Daily Archives: May 16, 2011

Mulholland Books UK launches first release and it’s a fine start: Guilt by Association by Marcia Clark

Out now – just check out this enticing trailer for the book.

For some time, since seeing the logo and then some of the upcoming line-up from this exciting new imprint from Hodder Books, I have been waiting.

Everything about it looks great, great iconic logo, fantastic name which conjures up all the mystery and twists and turns of Mulholland Drive in movies, novels and real life, and then there’s the superb canon of names that have been attracted to the brand already.

Crime novelists from our shores such as Mark Billingham will now be published in the US under the Mulholland branding and in return we’ll be getting some great US authors such as Duane Swierczynski, Greg Rucka and, kicking off proceedings with a bang, Marcia Clark.

Thanks to Mulholland and Hodder, I had the pleasure of meeting Marcia Clark at their UK launch last week and her down to earth attitude and warmth just made me want to rush home and read her book.

Marcia is best known, prior to the release of this, her first novel, as lead prosecutor in the OJ Simpson trial and that fact, I must confess, filled me with a little trepidation that Guilt by Association was going to be packed to the rafters with legal language and prove a cold read.

I am so pleased to report to the jury that I was very very wrong.

Guilt by Association is a fine piece of crime fiction, fast paced, witty and a superb introduction to the central character of Deputy DA Rachel Knight.  Knight is a great character, fully rounded with her quirks and likes and dislikes, her failings and her strengths and I really enjoyed spending time with her in the first person narrative in which the novel is written.  But it’s not a single character novel by any means and features a good stock cast around Rachel, particularly with her partner in law enforcement, the equally feisty Detective Bailey Keller  – in short, both these ladies kick ass throughout the book, sometimes through their investigative skills and other times on a more physical level.

The story is that of Rachel’s inquisitive nature leading her to the gruesome discovery of one of her colleagues in a body bag, Jake Pahlmeyer found dead in a motel along with a young male prostitute, Kit, and upon further investigation her colleague is found to have an incriminating photo of Kit in his pocket.  The case is considered a murder/suicide based on the evidence found, but Rachel doesn’t accept that verdict and, whilst being given another of Jake’s cases to work, she chooses to also secretly investigate her colleague’s death off the record.

The other case she is told to work is that of the rape of Susan Densmore, a Doctor’s daughter, in the family home by an intruder.  She calls her law enforcement buddy, Bailey, in to assist her on both cases and they ride them concurrently through the book.

It’s a cast of tough cookie, wise-talking, believable and, more importantly, very likeable, characters which I’m sure will appeal to both male and female readers.

I would love to share pretzels and a martini with these ladies.

A great first novel and, no doubt, the beginning of a long and successful series.

Go get it !

Keith B Walters

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