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Guilt by Degrees (Rachel Knight) Hardcover – May 8, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"It's no big surprise that Marcia Clark knows her way around a courtroom, and a murder mystery - but she's also a terrific writer and storyteller."—James Patterson

"This sequel to her remarkably accomplished debut, Guilt by Association (2010), proves that former prosecutor Clark is no one-book wonder...Clark has a winning cast of characters, a strong plot, and plenty of smart and sassy dialogue (particularly when Knight and her BFFs gather for after-work martinis), and she heightens interest in Knight's next appearance by establishing the psychopathic Bayer as her nemesis. A superlative series bringing together elements of both legal thrillers and police procedurals. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Clark's debut was something of a surprise success, both commercially and critically, but her publisher will hit the ground running this time, with an A-list marketing campaign"—Michele Leber, Booklist

"Clark humanizes her tough lead, and gets the mixture of action and investigative legwork just right, more than making the case for a long life for this West Coast analogue to Linda Fairstein's Alex Cooper."—- Publisher's Weekly (starred)

Clark brings back Los Angeles DA Rachel Knight in this sequel to her well-received debut, Guilt by Association...Well-developed characters and a story arc that leaves the reader hanging are a surefire way to bring fans back for the next installment, and Clark has wisely left that door wide open. [This] should appeal to fans of Lisa Scottoline and David Baldacci.—Stacy Alesi, Library Journal

"With GUILT BY DEGREES, Clark has managed to do the arduous and make it look easy: she has taken the strongest elements from an already assured debut and melded them into near perfection. The dialogue is razor sharp, the humor laugh-out-loud funny, and the pacing relentless. Further, Clark infuses the narrative with a wealth of expertly-informed details shaped by the years that she spent living and breathing her protagonist's life. Bullets may fly on the page, but it's readers that will ultimately be blown away."—John Valeri, Hartford Books Examiner

"The second Guilt book by author Marcia Clark reintroduces the tough D.A., Rachel Knight. And if readers liked her in the first, they will like her even better this time around... [the] book offers a more in-depth exploration of crime and punishment, which is-of course-what Marcia Clark is good at. The suspects are beyond interesting, and the plot is extremely dark, allowing the character of Rachel Knight to really shine through. A great thriller!"—Suspense Magazine

About the Author

Marcia Clark began practicing law as a criminal defense attorney. She became a prosecutor in the L.A. District Attorney's Office in 1981, and spent ten years in the Special Trials Unit where she handled a number of high profile cases prior to the O.J. Simpson case, including the prosecution of stalker/murderer Robert Bardo, whose conviction for the murder of actress Rebecca Schaeffer resulted in legislation that offered victims better protection from stalkers as well as increased punishment for the offenders.

Since the Simpson trial, Ms. Clark has toured the U.S. and Canada giving lectures on a variety of women's issues including domestic violence and inspirational/motivational speeches, as well as lectures on the latest high profile cases, public service careers, and of course, the Trial of the Century.

In May of 1997, her book on the Simpson case, Without a Doubt was published and quickly rose to #1 on the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, LA Times, and Publisher's Weekly bestsellers lists.

From February 1998 to 2000 Marcia was under contract as a legal analyst and expert commentator for NBC, CNBC and MSNBC. She appeared weekly as the substitute host of Geraldo Rivera's "Rivera Live," and also hosted "Equal Time" for CNBC and "Judge and Jury" for MSNBC. Marcia has appeared on the "Oprah Winfrey Show," the "Larry King Show," the "Today" show, "The Early Show," and "Good Morning America," among others, and provides legal commentary on a wide variety of cable shows such as "Anderson Cooper 360" and "Issues with Jane Velez Mitchell."

Marcia Clark (with writing partner, Catherine LePard) has sold hour-long pilots to the FX network, Lifetime, and VH1 and developed a half hour comedy for NBC. She has also developed reality projects for CBS and was an executive producer of a one hour reality pilot for CBS.

Marcia has published three novels which feature Los Angeles Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight: Guilt by Association, Guilt by Degrees, and Killer Ambition, which is due out in June 2013. TNT has optioned the books and a drama series is currently in development. Marcia is attached as an executive producer. She's currently at work on her fourth novel.
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Product Details

  • Series: Rachel Knight (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books; 1 edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316129534
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316129534
  • ASIN: 0316129534
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #624,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Mary Gramlich VINE VOICE on April 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Rachel Knight has been successfully running from the ghosts of the past that haunt her every day. She is at the top of her legal game in the Los Angeles DA's office, but still holds back when it comes to her personal life even with her best friends. When Rachel picks up a case that every other lawyer wanted to kick to the curb, the unexpected drawback is the tragic memories she kept under control would come back. Rachel has to take control of her emotions and her life. Right now, every ounce of her inner strength is being called up to keep her from jumping off the emotional deep end.

