Friday, September 5, 2014

Killer Ambition (Rachel Knight #3) by Marcia Clark

Release Date: June 18, 2013
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Series: Rachel Knight series, Book 3

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

When Hayley Antonovich, teenage daughter of a famed and beloved director, went missing, D.D.A Rachel Knight knew the case would be tough. But this time, the case wouldn't just push her to the limits of her abilities, it tested everyone in L.A.'s Special Trials Unit and the LAPD. Each lead forced Rachel down a different avenue, bringing out revelations that were darker than the one before it.

In the midst of their investigation, grim reality revealed that they weren't dealing with a simple kidnap and ransom. Now it was murder. Trials within Hollywood were always messy, but this one was Rachel's messiest by far. Would she be able to see that justice was served? Will she be forced to admit defeat before the opening gavel?

To celebrate the release of Marcia Clark's fourth book in the Rachel Knight series, NetGalley offered all of the books for reading. Killer Ambition is the third book in the series in which Rachel Knight is the Deputy District Attorney who worked in the Special Trials Unit in Los Angeles. This story was much longer than the previous two books, but the extra pages were necessary to relay the complete story to the reader. With so many players involved in this case, whether on Rachel's side or against her, I was glad to see that the author included a little bit of "refresher" information whenever reintroducing a past character.

Nearly everyone we've met in the previous books made some sort of appearance in this particular book. With it being the biggest case of Rachel's career to-date, it was easy to see why everyone was included. There were some fresh, new faces introduced into the mix as well. It will be interesting to see how Rachel sweeps them off their feet and into her side pocket for later contact. Much of the focus in this book was split between Rachel and the family of the missing teen for the first part of the novel. For me it was easy to see how well the characters related to one another because I've read the books almost back to back. However, the characters came alive on their own enough to allow this book to be read on its own.

The story had a rocky start, both in terms of the actual events and the pacing. However, it quickly righted itself and began a steady climb, building suspense as the pacing rose. There weren't a lot of action scenes outside of the courtroom in this book. All the fireworks were seen inside the legal arena as Rachel led the prosecution team against the suspect. Since it was a high profile case, she was under a lot of scrutiny before the actual trial began. It was interesting to get a glimpse inside the mind of a prosecutor all the while not knowing exactly how the scene was going to play out in terms of the plot.

In my opinion, this book was a really good read. Not because it was an over-the-top production, but because the author played to her strengths. Sometimes when I read these types of books, I can guess where and how it will end. While reading this one, I wasn't sure because just when there was break, something pulled that victory a little further away. Was I happy with the ending? Yes and no. I know that Hollywood has a brand of justice in and of itself, but I couldn't help feeling like something slipped through the cracks. Overall, it was a good read and one that I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys crime dramas or legal thrillers.

Killer Ambition (Rachel Knight #3) by Marcia Clark can be purchased at many online retailers and wherever books are sold locally. They are currently available in hardcover, paperback, audio-book and Kindle versions. Click the link provided below to visit the Amazon page for this title.
Killer Ambition (Rachel Knight #3) by Marcia Clark

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