Title: Snap Judgment by Marcia Clark
Genre: Currently #3710 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank for Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime, Murder
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: To be released August 29, 2017
Source: Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley
Title and Cover: Snap Judgment – Cover covers it all
If you thought a novel by an attorney would be stale, dry, and unappealing, then look again. Yes, Snap Judgment is by “that” Marcia Clark and she has a winning title in this third of the Samantha Brinkman series.
In this novel, Samantha, better known as Sam, must come to the aid of her colleague, civil litigator Graham Hutchins. His USC freshman daughter, Alicia Hutchins, has been found with her throat slashed shortly after she tried to end a disastrous affair with a college companion, Roan Sutton. When it appears Roan retaliated by posting “revenge porn,” and is found in a suspicious suicide shortly after, the law naturally looks to Alicia’s father as a person of interest.
Sam is an independent criminal defense attorney in a very small, private office, and would like nothing better than to take on the case of the well-to-do lawyer–she could really use the bucks! I really like her scenario. The staff is composed of Michy, an old childhood chum and office manager, and Alex, an ex-client but brilliant computer hacker. His services, as well as his character is well fleshed out and enormously charismatic.
Sam has been around the block; she is a complex character and not new to the game. She has tread on some pretty thin ice between legal and maybe not so much and tends to push her luck. She’s street smart and edgy, a tireless worker, but she gets what she wants; definitely knows how to play poker.
A crime boss’s knowledge of her maneuvers leads to a sub-plot intended to force her to find a murder witness in a case involving his nephew. The witness against his nephew has disappeared and assumed taken into police protection. Involved in the sub-plot is her police detective formerly estranged father, Dale Pearson, with whom she also has managed a major coup–and far reaching reputation.
Sam manages to devote serious amounts of shoe leather talking to witnesses, gleaning facts and names, alternately managing the murder of Alicia and the syndicate boss’s nephew along with her lesser cases and court appearances.
Clark‘s years in the legal system are obvious in the way her knowledge and terminology seeps into decisions and directions of either major case. Dialogue with her office assistants is down home and real, and stays on a personal and lateral level rather than attorney to personnel. She never talks “down” to them, but seems to genuinely love and appreciate her staff. She is aware she cannot put Alex at legal risk with his recent history. Really, he’s a good guy and excellent computer nerd. Michy is just trying to keep her boss afloat and keeps on her about her “billable hours,” an assignment Sam would rather avoid.
A rather lengthy investigation follows both cases, unraveling more details but only creating more questions. You won’t see the end coming until it hits hard. Talk about twists–they are all at the end!
I’m not a huge fan of the character Sam as much as the premise itself, the thriller outside the courtroom, and the character fit. (Being a lawyer is obviously NOT glamorous.) Language, language, language, hard drinking, and many, many showers. The trend to damaged female protagonists with abuse in their histories seem to be a theme in many of the books I’ve read lately. However, I definitely enjoyed this book and would be interested in reading another in the series. (Don’t stop now, Marcia, they’re getting good!) Sam hasn’t been weakened because of her past–she’s probably wickedly stronger–in spite of it.
Ms. Clark has a wicked sense of humor–and peppers her narrative with little ditties, such as “About as much as I’d like to go skinny-dipping in a swamp” or “…this time he’d been sober as a stopwatch at a swim meet…” And yes, it’s that Marcia Clark; note her twitter addy: @thatmarciaclark. (Told you she had a sense of humor.)
I received this book in exchange for a review by Ms. Clark, Thomas & Mercer, and NetGalley, and I really enjoyed! Recommended for anyone who enjoys an intelligent mystery, thriller.
Rosepoint Publishing: 4.5 of Five Stars
The Author: Marcia Clark is a California native and the author of a number of books, including the Rachel Knight series. She joined the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office in 181 and served as prosecutor for such high-profile cases as Robert Bardo and, of course, O. J. Simpson. She co-wrote a book out of that trial titled Without a Doubt. She is a frequent commentator in shows such as Good Morning America and Oprah Winfrey. She is a legal correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. Divorced from her second husband, Gordon Clark in 1995 with whom she bore two sons, Clark now resides in Calabasas, California. Connect with Ms. Clark on her website. ©2017 Virginia Williams