Moral defense A Samantha Brinkman legal thriller

Marcia Clark

Book - 2016

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Mystery fiction
Suspense fiction
Legal stories
Seattle : Thomas & Mercer [2016]
Main Author
Marcia Clark (author)
Physical Description
416 pages ; 22 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

After a shocking attack in a quiet Los Angeles suburb, leaving a father and son dead and mother clinging to life, attorney Samantha (Sam) Brinkman takes on the advocacy of the sole survivor, 15-year-old Cassie Sonnenberg. But when her mother is brought out of a coma and reacts to her daughter with horror, Cassie confesses to the murders, citing sexual abuse by her brother and father as the motive. Advocates for abuse victims are in Cassie's corner, and Sam, sexually abused by her stepfather, feels a connection. As the Sonnenberg case takes unexpected twists, Sam also faces the consequences of past actions putting a client's heroin to what she considered good use, changing the prison assignment of a convicted gang member taken according to her personal form of justice. Fortunately she has help from LAPD detective Dale Pearson (her biological father); Michelle Fusco, her office manager and best friend; and Alex Medrano, her ace investigator. This second in the Brinkman series (after Blood Defense, 2016) is a nonstop ride marked by legal and moral gray areas, with a cliff-hanger epilogue. Another Clark legal thriller that's hard to put down.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Book two in Clark's series featuring Samantha Brinkman finds the envelope-pushing L.A. defense attorney adding young Cassie Sonnenberg to her client list after the 15-year-old's father and brother die from knife wounds. The assumption is that the fatal home break-in was payback after Cassie's mother Paula, a city councilwoman who was hospitalized and remains in critical condition, helped to pass new anti-gang legislation. But Samantha soon realizes that the motives may be a bit more devious than that. Clark fills her heroine's narration with caustic wit and breezy, moderately slangy patter that reader Dawe delivers naturally and effortlessly. Samantha's bottom-line-focused office manager, Michelle, sounds properly exasperated by her boss's freewheeling and free-spending style. The forlorn Cassie's responses are whisper-soft and tentative, while another client, a scuzzy drug dealer, and a leader of a California-based drug cartel sound as if they're fairly bursting with bravado. Dawe is equally effective in finding voices for the novel's many characters who exist in the attitudinal middle ground between these two extremes. A Thomas & Mercer hardcover. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review

A murdered family leaves only one survivor in this second roller-coaster case for Los Angeles attorney Samantha Brinkman.Not content with stabbing high school senior Abel Sonnenberg to death, or maybe just surprised that a sudden case of food poisoning has sent his parents home early from their date night, someone attacks Stephen and Paula Sonnenberg as well, leaving him dead and her critically wounded. Detective Westin Emmons, of the Glendale Police, naturally takes a lively interest in Cassie Sonnenberg, the adopted 15-year-old daughter who somehow managed to survive this massacre, perhaps because she carried it out. Tiegan Donner, Cassies teacher and counselor, begs Sam to represent Cassie, who certainly needs someone in her corner, and Sam settles in to listen to the first of many stories Cassie will tell her, some of them backed up by hard evidence, others not so much. While this pot is boiling furiously, Clark cuts away repeatedly to two other cases: a request by Sams father, Dale Pearson, an LAPD cop shes already defended on murder charges (Blood Defense, 2016), to look into Julio Valenzuelas allegations that Dales fellow officer Kevin Hausch used excessive force in his arrest; and the ongoing saga of Ernesto Orozco and his son Arturo, who want Sam to identify the person who secretly arranged for Arturos brother, Ricardo, to get sent to a prison unit where rival gang members were certain to kill himnot knowing that the sneaky culprit this time was Sam herself. Cassies case, complicated by a disturbing echo of Sams own teenage years, builds to a rare intensity thats undermined every time Clark (The Competition, 2014, etc.) drops it for one of Sams other two problems, one of which seems likely to hang over her head in the sequel. Teen angst, dueling conspirators, human smugglers, cops of every moral stripe, and a lawyer heroine whose behavior ranges from the naively credulous to the downright criminal. Whatever you read legal fiction for, its here, along with quite a bit of other stuff. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.