The Competition

The Competition

3.9 16
by Marcia Clark
     
 

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In Marcia Clark's most electrifying thriller yet, Los Angeles District Attorney Rachel Knight investigates a horrifying high school massacre.

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

Overview

In Marcia Clark's most electrifying thriller yet, Los Angeles District Attorney Rachel Knight investigates a horrifying high school massacre.

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/26/2014
What could be worse than a Columbine-style school shooting? Rachel Knight finds out in Clark’s ticking time bomb of a thriller, the fourth in her series featuring the L.A. deputy DA (after 2013’s Blind Ambition). Called to suburban Fairmont High, the scene of the crime, by best friend Bailey Keller, “a top-notch detective in the elite Robbery-Homicide Division of the LAPD,” Knight finds that her presence may be far more than a formality when forensic evidence suggests that one or more of the mass murderers might have escaped. From there, the two women embark on a pedal-to-the-metal race to solve the case before there’s another massacre, all while trying to keep their efforts under the radar to avoid spooking their quarry or panicking the public. That a lone DA/detective team would have so much autonomy in such a high-profile investigation stretches credulity, but the twisty plot and dynamic duo make for a suspenseful, if sobering, page-turner. Agent: Dan Conaway, Writers House. (July)
From the Publisher
"Clark handles sometimes painfully raw scenes with great sensitivity and skillfully works in material about what makes a mass murderer, as she ratchets up suspense to a deadly conclusion. Her fourth legal thriller featuring Knight is another tour de force."—Booklist (starred review)"

What could be worse than a Columbine- style school shooting? Rachel Knight finds out in Clark's ticking time bomb of a thriller, the fourth in her series featuring the L.A. deputy DA.... The twisty plot and dynamic duo make for a suspenseful, if sobering, page-turner."—Publishers Weekly"

With THE COMPETITION, Marcia Clark has upped the ante yet again, reaching new creative heights. Though the subject matter is both dark and disturbing, her sensitive handling of the material and the informative nature of the narrative allows the book to transcend traditional thriller fare. Pulse-pounding, poignant, and provocative, this is a story that will engage your heart and your mind. It's also proof beyond a reasonable doubt that fiction can help us to understand reality."—John Valeri, Examiner"

A real page-turner."—Mary Lignor, Suspense Magazine

Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-16
Ready for a fictionalized account of a mass shooting in a high school? Well, Clark is, though she comes a cropper in her attempt to rip another novel from headlines as painful as they are ubiquitous.At first, the massacre at Fairmont High seems to have followed a familiar script. The two masked gunmen, who started their shooting spree at a pep rally in the gym, roamed the halls, ducked into classrooms, murdered some 30 schoolmates and wounded many others, and ended up in the library, where their own bodies were found, balaclavas tossed aside, in an apparent mutual suicide. Unfortunately, the coroner tells LA Special Crimes prosecutor Rachel Knight and her buddy Detective Bailey Keller of the LAPD (Killer Ambition, 2013, etc.), the corpses weren’t actually those of the killers, who remain at large. Confronted by a murderous pair obviously inspired by the massacre at Columbine High but clearly determined to surpass it, Rachel and Bailey can think of nothing better to do than start interviewing teachers, administrators and students, angering the shocked, defensive parents of anyone they even suggest might be involved. Meanwhile, the killers take their act to other venues and write Rachel taunting letters that sound exactly like the work of a high school student. The result is to invoke the horror of Columbine and other recent mass shootings while insisting that the perps, who clearly believe they’re brilliant, come across as merely narcissistic, immature and hateful. Nor does it speak very highly of Rachel and Bailey that every suspect they think might be one of the shooters promptly ends up dead-end dead.An all-too-timely tale that makes you long for the day it’ll be outdated. Just the thing for readers whose appetites for stories of mass shootings haven’t been sated by the daily news.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316220989
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
07/08/2014
Series:
A Rachel Knight Novel
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
6,523
File size:
736 KB

Meet the Author

Marcia Clark is the author of Guilt by Association, Guilt by Degrees, and Killer Ambition. A former prosecutor for the State of California, she is now a frequent media commentator on legal issues. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

