Guilt By Association by Marsha Clark

Guilt by Association
By Marsha Clark

Mulholland Books, $25.99

Publisher's synopsis:

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.

Yes, this is written by THE Marsha Clark, former LA prosecutor in the  O.J. Simpson trial, so I expected a lot. Where do I begin? The positive stuff first,  Clark has created a great lead character in LA's assistant district attorney Rachel Knight who is crushed when Jake Pahlmeyer, another prosecutor and Rachel's friend, is found shot to death in a no-tell-motel. Jake's murder forces Rachel to cross into his ultra private life, and ultimately uncover truths that friends shouldn't know. 

The plot is very believable, however I had issues with suspension of disbelief. I couldn't get past the story being told in the first person. I thought Clark did a great job with plot and subplot interweaving, but I was constantly pulled out of the story because of awkward phrasing.  When Clark needed to disclose information, for me, the flow stopped as words were manipulated to interject necessary information. I think that a mystery written in the first person is tough to pull off. Necessary information must be shared through what the lead character sees, is told, or overhears.  I wish Ms. Clark, in her debut novel, had chosen another POV for her character because I think  Rachel Knight deserved  a story that flows more easily and allowed this reader to stay in the story's world. 
Guilt By Association is worth a read for the characters and storyline. I get the feeling that we haven't seen the last of Rachel Knight and that could be a good thing. I liked Rachel and would like to see what Ms. Clark has in store for her next. But please, not in first person.
3 out of 5 stars.
This e-galley was provided to me by the publisher at my request and in no way affected my review. 

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