Killer Ambition

( 13 )

Overview

Los Angeles D.A. Rachel Knight faces down the murderously ambitious side of Hollywood in Marcia Clark's newest thriller.

When the daughter of a billionaire Hollywood director is found murdered after what appears to be a kidnapping gone wrong, Los Angeles Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight and Detective Bailey Keller find themselves at the epicenter of a combustible and high-profile court case. Then a prime suspect is revealed to be one of Hollywood's most popular and ...

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Killer Ambition

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Overview

Los Angeles D.A. Rachel Knight faces down the murderously ambitious side of Hollywood in Marcia Clark's newest thriller.

When the daughter of a billionaire Hollywood director is found murdered after what appears to be a kidnapping gone wrong, Los Angeles Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight and Detective Bailey Keller find themselves at the epicenter of a combustible and high-profile court case. Then a prime suspect is revealed to be one of Hollywood's most popular and powerful talent managers--and best friend to the victim's father. With the director vouching for the manager's innocence, the Hollywood media machine commences an all-out war designed to discredit both Rachel and her case.

Killer Ambition is at once a thrilling ride through the darker side of Tinseltown and a stunning courtroom drama with the brilliant insider's perspective that Marcia Clark is uniquely qualified to give.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rachel Knight finds her professional future on the line in former prosecutor Clark’s suspenseful and gripping third legal thriller featuring the L.A. deputy DA (after 2012’s Guilt by Degrees), the best yet in the series. Teenager Hayley Antonovich has disappeared, and her father, Russell, a blockbuster Hollywood producer, alerts the authorities only after he’s paid the million ransom without getting his child back. Hoping that Hayley can be found alive, Knight and her allies in the LAPD feverishly comb the ransom drop for clues. News that Hayley had been dating 19-year-old Brian Shandling makes the latter an obvious person of interest, but before he can be located, Hayley is found stabbed to death. Knight and her team believe they have identified the killer, but she must use every trick in her trial lawyer’s arsenal to have a hope of prevailing at trial. Clark’s own expertise enables her to realistically portray the drama and vicissitudes of a criminal prosecution. Agent: Dan Conaway, Writer’s House. (June)
Michele Leber
"Legal thrillers don't get much better than this.... Boasting a feisty protagonist, a winning supporting cast, and steadily escalating courtroom drama, KILLER AMBITION finds Clark at the top of her game."
Paula L. Woods
"A refreshing and suspenseful portrayal of high-stakes trials, criminal lawyers on both sides of the aisle and the strategies behind their every move.... Rachel and her posse of girlfriends, colleagues and their love interests are engaging enough to hope for their continued growth and success in investigations that are equal to Rachel, and author Clark's, many and formidable talents in the courtroom."
John Valeri
"KILLER AMBITION may prove to be Marcia Clark's grand triumph. Both a criminally entertaining read and an intimately informed expose of celebrity and crime, it's also the best entry yet in a young but exceptionally strong series. Readers will be left entirely exhilarated - and understandably impatient for the continued trials and tribulations of Rachel Knight, who is one of the most compelling characters to come along in recent years."
Josh Emmons
"Builds real drama out of its tabloid crime and makes Knight a likeable crusader for truth in Tinseltown."
Oline H. Cogdill
"Clark's storytelling skills take another leap with the impressive KILLER AMBITION.... [She] again proves she knows her way around a courtroom."
From the Publisher
"A refreshing and suspenseful portrayal of high-stakes trials, criminal lawyers on both sides of the aisle and the strategies behind their every move.... Rachel and her posse of girlfriends, colleagues and their love interests are engaging enough to hope for their continued growth and success in investigations that are equal to Rachel, and author Clark's, many and formidable talents in the courtroom."—Paula L. Woods, Los Angeles Times

