Marcia Clark will present her new novel, “Blood Defense,” at a cocktails and crime event sponsored by Ladies Launch Club and Over 40 Females next Thursday evening, May 5th, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Stamford, Connecticut. Member attendance is free; non-members can purchase tickets for $37.92/each. A VIP option allows registrants to arrive early (5:00 p.m.) to spend time with the author; the cost is $59.02/ticket. Details and registration information can be found online. Copies of “Blood Defense” will be available for purchase/signing.
Today, Hartford Books Examiner reviews “Blood Defense” by Marcia Clark.
Officially due for publication on May 1st, “Blood Defense”—available now to members of Amazon Prime through the Kindle First program—marks Clark’s first book with Thomas & Mercer. (The second in this series, “Moral Defense,” is due out in November.) While a new generation has discovered Clark through actress Sarah Paulson’s nuanced portrayal of the famed prosecutor on the FX mini-series, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, seasoned genre junkies have long sung her praises. Four critically acclaimed novels featuring L.A. prosecutor Rachel Knight came first (“Guilt by Association,” “Guilt by Degrees,” “Killer Ambition,” and “The Competition”). Previously, Clark collaborated with Pulitzer Prize-winner Teresa Carpenter on her #1 New York Times bestselling trial memoir, “Without a Doubt” (1997); that title is currently available in updated audio and print editions from Graymalkin Media and also as an eBook.
As “Blood Defense” opens, readers are introduced to Samantha Brinkman—a hard-charging criminal defense attorney in need of a big case to keep her struggling practice afloat. Fortuitously, a brutal double-murder galvanizes the nation (and the media), and Samantha is tapped to represent the accused: a veteran LAPD detective. Given the notoriety of the crime—one of the victims, Chloe Monahan, is a popular actress whose rehabilitated image has earned her a legion of fans—Samantha gets plenty of face time on news outlets around the country. But public sentiment is overwhelmingly against her client, and she soon finds that offering a zealous defense may mean maneuvering outside the confines of the law.
Fortunately, Samantha is both intrepid and incorrigible. She’s also got the support of two unfailingly loyal associates; Michelle (“Miche”), her paralegal, is Samantha’s childhood BFF and keeper of secrets while Alex is a former client whose hacking skills serve him well as the firm’s “investigator.” This trio, coupled with a colorful cast of Brinkman’s acquaintances—many of whom owe her a debt of one kind or another—conspire to turn up evidence that just may cast doubt on their client’s guilt. But a stunning truth at the heart of the case threatens to derail their pursuit of justice, and also exposes deep vulnerabilities at Samantha’s core.
Unlike Rachel Knight, Samantha Brinkman is not bound by the ethical obligations of the DA’s office—and Clark, who began her illustrious career as defense counsel and currently represents the indigent on appeals, has a palpable good time in liberating herself of those constraints. Further, Samantha’s rising star, and the resulting onslaught of media attention, crackle with the authenticity of somebody who’s lived it, as does Brinkman’s soundbite savvy (Clark largely shunned the spotlight until after resigning her position as a prosecutor, but has since become a television regular). This realism, coupled with Clark’s knack for delivering jaw-droppers, makes for a page-turner that defies convention.
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. Such vivacity beautifully offsets thought-provoking social commentary, resulting in the meeting of style and substance. “Blood Defense” is an absolute delight to read; of that, there is no doubt …
Note: Thomas & Mercer provided a review copy of “Blood Defense.”