Guilt by Degrees (Rachel Knight #2) by Marcia Clark
Rating: * * *
What I like…The snark: Rachel and her ‘tude are a hoot. The dialogue is reasonably believable. The story moves right along and there’s always more than meets the eye, lots of twists and turns and realizations and re-examinations of the evidence.
What I don’t like…The length: the book is 450 pages. The constant name-dropping of L.A. restaurants/eateries/bars, expensive vodkas, etc. If the book were shorter and had fewer details about lunch and drink orders, I would rate it 4 stars.
The long and short of it…I enjoy the Rachel Knight series, at least books 1 and 2 (I haven’t read the others yet). The office politics in the district attorney’s office, as well as the interplay between the police and the D.A.’s office, make for good reading, especially when enlivened by Knight’s brand of sarcastic wit.
Thank you to Mulholland Books and NetGalley for the copy I received in exchange for a review.
Shoveling Smoke by Austin Davis
Rating: * * * *
First, check out the cover of the book. Have you ever seen a more fitting picture of the stereotypical lawyer?
Now then. Texas has a reputation for doing things their own way. Apparently East Texas rural lawyers take that to the Nth degree.
To get into the swing of things, one of my favorite quotes comes very early in the book: “The man’s beard looked as if it had exploded, leaving clumps of spiky red hair scattered across his massive jaws.”
This book isn’t highly intellectual. It is highly amusing. Suspend reality (oh, please say this isn’t reality!) and enjoy the perilous ride.
Jailbird by Heather Huffman
Rating: * * * *
A young woman convicted of murdering a socially connected young man escapes from prison after 10 years behind bars and re-learns how to hope, dream, plan…live. She meets Charlie and his daughter, who help her define normal. She is reunited with relatives she hasn’t seen since her conviction. She soon learns that the family of the man she killed is close to finding her and returning her to prison. With the help of good friends and lawyer Charlie, she is able to evade capture.
Huffman writes about social justice issues, but writes them in a non-preachy, very readable style. This is the second of her books that I have read. It comes complete with the expected happily ever after, but the happiness doesn’t come without cost. Social injustices and attitudes are highlighted, but not dwelt upon ad nauseum. A little simplistic perhaps, but palatable for that very reason.