Brilliant and tenacious, DA Rachel Knight lives and breathes her work and disdains office politics—a combustible combination that often gets her into trouble. She is a stalwart member of the elite Special Trials Unit, a small group of handpicked prosecutors that handles the toughest, most sensitive, and most celebrated cases in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
At the end of a typical ten-hour day, Rachel has her sights set on an ice-cold martini at the Biltmore Hotel, where she lives. But on her way she’s sidetracked by the wail of sirens and the commotion of a crime scene. Cops swarm around a seedy motel, where Rachel is surprised to discover that Jake, a dear friend and fellow prosecutor, has been murdered.
The suspicious and potentially explosive circumstances of Jake’s death are never far from Rachel’s thoughts as she takes on her fallen colleague’s most politically charged case: the mysterious assault on a young woman from an influential L.A. family. Rachel enlists the help of her best friends and partners in crime-fighting—Toni, a fellow Special Trials prosecutor, and Bailey, a tough-as-nails LAPD detective—to covertly undertake her own investigation into Jake’s murder. Rachel’s drive to clear Jake’s name exposes a world of power and violence that will have her risking her reputation—and her life—to find the truth.
Marcia Clark combines the vibrant voice of her heroine, Rachel Knight, with her insider’s expertise in L.A. courts and criminality in this exciting debut. Intimately detailed, wildly funny, and viscerally paced, Guilt by Association marks the launch of a major new presence on the crime-fiction landscape.
Praise for Guilt By Association:
“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. Her character of Rachel Knight bleeds real blood, sweat and tears on the page. Guilt is a four-bagger for Clark and her many new fans will eagerly await her next step up to the plate.” -David Baldacci
“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 writes with spirit and flair. Her debut novel is taut, compelling, and accomplished, with a gritty authenticity that comes from an insider’s knowledge of the criminal justice system. Guilt by Association is a first rate legal thriller, and I can’t wait to see more of Rachel Knight.” -Meg Gardiner, author of The Memory Collector
“Brainy, resolute, a bit wardrobe-challenged: DA Rachel Knight seems a lot like author Clark, who was lead prosecutor in the OJ Simpson murder trial. But the shoptalk here has more panache than its real-life version as Knight and her buddies – a fellow prosecutor and an LAPD detective – play the angles to clear a colleague suspected of a murder-suicide. Clark’s plot is gritty and intriguing, but it’s the hilariously potty-mouthed characters that make this debut thrill sing.” –People (three and a half stars)
“A triumphant fiction debut that catapults her to the same level as Linda Fairstein, her fellow assistant DA turned legal thriller novelist…Clark deftly handles the multiple plotlines…Readers will want to see a lot more of Knight, who combines strength of character and compassion with all-too-human foibles.” –Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Don’t be dissuaded by the celebrity-author factor: Clark, lead prosecutor in the O. J. Simpson trial, pairs her knowledge of the L.A. judicial scene with a surprising flair for fiction in a remarkably accomplished debut novel….Clark offers a real page-turner here, with smart, fast-moving prose; a skillfully constructed plot; and a protagonist well worth knowing. Rachel, whose past is only hinted at, is a well-rounded character who’s as tough with suspects as she is sensitive with young victims. A top-notch legal thriller that will leave readers wanting more.” –Booklist, starred review
“A corker of a debut novel in which a brainy, plucky female prosecutor refuses to rush to judgment… That the novel is marked by authenticity is no surprise given Clark’s credentials—she was, after all, lead prosecutor in the headline-grabbing O.J. Simpson trial—but what may surprise some readers is the quality of the writing, plus the considerable charm of Rachel and her buddies.” –Kirkus, starred review
“If you love Los Angeles murder mysteries — sunny Southland noir drawn with unsentimental wit and panache — then you’re probably still in mourning for writer Stephen J. Cannell, whose untimely passing last year left a gap on the genre’s bookshelves. However, a possible successor to the Cannell crown has arisen in the unlikely form of Marcia Clark. Yes, that Marcia Clark, the former LA deputy district attorney who was lead prosecutor on the O.J. Simpson murder case. Who knew this dame could spin a good, page-turning yarn? But she can. Our prediction is that Clark has a future in popular fiction, one spelled S-E-Q-U-E-L-S.” –Dallas Morning News