"Suspenseful and gripping.... the best yet in the series. Clark's own expertise enables her to realistically portray the drama and vicissitudes of a criminal prosecution."—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"Legal thrillers don't get much better than this.... Boasting a feisty protagonist, a winning supporting cast, and steadily escalating courtroom drama, KILLER AMBITION finds Clark at the top of her game."—Michele Leber, Booklist (Starred Review)

"KILLER AMBITION may prove to be Marcia Clark's grand triumph. Both a criminally entertaining read and an intimately informed expose of celebrity and crime, it's also the best entry yet in a young but exceptionally strong series. Readers will be left entirely exhilarated - and understandably impatient for the continued trials and tribulations of Rachel Knight, who is one of the most compelling characters to come along in recent years."—John Valeri, examiner.com

"Builds real drama out of its tabloid crime and makes Knight a likeable crusader for truth in Tinseltown."—Josh Emmons, People (3/4 stars)

"Clark's storytelling skills take another leap with the impressive KILLER AMBITION.... [She] again proves she knows her way around a courtroom."—Oline H. Cogdill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Kirkus Reviews
An amateur kidnapping suddenly turned lethal poses a third case for Deputy District Attorney Rachel Knight, of LA's Special Crimes Unit (Guilt by Degrees, 2012, etc.). It's obvious from the get-go who snatched megabucks Hollywood producer Russell Antonovich's teenage daughter Hayley. All the evidence leads straight to her boyfriend, Brian Shandling. Pleasing complications follow anyway, though they're not so pleasing for Rachel or her friend Bailey Keller, the robbery/homicide detective who lands the case when Antonovich pays the $1 million ransom and his daughter's not returned. Item: Brian Shandling doesn't exist; the boyfriend stole his identity from a long-dead infant. Item: Hayley was almost certainly in on her own kidnapping. Item: Both Hayley and Brian have paid the ultimate price for their little plot, stabbed to death miles from the ransom drop-off point, presumably by someone who got wind of their scheme and stepped in to rewrite the rules. Doing her best to roll with each punch, Rachel follows the forensics to a new pair of suspects and has them arrested, tossing the case into court, where Murphy's Law prevails. When new evidence exonerates one of the two suspects of the actual murders, Rachel reduces the charges against him, and he promptly makes bail and disappears. Jury selection favors nasty defense attorney Terry Fisk. So do the invidious rulings of Judge Osterman. Rachel's star witness gets impeached on the stand. The most sympathetic of the jurors has to discontinue her service. Desperate, Rachel goes behind her boss's back to hire a very iffy consultant, knowing that if she loses the case, she'll get fired. Not to worry. Rachel does it all: from her fine first-half detective work to her routine, overextended courtroom duty. Next time, she'll probably be judge, jury and executioner too.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316220941
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 6/18/2013
  • Series: Rachel Knight Series
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 797,179
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Marcia Clark
Marcia Clark began practicing law as a criminal defense attorney. She became a prosecutor in the L.A. District Attorney's Office in 1981, and spent ten years in the Special Trials Unit where she handled a number of high profile cases prior to the O.J. Simpson case, including the prosecution of stalker/murderer Robert Bardo, whose conviction for the murder of actress Rebecca Schaeffer resulted in legislation that offered victims better protection from stalkers as well as increased punishment for the offenders.

Since the Simpson trial, Ms. Clark has toured the U.S. and Canada giving lectures on a variety of women's issues including domestic violence and inspirational/motivational speeches, as well as lectures on the latest high profile cases, public service careers, and of course, the Trial of the Century.

In May of 1997, her book on the Simpson case, Without a Doubt was published and quickly rose to #1 on the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, LA Times, and Publisher's Weekly bestsellers lists.

From February 1998 to 2000 Marcia was under contract as a legal analyst and expert commentator for NBC, CNBC and MSNBC. She appeared weekly as the substitute host of Geraldo Rivera's "Rivera Live," and also hosted "Equal Time" for CNBC and "Judge and Jury" for MSNBC. Marcia has appeared on the "Oprah Winfrey Show," the "Larry King Show," the "Today" show, "The Early Show," and "Good Morning America," among others, and provides legal commentary on a wide variety of cable shows such as "Anderson Cooper 360" and "Issues with Jane Velez Mitchell."

