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Moral Defense (Samantha Brinkman) Paperback – November 8, 2016
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month: Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense Category
“Moral Defense by former Los Angeles prosecutor Marcia Clark has it all: a hard-charging lawyer heroine, tough-as-nails cops, realistic, yet somehow lovable 'bad guys,' as well as fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants pacing and page-turning twists.” —Associated Press
“In Clark’s outstanding sequel to Blood Defense...[She] deepens her already fascinating lead, while adeptly juggling several subplots.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“This second in the Brinkman series (after Blood Defense, 2016) is a nonstop ride marked by legal and moral gray areas, with a cliff-hanger epilogue. Another Clark legal thriller that’s hard to put down.” —Booklist
“A murdered family leaves only one survivor in this second roller-coaster case for Los Angeles attorney Samantha Brinkman...[The case] builds to a rare intensity.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Clark’s formidable experience lends itself to this exhilarating novel.” —RT Book Reviews
“Riveting and suspenseful…” —CrimeSpree Magazine
“It’s a complex, tightly woven plot, and as is in the case with all of Clark’s novels, the page-turning journey—through sensitive and controversial issues—to the surprise ending is not without considerable twists and turns…” —The Big Thrill
“…you'll be thrilled with [Marcia Clark’s] second Samantha Brinkman mystery, Moral Defense, in which your assumptions as to whodunit will be wrong. This book has a complicated moral compass and an ending you don't see coming.” —Elle Magazine
Praise for Blood Defense:
“Former L.A. prosecutor Clark kicks off a promising new series with this top-notch whodunit...Clark sprinkles jaw-dropping surprises throughout and impressively pulls off a shocker that lesser writers can only envy.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“On the heels of FX’s blockbuster television series, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson...Simpson prosecutor–turned–author Clark...launches a new legal thriller series. Unlike in her well-received Rachel Knight books, which featured an L.A. prosecutor, Clark’s latest calls on her earlier career as a criminal defense attorney to fashion protagonist Samantha Brinkman. VERDICT: Clark’s deft handling of her characters through a multilevel maze of conflicts delivers an exhilarating read.” —Library Journal
“Clark, who served as a prosecutor for the trial of O. J. Simpson, clearly knows this world well. She has the most fun when she’s showing readers the world of celebrity trials, from the media circus, the courthouse crowds, the crazies, and the police to the inner workings of the trial itself. You’ll push yourself to finish the final pages just to keep pace with the defense team’s discoveries.” —Associated Press
“Once again, Marcia Clark has reinvented herself—and the results are stellar. Her knowledge of the criminal justice system is unrivaled, as is her understanding of how the media influences public opinion of high profile trials—and the actions of those involved. But the real magic of Clark’s writing is her dynamic, richly textured characters and the visceral, often gritty settings they frequent.” —Hartford Examiner
About the Author
California native Marcia Clark is the author of Blood Defense, the first book in the Samantha Brinkman series, as well as Guilt by Association, Guilt by Degrees, Killer Ambition, and The Competition—all part of the Rachel Knight series. A practicing criminal lawyer since 1979, she joined the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office in 1981, where she served as prosecutor for the trials of Robert Bardo—convicted of killing actress Rebecca Schaeffer—and, most notably, O. J. Simpson. The bestselling Without a Doubt, which she co-wrote, chronicles her work on the Simpson trial. Clark has been a frequent commentator on a variety of shows and networks, including Today, Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, and MSNBC, as well as a legal correspondent for Entertainment Tonight.
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Top Customer Reviews
Moral Defense is a well conceived and well written piece of fiction. The characters who were introduced in the first novel are a bit more mature in this one….at least it seems that way. Maybe that is because I am somewhat familiar with them. In any event, this novel is a separate work from the first one and can definitely be read as a stand-alone book. We recognize the characters and the way they respond to situational stimulus, but the storyline and the details are all new. As in the first book, the characters seem to be both understated and quite capable. Our protagonist, Samantha Brinkman, seems a bit withdrawn at times, yet willing and able to “throw down” with whomever crosses her path if the situation calls for it. She knows how the system works, she knows people in the right places, and some in the wrong places as well. She is fully invested in defending her clients and is willing to take advantage of her friends and family to do that. In short she is a pushy, bitchy, fully competent defense lawyer who finds herself in some bad situations, mostly of her own doing.
The storyline revolves around a defense lawyer (Samantha Brinkman..) who is caught up in a murder case when she is asked to act as a legal representative for a minor child who has survived the crime. Woven into the story are multiple sub-plots and supporting action that requires her attention as well. Combine all of this with a strange family dynamic and a stifling disregard for police and proper procedure, and you have a character that demands your attention. Samantha is at times both appealing and disgusting. Sometimes you want to kiss her and sometimes you want to slap her.
The supporting characters keep the story moving and believable. They make mistakes and poor choices just like all humans do. But that is part of what makes Ms. Clark such an effective storyteller. She writes her characters into situations and then allows them to expose their “humanness” by their actions. Just when you think the story is going to implode, she rescues her characters and allows them to work through the problems as the injured, hurting, faulty people they are. Because she knows the law so well, Ms. Clark is able to use it to her character’s advantage…situationally. This keeps the book believable and at the same time allows a bit of wonder to creep into the story. You are never sure of the outcome…..never.
The dialogue is very well written, to the point of being almost too realistic. And because of the raw and unfettered nature of this story, the characters appear a bit coarse at times. This is usually showcased in the nature of the language used. Coarse, raw language appears in places, but certainly not in a gratuitous way. The dialogue seems to be particularly well suited to the characters and the situations. I found it to be realistic and appropriate to the story and to the presumed adult reader. When you combine excellent dialogue with believable characters, a great story line, multi-layered plot twists, and situational awareness... you have the makings of a fine piece of fiction.
Like the first book in this series, this one is definitely worth reading. Marcia Clark has once again delivered a wonderfully complex and riveting piece of fictional crime drama. She is fast becoming one of my favorite writers in this genre.
Ms. Clark is a very good writer. It is somewhat ironic that the main character is a defense attorney! All part of the intrigue in these two books, especially when you know of Ms. Clark's claim to fame as a prosecutor for one of the most infamous trials in American history. I like her main character - she is smart, witty and somewhat "ballsy". The story line is compelling and there is lots of action and several twists to the main plot. She also develops the secondary characters well enough for you to get to know them, too. She deals with some shady characters as a defense attorney and "fractures" a few laws along the way. There is some comedic relief in the story but the main theme is somewhat dark and, unfortunately, fairly real to life. I think she did a great job in telling this story and I look forward to Book 3 of this series. Hint, hint, Marcia.
This book, however, has the characters skirting too close to the ethical line many times. Unless the ethical code in California is much different than where I practice, it is almost shocking to see an attorney write of these events. This was a distraction to me from the main story line.