Title: Blood Defense
Author: Marcia Clark
” Samantha Brinkman, an ambitious, hard-charging Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, is struggling to make a name for herself and to drag her fledgling practice into the big leagues. Sam lands a high-profile double-murder case in which one of the victims is a beloved TV star—and the defendant is a decorated veteran LAPD detective. It promises to be exactly the kind of media sensation that would establish her as a heavy hitter in the world of criminal law.
Though Sam has doubts about his innocence, she and her two associates (her closest childhood friend and a brilliant ex-con) take the case. Notorious for living by her own rules—and fearlessly breaking everyone else’s—Samantha pulls out all the stops in her quest to uncover evidence that will clear the detective. But when a shocking secret at the core of the case shatters her personal world, Sam realizes that not only has her client been playing her, he might be one of the most dangerous sociopaths she’s ever encountered.”
The book starts with excerpts of different newspapers announcing the murders of a TV star, Chloe Monahan, and her roommate, Paige Auner in what the press is calling the “Canyon Killer” . They both have been stabbed to death in what the police thinks is a burglar gone wrong. Soon after a veteran homicide detective, Dale Pearson, is charged and accussed of the murders. Samantha Brinkman, a criminal defense attorney trying to make a name for helself ends up with the case. With the pressure of the press and after different lies from her new client come to light Samantha will try anything to find evidence that will clear Dale or at least sufficient to generate reasonable doubt. It follows all the process, since the detention to the preparation of the trial and the trial itself so you have a global picture of the case.
It is written from the point of view of Samantha, so you can see everything happening first hand and the way it is written makes you feel what Samantha is going through (fear, anxiety,…). She is so well defined and with a very strong personality that I can totally picture her in court as a tough lawyer. Though sometimes I find it hard to accept that she can defend criminals without remorse, but in her own words:
“I´m there to take care of society´s refuse, the one nobody wants – or ever wanted. And if I have to slash and burn to do it, so be it. When I walk into court, I am not concerned about justice, the rule of law, or making sure it´s a fair fight. Fuck fair. I´m there to protect my client. That´s where my duty begins and ends”.
At first I didn´t understand why she was like that but you can also understand her better when she explains her past, and know her mother. Another of my favorite characters is Alex, the former thief now investigator working with Samantha. He is an amateur but putting everything he has on the job and he is very good in it.
I also enjoy the writing style as is light with a lot of dialogues and just enough descriptions to keep the story moving fast without thinking that something is missing.
A great part of the book takes place during the preparation and the trial, paying special attention to the own investigation that Samantha and her associates is doing. It is very well merged onto the story all the technicalities and the legal procedure. It surprise me that a trial is more about the strategy, planning, perception and appearances that actually the law. It is how you make the public perceive your client and the story you sell that counts, and Samantha is very good using the press and giving enough to put them on her side.
I had a great time reading this book. For me it was a very tense read because when you start thinking that the story has settled on one direction, everything changes in the most unexpected way. I was having a hard time putting it down specially in the last hundred pages.
It has tension, suspense , funny, fast – paced with great dialogues and a better story behind. It is definitely a book that I recommend, as it will surprised you until the very last page.
This was one of the books I picked up in May as new releases I wanted to read, and I had the chance to read it with Netgalley in change of my honest opinion.