and no horrific grammatical errors nor spelling mistakes. That in itself makes a huge difference.
It's about a lawyer called Rachel and a case where her work colleague has been found dead in dubious circumstances. Added to this, she is also hunting a rapist.
It was a good story but wouldn't make me rush out to buy anymore by her. I think I expected a lot more from her. I do think too much attention was paid to what Rachel wore and what the weather was like and also there were a lot of needless timechecks. Seemed odd.
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