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I am a sucker for a legal procedural thriller, especially if it's set in Los Angeles. I listened my way through Michael Connelly's Mickey Haller series ("The Lincoln Lawyer" (2005), etc.) a few months ago. I loved the sense of place, but I was annoyed by the legal mistakes I couldn't help but notice.
Maria Clark knows California law and the Los Angeles Criminal Courts, and "Killer Ambition" is great. Clark conveys the true tension of being a trial lawyer, from missing witnesses (it happens); snarky opposing counsel trying to pull a fast one with discovery and evidence (no, I don't believe you just found that important letter); the agony of jury selection (watching the other side excuse that juror you were counting on); expert witnesses that are experts only in their own minds; and a judge who might as well just sit with the other side, he's made so many (wrong) decisions in their favor. There's so much more, but i don't want to give away the story. Clark captures the tension and excitement of trial perfectly. I actually found myself yelling objections to evidence the Judge allowed in as I drove up the 5 freeway to Court. (I don't usually talk to my books, but I am a civil trial attorney and couldn't help it.)
Clark weaves downtown Los Angeles through the book -The Biltmore, Pershing Square, Engine Company No. 28 . . . She has a true love for those very real places, and it shows.
I read (on paper) Clark's other two Rachel Knight books, "Guilt by Association" (2011) and "Guilt by Degrees" (2012). I liked them well enough to want to read/listen to more, but I loved "Killer Ambition."
January LaVoy is a perfect voice for Rachel Knight. At times, though, other characters voices were a little too dramatic and high pitched.
For those of you that are wondering, yes, the author is That Marcia Clark - the legal commentator, and lead prosecutor on the OJ Simpson trial. I'm mentioning it last so it doesn't overshadow her fine storytelling.
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43 of 50 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Killer Ambition?
I have read the previous 2 Rachael Knight Books, so naturally I had this one on my wish list The main characters were back, and the story was awesome
Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?
YES... especially the last 2 chapters. I couldnt do anything at my desk @ work but sit still and listen
What about January LaVoy’s performance did you like?
everything... she is one of the best out there. i enjoy how she brings the characters to life
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
yes!! hated when it ended
Any additional comments?
I actually posted on Marcia Clarks Facebook page telling her how much i love her series and enjoyed her book. She ACTUALLY RESPONDED to my post!!! Can't wait for the next book!! June 2014
3 of 3 people found this review helpful