on 9 July 2016
Not all of Hollywood’s celebrity status yields glitter and glam. Haley, sixteen-year-old daughter of famous director Russell Antonovich, has disappeared and it’s very curious that her good friend, Mackenzie Struthers, seems to know much more than she’s willing to say. Russell had received a couple of text messages. The first said, “I’ve got your daughter. She’ll be safe if you do as I tell you. If you call the police she’ll be killed.” Then the second was a ransom demand for him to bring “One million dollars in cash in a duffel bag” to Fryman Canyon. But when Russell pays the $1 million and his daughter is not returned as promised, he calls police. Detective Bailey Keller along with Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight begin to investigate the whereabouts of Haley.
One of the first people they talk to is Mackenzie. She does provide them with a picture of Haley’s latest boyfriend, nineteen-year-old Brian Shandling, but who is he? His ID seems to be fake, having belonged to a child who died in infancy many years before. It began to look like Brian and Hayley had cooked up the kidnapping scheme. If that was true, Rachel didn’t think he’d hurt her. Unfortunately, both Hayley and Brian were found murdered, presumably by the same person. The prime suspect turns out to be Russell’s best friend, Ian Powers, a former child star and also Russell’s talent manager. He’s arrested and this very high-profile case goes to trial.
The book is basically broken into two parts – the first part was mostly about missing teen, Hayley and the search for her killer. She was not a Hollywood show-off. In fact, she had a very tender heart for those less fortunate, like her friend Mackenzie. But, what Haley really wanted was her dad’s love and attention, and less in being given enough money to buy God. The second portion of the novel was all about a celebrity on trial for murder. This is where Marcia Clark excelled in her writing. After all, she lived the experience as part of the prosecution team in the O.J. Simpson famed murder trial. I did find it more odd than not for our protagonist, a DA, to be part of the initial investigation. The novel is lengthy, somewhere over 450 pages. I think additional editing could have clipped much of the excess out. Each book in the series can be read as a standalone as Clark does very well with recapping past events about our protagonist and supporting characters. But, if you love Legal Thrillers, you may want to go back and read the two before this one. Rating: 4 out of 5.
on 28 September 2013
I'm really taken with the Rachel Knight books, which are smart legal thrillers that benefit from strong, likeable female characters, and this is a cracking addition to the series that kept me guessing till the end. However the ebook could have been better formatted, it was rife with mistakes.
Killer Ambition – Slick and stylish.
Killer Ambition by Marcia Clark is part of the Rachel Knight series of which this was my first reading which charmed from the first page to the last. Written by a former Californian prosecutor she brings all her experience to bear as she shines a light on the relationship between the District Attorney’s Office and the LAPD. Marcia Clark’s writing style is addictive and her choice of characters is inspired, it is also great to see two strong intelligent women without having to rely on a defective detective.
Detective Bailey Keller and Deputy DA Rachel Knight are called out to a kidnapping of the teenage daughter of famous Hollywood director Russell Antonovich. They have only get called in once the ransom fee has been paid and the daughter has not been released. Now it becomes a race to find Haley Antonovich and to find out as much as possible about her as possible.
Neither, Keller or Knight can believe how many people there are around Antonovich all with knowledge of what is going on. It is when Haley and her boyfriend turn up dead in different locations that things really start to go downhill very fast. As fast as they try to find information and evidence of what happened they see how quickly doors are closed to them. They find that Hollywood tends to operate on the same principles of the mafia just with more glitter and glamour.
We see that even as the investigation continues that Knight and Keller are faced with doors slamming in their faces. They also have to contend with the DA who does not want to upset any of the big hitters of Hollywood especially as he needs their money for re-election. Not helped by slick Hollywood attorneys trying to muddy the waters and using every trick in the book to protect and clear their client.
Killer Ambition is a great crime procedural novel that is well written and researched, very polished. It is worth letting the household chores pile up as you read this book as it enjoyable and highly addictive. This book and its lead characters charm all the way through the thriller making it nothing but a pleasure to read.
D.A. Rachel Knight and Detective Bailey Keller make a great team. Together they must prove who killed two young people.
The cast of characters fits together very well. They include bartender Drew; Rachel’s significant other, Grayden; the parents of the young people; opposition lawyer, Terry and Declanwho when you first meet him believe him to be a plant from Rachel’s boss.
The story is about the killing of the daughter of a Hollywood producer and her friend, Brian. They police believe it to be a kidnapping turned murder. However, as you read the book, you begin to have other ideas.
The story takes you completely through the trial process from discovery of the victims and to the verdict. It gives a complete view of just what it takes to be a prosecutor and all the work all sides of the process have to take to prove or disprove guilt or innocence.
There are twists and turns I never saw coming until they happened and I found myself reading far into the night so I could figure out “who done it”.