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The Competition 3.9 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Poorly written; unoriginal; silly dilogue between 2 supposedly professional members of law enforcement -- Marcia, you did a disservice to females in your own field
PowerMacMan More than 1 year ago
The Competition grabs you on page one. School shootings don't lend themselves to much levity, and Ms. Clark has wisely toned it down. She hasn't removed it all, but you don't get the constant joking and fooling around among the three female friends. In fact, Toni is nearly absent from this book. There is still a bit of the back and forth jabs and comments from LA Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight and LAPD detective Bailey Keller, who team up once again to try to figure out their most puzzling and horrible case yet. They have to find out who is behind these mass killings, because one of the killers has written a letter to Rachel saying that he won't stop until she catches him. This fourth book in the Rachel Knight series is Ms. Clark's best effort yet. She keeps the same great dialog and authentic descriptions, but steps up the intensity. This has been a very fun trip, starting the series with book one, Guilt by Association, and then continuing reading in order, finishing up with Ms. Clark's newest book. I strongly recommend that you do the same, but if you want to jump in here, reading The Competition, and then go back and start at the beginning, it would work. There aren't too many spoilers in this book, and it doesn't rely on your knowledge of the previous stories, but the other three should be read in order. Having experienced the whole series so far, I must say that I think that nearly any reader who enjoys mystery stories will really like this series. There isn't any foul language or graphic violence that may put off some readers, and there is humor and interesting interaction between the characters, who are more round than flat. The stories are engaging and interesting, and so far, not at all repetitive. As long as you don't mind books with nearly all female main characters, I think you will enjoy this series. I give The Competition 5 Stars out of 5, and a Big Thumbs Up! Read it, you will enjoy it, and then make sure you read the first three books too. I received this eBook for free from NetGalley.
bookluvr35SL More than 1 year ago
This book is very fast-paced with lots of action and suspense.  It will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. 
JennMcLean More than 1 year ago
I'm reading a new author with a great new series out and you're never gonna guess who  the author is. Ok, yes, her name is in the title, but do you actually know who she is?? She's that Marcia Clark. Yep. The one who prosecuted O.J. Simpson. Holy Cow. I KNOW! That's what I thought when I found out. She can write? Cool! Let me tell you, THIS WOMAN CAN WRITE. I don't think I've made myself clear yet, so let me get all dramatic on you. Marcia Clark is the best new author I have ever come across. Really. For Serious. No Kidding. I've read two of her books, the first of the series ("Guilt By Association") and the fourth, "The Competition" and I can truthfully tell you I have never come across an author who writes so tightly and without superfluous details. Ms. Clark's writing is a joy to read. One never tires of detail or thinks can't she speed this process up? It's all just a supreme pleasure, every well placed word and well turned phrase. I know I'm getting all mushy about this author but I can't get over just what a spectacular writer she is. I've been a book hound for many years, since grade school actually. I have some especially beloved authors on my booklist so I am shocked to find someone even more accomplished than my favorites. So many authors, even the Gods like Robert Heinlein usually could use some strategic editing. There's always extra paragraphs that probably should have been cut before publishing but weren't. There's none of that with Marcia Clark's books. It's awesome to read and not get perturbed. I sailed through both books and have started the third. Let me give you a little synopsis of "The Competition", it just might be your next summer read.  "The Competition" opens with a horrific scene. There has been a school shooting, many students and teachers are dead or wounded. There is chaos and carnage at this San Fernando Valley High School and our heroine, Rachel Knight gets the call along with her bestie L.A.P.D. Detective Bailey Keller to attend the scene and head up the investigation  into just what happened. Rachel Knight is the highly intelligent assistant district attorney for Los Angeles and is part of the "Special Trials" unit, the most prestigious section of the District Attorneys office. In the wake of mass shootings like Columbine and SandyHook, this book gives intimate detail into what it must be like for the investigators. What were the killers thinking, why the penchant to kill? How do you investigate such an emotionally wrenching incident without further traumatizing the survivors? As I said above, Marcia Clark is a most excellent author. This series starring Rachel Knight has four books in it so far. The latest book, "The Competition" is released to the reading public tomorrow, July 8. All her books stand alone as terrific mysteries but they are even better as a series. I recommend reading them all, they're just so well worth the time. Obviously Five stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
acorley84 More than 1 year ago