When Rachel took on the case to find the murderer of a homeless man, her fellow lawyers in the DA's office dismiss her. The timeline for results is short so she pulls in her friends on the police force and together they walk through what on the surface appears to be a random murder on the streets of Los Angeles but in reality is anything but that. Rachel digs deep to get answers and when they start popping even Rachel is shocked by the turn of events and the undercurrent that is pulling her toward terrifying results. The heartless crime that drove the start of all this him to this life is even more disturbing than anything Rachel has ever reviewed.

Then the tide turns completely against Rachel and every demon that has ever knocked on her subconscious comes barging through the door Rachel knows she will finish this case but at what cost. It no longer is a game to find out what happened to someone else as much as it is keeping herself out of the morgue and when evil is looking for you is there any place you can hide?

Marcia Clark writes stories that are filled with mesmerizing details, characters you relate to, and an abundance of unbelievable plot diversity. Ms. Clark knows how to give the reader a proper balance of startling information added to take your breath away revelations.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Readalot on April 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I mention them together because they are LA based writers writing LA based stories -- they're also big leaguers... and with her second ficiton book "Guilt by Degrees" Clark, in my opinion, joins the big boys. I liked her first book "Guilt by Association" but frankly, didn't know if it was fluke. Nope. Clark tops her first with "Guilt by Degrees" and demonstrates a command of the genre and its world combined with characters, voicing and nuance, and yeah, twists and turns and suspense in a genuine mystery. When I finish her books I come away feeling that I've had a great, fun ride, but also that Clark has earned her ending and built it as solidly, though unexpectedly, as Knight does her cases. She also introduces a new bad-guy who's really fun and intriguing - a damaged character whose psychological "cracks" started early and blossom into chasms as an adult making her understandable, dangerous and never ever characteurish. Clark holds your attention, ratchets up the suspense, and takes us on a ride filled with humor, camraderie, mystery, and danger -- I'm already looking forward to the next one.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Robert Hales on May 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
So Rachel Knight is back .... larger than life and just as sassy as before.

I loved Guilt By Association and couldn't wait for the sequel. The book defines the term Page-Turner. I usually read for twenty minutes in bed before I fall asleep at night, but with this book I kept going from chapter to chapter until 1am ! Guilt By Compulsive Reading ! The narrative is so compelling it really drew me in, and the characters are so finely drawn that I feel I am living their story.

There are of course a lot of mystery writers out there but none with the edge Marcia Clark has. Her style is compelling, spare and eminently readable with none of the irrelevant verbosity of other writers in the genre - the kind that sends me to sleep after twenty minutes.

My only regret is that I came to the end of the story. I do hope a third book is in the offing. I can't wait.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By grumpydan VINE VOICE on July 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In the second book of the series, Assistant D.A. Rachel Knight takes over the case of a murdered homeless man when a fellow D.A. from her office totally messes up the case. But when she starts investigating, she finds out the homeless man was the brother of a policeman killed two years early and that the accused may be innocent. The more she digs in the more she stirs up and is determined to find justice.

The story held my attention as the mystery and legal proceeding unfolded and I enjoyed the development of the characters and getting to understand how Rachel Knight ticks. What I found that made me wander and loss some interested was the superficial fillings of mundane things which seemed to be written to fill the pages and not move the story forward. But the unresolved issues at the end of the book didn't sit well with me. It's like the book wasn't finished and I would have to read the next in the series to find the conclusion.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
For anyone thinking that Marcia Clark's impressive debut novel, Guilt by Association, was some kind of fluke, it wasn't. Sophomore novels are notoriously dodgy animals, and Guilt by Degrees is, if anything, stronger than Clark's debut.

Of course, the clever Ms. Clark set herself up for success. She's building on what she's already developed--namely an appealing series protagonist and a strong supporting cast. Special trials prosecutor Rachel Knight is back at the center of this case, and she's still drinking her calories and trying to steal food off of her friends' plates. "We ordered the `hush pups' and Cajun popcorn for appetizers, and I told myself I'd only order a green salad for dinner. I tell myself things like that a lot." Rachel is someone many working women can relate to.

And I thought I had a good feel for Rachel after Guilt by Association, but she's been keeping secrets. Not just from me, but from her closest friends and even Graden, the man she's been seeing. Rachel's been keeping a family tragedy a secret for decades, so when cop Graden says out of the blue, "I want to talk to you about Romy," Rachel just loses it. We get to see a new side of Rachel Knight in this novel. And that's just the "B" story!

At the center of this mystery is the murder of a homeless John Doe. The case is about to be bumped, and Rachel can't stand for this poor man to have died so anonymously, literally bleeding out on the sidewalk while pedestrians stepped over his body. It's not a pretty picture. To say that this is not one of the typical high-profile special crimes cases that Rachel normally works would be an understatement, and Rachel fears she's about to be yanked from the case, when several unexpected details finally come to light.
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