Guilt by Association is the first in the Rachel Knight series. I just recently discovered Marcia Clark's novels through NetGalley, and although I've read them out of order, I've enjoyed each and every one.
Guilt by Association is the first in the series and introduces all of the major characters. Since I didn't read these books in order, I already felt that Rachel, Bailey, Toni, and Drew are old friends.
However, we are also introduced to another friendship-- a young lawyer named Jake, who has the kind of charisma to which everyone responds. A good and trusted colleague, a talented lawyer, a young man with a promising future. But when Jake ends up dead in a seedy hotel a seventeen-year-old boy, doubts about who he really was are suddenly raised.
Rachel is determined to discover the whys and wherefores that led to Jake being discovered in such compromising circumstances. Regardless of what seems the logical conclusion of murder/suicide, Rachel pursues an investigation with hopes of clearing Jake's tarnished reputation. The problem is that the case has been given to the FBI, and Rachel has been warned to leave the case alone.
At the same time, the rape of a fifteen-year-old girl proves problematic. The father has already decided who is responsible, but Susan Densmore, (who was unable to see her attacker) doesn't believe the young man her father wants arrested is responsible. The father is rich and influential and manages to exert pressure on the DA's office.
As I've mentioned in previous reviews of books in this series, the dialogue is snappy and often funny when the girlfriends are together. The characters have substance and feel fully present in their roles. The plot lines are skillfully woven and absorbing. Clark in my new "go to" author for mystery, characterization, legal thriller, and a suspenseful reading experience.
Mystery. 2011; 2014. Print length: 373 pages.