Blood Defense by Marcia Clark. I have really enjoyed each of the 4 books in Clark's Rachel Knight series, but this is a new series with a very different protagonist. Both Rachel Knight and Samantha Brinkman are lawyers, but their personalities, their legal roles (Knight is a prosecutor; Brinkman is a defense attorney), and their approaches to the legal system differ drastically.
Clark begins illustrating the difference between Rachel Knight and Sam Brinkman in the first chapter. There is also an incident in the second chapter that could be dismissed as a "throw away," but something about "it" reminded me of Checkov's gun trope, and I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Other subtle hints occur in the course of the book that explain not only that incident, but other events in the past.
By the time I finished, I knew I'd probably eagerly read the next in the Brinkman series, but mostly to see if I could decide whether or not I liked the characters enough to continue. Reviewing the book without giving spoilers is difficult, but Clark's storytelling sometimes overcame my ambivalence about Sam and about some of the developments in the plot. The twist at the end was one I had picked up on early and that Clark had hinted at throughout--and has a great deal to do with Sam's character.
NetGalley/Thomas & Mercer
Legal Thriller. May 1, 2016. Print length: 400 pages.
Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner.
Beautiful post-grad student from wealthy, influential family is missing. Lonely female detective (who spends a lot of time looking for a partner by trying internet dating) is determined to find her.
I'm OK with a flawed protagonist, but Manon's desire for a partner is too desperate. I'd rather feel empathy than pity. I also found it difficult to much to like about Edith, the spoiled post-grad student who is missing.
The discovery of the body of a young black man provides the opportunity for a couple of side-plots and "the twist."
The pacing is slow and the various plot lines didn't work well for me.
Police Procedural. 2016. Print length: 400 pages.