Friday, March 24, 2017

book journal: Moral Defense by Marcia Clark

The backstory:  Moral Defense is the second legal mystery in Marcia Clark's series featuring Samantha Brinkman, a Los Angeles defense attorney. I loved the first, Blood Defense (my review.) I also loved Clark's first series, featuring Los Angeles prosecutor Rachel Knight.

The basics: Blood Defense ended with a lot of information, and Moral Defense picks up those storylines, while featuring the murder of a father and brother, and the attempted murder of the mother. Samantha is serving as the legal advocate for Cassie, the daughter who was not harmed in the crime.

My thoughts: Moral Defense features three  storylines, each one involving a different client. Two are holdovers from the first book, while Cassie's story is new and is the primary plot. The central mystery is who killed Cassie's family. All three storylines were interesting, and Clark is so good at incorporating expected and unexpected twists. I found myself somewhat let down by the Cassie storyline, partly because the most satisfying (and unexpected) twist isn't the last one. That storyline peaked a little too soon and lost momentum. I wish it would have wrapped up a bit more quickly. Still, it was compelling and entertaining.

Meanwhile, I found the two lingering storylines chugged along for most of the novel only to peak at the end. As I finished this novel, I once again found myself eager for the next one (out in August). It's hard to talk about this novel without spoiling all or part of it, but I'll vaguely say: once again Clark drops a bomb in the closing scene that will definitely shape the next novel. Clark is pushing this series along in fascinating ways, and I'm excited to see where the storylines for Samantha and the three supporting characters go next.

Favorite passage:  "Someday, people are going to care more about what we say and do than what we look like."

The verdict: Moral Defense isn't as accomplished of a mystery as Blood Defense, but it is an entertaining and thought-provoking read. It sets the stage for Snap Judgment (out August 29, 2017) beautifully. I'll be eagerly awaiting its publication.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Length: 426 pages
Publication date: November 8, 2016
Source: Kindle owner's lending library

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Moral Defense from Amazon (Kindle edition is only $1.99), but you should really start with Blood Defense (only $1.99 for Kindle!)

Want more? Visit Marcia Clark's websitelike her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

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