Saturday, July 26, 2014

Book Review: The Competition by Marcia Clark

The Competition
By Marcia Clark
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Published: July 8, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

A Columbine-style shooting at a high school in the San Fernando Valley has left a community shaken to its core. Two students are identified as the killers. Both are dead, believed to have committed a mutual suicide.

In the aftermath of the shooting, LA Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight teams up with her best girlfriend, LAPD detective Bailey Keller. As Rachel and Bailey interview students at the high school, they realize that the facts don't add up. Could it be that the 
students suspected of being the shooters are actually victims? And if so, does that mean that the real killers are still on the loose?

A dramatic leap forward in Marcia Clark's highly acclaimed Rachel Knight series, The Competition is an unforgettable story that will stay with readers long after the last page has been turned.

Book Links

My Thoughts:

Detective Bailey Keller and Prosecuting Attorney Rachel Knight are the lead investigators in a mass murder shooting at a high school. The murderers get away on this one and are determined to keep killing until they are stopped. They are out to prove they are "better" than any of the other mass murderers out there, by racking up bigger body counts.

Keller and Knight race against time to figure out what the killer's next target will be as as well trying to figure out who the killers are before they can kill again. The killer seems to know them and what they are thinking.

The Competition was an incredibly tense, suspenseful read. Starting with a high school shooting and having the suspects be high school aged youths made it even more suspenseful. These killers were extreme geniuses who were even able to fool the experts. They might even make you think twice about that quiet, loner-type student in your science class.

The Competition was an eye-opener from the investigation side too. I was amazed at how the clues can sometimes fall into place so perfectly, and be perfectly wrong! There were a lot of twists and turns and misdirection in this investigation that made it very fascinating to follow.

The story was mainly told from the first person point of view of Rachel Knight. In a few places it was told by a narrator. I thought this was an effective way of bringing the story across. I felt like I was there with Rachel and her partner, along with them on their investigation.

The slayings themselves were brutal, but the author was able to tell about them without too much gory detail, so those of you who find blood and gore distasteful will not risk losing your lunch while reading this novel. There is profanity in this novel, be prepared for it if you choose to read this book. While Rachel and Graden have an intimate relationship, the author has chosen to keep that relationship behind closed doors. It's obvious what's going to happen, we don't need it described. Some things should stay private. Thank you, Ms. Clark!

I really liked that the two main protagonists were female. These women maintain their femininity while holding tough, stereo-typically male jobs. Their dialogue was natural and suited their role.

The Competition was an excellent suspense novel that I would highly recommend to all aficionados of crime and suspense readers. I gave this novel 4 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the publishers who provided a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Marcia Clark is a former LA, California deputy district attorney, who was the lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson murder case. She wrote a bestselling nonfiction book about the trial, Without a Doubt, and is a frequent media commentator and columnist on legal issues. She lives in Los Angeles.

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