Marcia Clark (with writing partner, Catherine LePard) has sold hour-long pilots to the FX network, Lifetime, and VH1 and developed a half hour comedy for NBC. She has also developed reality projects for CBS and was an executive producer of a one hour reality pilot for CBS.

Marcia has published three novels which feature Los Angeles Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight: Guilt by Association, Guilt by Degrees, and Killer Ambition, which is due out in June 2013. TNT has optioned the books and a drama series is currently in development. Marcia is attached as an executive producer. She's currently at work on her fourth novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Marcia Clark has written a remarkable book. The mystery is pulse

    Marcia Clark has written a remarkable book. The mystery is pulse pounding. The backdrop of Hollywood is fascinating. The characters are well developed. In all, this is a remarkable book. Highly recommended.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2014

    Just ok - Not sure why the book ratings are so high

    Nothing too exciting or suspenseful. Could not really connect with the characters. For instance, saw no real relationship with main character and her boyfriend....what was the point of his character. The characters were boring and the plot predictable. Just wanted to get done reading book so I could move on to another book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A kidnapping goes wrong, and two young persons are found knifed

    A kidnapping goes wrong, and two young persons are found knifed to death. One is the teenage daughter of a popular Hollywood director; the other, the son of a writer who had accused that same father of stealing a script that started him on the road to fame. As Rachel Knight, the Special Trials prosecutor and detective Bailey Keller begin to assess physical evidence, it turns out that a top talent agent, the director’s partner and best friend, looks good for the crime.

    That is the setting for the courtroom scene, which occupies a good part of this novel. Of course the author, a former prosecutor herself, knows the ins and outs of conducting a trial, and uses her knowledge well. With much of Hollywood, and especially the father, proclaiming the accused’s innocence, the media has a field day, and the dynamic duo has a tough row to hoe. Especially with some of the artificial impediments the author places in the way of Rachel overcoming the work of the excellent defense counsel, and proving guilt beyond a shadow of doubt, since the evidence is largely circumstantial.

    While the plot is interesting, I felt that too much time was spent on side issues, like the love lives of the three main female characters, or how they need a drink because they’ve “worked” too hard. (What are they supposed to be doing? Vacationing at the taxpayer’s expense?) And the running cliché: how a cold, dry martini is refreshing after one has been subjected to 90 degree weather. Aside from such minor foibles, the story moves swiftly, and the novel is recommended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 31, 2013

    I highly recommend this book!

    It’s a fun-to-read suspense novel. Anyone who loves mysteries will love this book.
    The author, a former L.A. prosecuting attorney, writes about the law and what she knows. She enlightens the reader by clearly explaining legal decisions and courtroom strategies. At the same time, the book entertains, with characters that seem real and humorous references to Los Angeles weather.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Summer reading at best

    Simplistic, implausible, hit all of the politically correct buttons while adding nothing to the plot. Too "girly-girly", as in "my besties", among other nonsensical lines. Save your money!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    Letter

    Dear Ben,
    Camp was totally amazing don't you think?!! But I do actually have to talk to you about something that made me uncomfortable. When we were in the water and talking and laughing it was REALLY FUN but once you put your arm around my waist it kindof ruined it for me. I'm sure it took a lot of courage to do that and it did make me feel AMAZING!!!!! But I'm just not sure we should be doing that until you officially ask me out in highschool and we go on dates and stuff like that. But everything else was sooo great!!

    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2013

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    Posted July 9, 2013

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    Posted August 19, 2013

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    Posted June 8, 2014

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    Posted June 24, 2014

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    Posted June 28, 2013

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    Posted July 5, 2013

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