Guilt by Association
Marcia Clark
Mulholland 2011
368 pages


Marcia Clark attained instant recognition as the prosecutor in the O.J. trial. Set in L.A. Guilt by Association is her debut crime fiction novel.  Kindle at Amazon

In Guilt by Association brash, gun-toting D.A. Rachel Knight lives and loves the excitement of living on the edge and dealing with high-profile cases as a member of the prestigious and close-knit Special Trials Unit.

All she believes in is thrown into turmoil when during a late-night walk home she encounters a shocking crime scene in which, rolled out in a body bag, is her friend and colleague Jake Pahlmeyer, dead of an apparent murder-suicide.

Cursory information suggests suspiciously dark undertakings in Jake’s recent past. Disbelieving, undaunted, and intensely driven, Rachel breaks protocol to ferret out the truth, enlisting the help of her friends: STU colleague Toni and Detective Bailey Keller.

Concurrently, with Jake gone, Rachel is assigned one of his unfinished cases; the unsolved assault of a prominent physician’s daughter. As she assembles clues from both cases it appears that she too may be in jeopardy.

This Marcia Clark crime fiction novel has a little bit of everything: mystery, danger, occasional injections of humour, and a potential budding romance. It also speaks to the solidarity of friendship as the women work together, drink together, and often crash at Rachel’s place.

The focus on a strong female protagonist and her equally fearless friends is an enjoyable and appreciate approach. Unfortunately the only character that is well-developed is Rachel. Hints of a back story regarding her past are intriguing and one hopes they will be explored further should there be a sequel.

Although a lot of time is spent chasing red herrings and perhaps more suited to a female readership, Guilt by Association by Marcia Clark is a reasonably good first novel.