Monday, September 1, 2014

Guilt by Degrees (Rachel Knight #2) by Marica Clark

Release Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Series: Rachel Knight series, Book 2

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

L.A. prosecutor by day and investigator by night, Rachel Knight saw a number of high profile cases over the years as a part of the Special Trials Unit. When the case of a murdered homeless man nearly slipped through the cracks of the system, Rachel's fury prompted her to pick up the case. What began as a fruitless search for a killer turned into something more dangerous than she anticipated.

With her trusted circle at her side, Rachel continued to pursue the truth despite the warnings to back away from the case. She was up against a ruthless opponent who knew how to dig for dirt just as deeply as she did. Faced with danger at every turn, can she survive to bring the man's killer to justice?

Guilt by Degrees by Marcia Clark was the second book in her Rachel Knight series to be offered at NetGalley for review. In my opinion, this book seemed more like the first in a series than the original first book did. Maybe the first one was too cut-and-dry. Maybe she worked on her writing in the interim between the two books. Either way, I have to admit that this book was an improvement over the first novel.

As with the first book, the main character was Rachel Knight. She's a feisty D.A. who has her own way of doing things that weren't always by the book or without pain. Also returning for this book were her core group of friends and colleagues - Toni, co-worker in the Special Trials Unit; Baily, detective and sometimes bodyguard; Graden, newly-found love interest; and Drew, hot bartender at the hotel where Rachel lived. New characters were introduced throughout the book as well as more of Rachel's history. It seemed as though the characters had more personality and were more real in this book than the previous one because of how closely they interacted with one another. That made for a smoother ride through the story's landscape.

Much of the story followed the investigation of one case which we see in the beginning of the book. In what is fast becoming Rachel's style, it quickly became apparent that the first case was tied to one case, if not more, that led the group into a dangerous predicament. The pacing of the story was pretty steady from beginning to end, due in large part to the many sneak attacks that occur throughout the investigation. They really did leave me wondering if the particular targets were going to make it through unscathed or wind up in the morgue themselves. Action, both in the courtroom and outside the office, helped move the story along as well as reveal certain plot points instead of being mindless filler.

Because this book was such an improvement over the first one, I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I was pleasantly surprised by how well events of the first book were acknowledged without overwhelming the current story. Some of the old questions were answered but were soon replaced with new ones after some of Rachel's background was finally revealed. I'm actually a little excited to read the next book in order to find out more about Rachel and her new and equally obsessive opponent. Though it is the second in a series, the story did well enough to stand on its own. You can definitely enjoy it without reading the first book. If you are a crime thriller lover or just want a wild ride through the streets of L.A. alongside a tough-as-nails prosecutor, take a gamble on this book. It's worth a shot!

Guilt by Degrees (Rachel Knight #2) by Marcia Clark is now available at your local bookstores and online retailers in hardcover, paperback, audio-book and Kindle formats. Click the link below to see the book's page at Amazon and pick up your copy today!
Guilt by Degrees (Rachel Knight #2) by Marcia Clark

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