GRIPPING...SUSPENSEFUL...THOUGHT PROVOKING MUST-READ! In the past, I mentioned that with each book, I had a harder time figuring out which story I liked best, but I think that The Competition was, HANDS DOWN, my favorite title of the entire series!!!! I am devastated to think that Marcia Clark may end with the series here! I think that she has such a great thing going with this series and I certainly hope that this isn't the end for Rachel Knight and her crew! It's not very often that you find a series, that you enjoy the entire cast of main characters, but this is the case for this series! Each character brings so much to the table, and it's purely pleasurable to be able to continue to learn about them and grow with them as characters. Marcia Clark has taken a very controversial subject and turned it into a stellar story! She created many different twists and turns, that kept you guessing clear into the end, who was to blame for all the chaos! I think as a former Prosecutor, that Clark has a unique opportunity to share the best of all worlds in mystery writing, and I think she uses her knowledge exceptionally! I also love that she provides explanations for things that normal people might not know the meaning of. I really hope to see more in the Rachel Knight series, and hope to find more from Marcia Clark coming out very soon! She is a top-notch author, who has really found her niche in writing and is carving out a spot for herself as a top writer in the legal stories/mystery genre! PLEASE COME BACK WITH MORE RACHEL KNIGHT! I CAN'T BARE TO THINK THAT THIS IS THE END FOR HER!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept me excited, thanks.
LilMissBookmark More than 1 year ago
I first started this book about two months ago. I just finished it. I think that says a lot. When I first started The Competition, I was really excited because of who the author was ... I figured that she would have an interesting take on pretty much everything since she's been in the trenches with this type of thing. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book for about the first quarter. After that, all bets were off. And so was my concentration and patience with this novel. Here's the deal. I haven't read any other novels from this series and maybe that's why I had issues with this. There are about a bazillion characters that you have to keep track of ... you have lawyers and detectives and cops and judges and crime scene investigators and the ME and on and on and on. That's just the people investigating stuff. That's not to mention the school full of kids that you also have to keep track of and remember who is friends with whom and what they do in their spare time, what their cousin's best friend's neighbor's dog likes for a snack. This book was just so detailed that you really lost the magic. It was just too much. I had to actually go through and highlight in my book when a new character made their first appearance so that I could keep track of who in the hell everyone was. After about halfway through the book, I just gave up on that and every character was new to me and I had no idea who was who. The storyline was also nothing that I was expecting. I thought the pages would be filled with intrigue and massive revelations and set backs and big surprises but it wasn't. It was a bit predictable and that isn't really fun to read. I'm okay with having hunches, that is what makes reading so much fun! Wondering who did what is why I love mysteries. Or even when the author makes it apparent who did it and you have to see the journey to catch them ... that's great also. That is a far cry from knowing who did it and just experiencing the characters knowing who did it and then it reading like it's all a surprise isn't fun. That probably didn't make sense at all if you haven't read this. Well, my curiosity has been stomped out. I know what a big-time defense attorney's writing style is like and it's not for me. But it's received pretty high ratings, so you might give it a try. Oh, and FYI, don't get too attached to what you think are main characters, you'll just be floored and disappointed. And pretty quickly.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
An essential element of a crime novel is the inclusion of a red herring or two to keep the reader guessing. Well, in this latest Rachel Knight caper, there are a lot more than that, as the plot twists and turns toward completion. The story begins with two males shooting automatic weapons at a high school audience at a pep rally, killing and wounding many in a Columbine-like massacre. And that’s the beginning of what appears to be a competition with other similar events in an effort to outdo the most famous perpetrators of similar bloodbaths. At first, it seems that two students from the San Fernando school are the culprits, and assistant DA Rachel Knight and her buddy, Detective Bailey Keller, pursue the two. But things are never what they seem, and their attention is continually turned to a never-ending series of new possibilities. It becomes quite a chase as the two try to find the killers and prevent further slaughters as the perpetrators attempt to set new records compared to past performances. To this reader, at least, the plot tended to drag as new suspects were continually erupting to lengthen the plot. But it remains an interesting tale, and is recommended.
dianevit More than 1 year ago
The book was great from beginning to the end. Another good read from Marcia Clark.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CozyCornerNCafe More than 1 year ago
'The Competition – A Rachel Knight Novel' is an entertaining summer read that kept me on my toes.  In the wake of a school shooting Knight and Keller join together to solve the how’s and why’s of this tragic crime.  I personally love mysteries that feature a female heroine and The Competition features two clever, resourceful and witty women.  A lead detective and a prosecutor, this team knows how to solve crimes and insure that criminals won’t get off on a technicality.  The criminals are well developed and researched, making the crimes believable, and the villains truly hideous. Full of suspense, twists, turns and a little bit of romance, this quick read will not disappoint. 
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
A special thank you to Mulholland Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. THE COMPETITION, (Rachel Knight #4), by Marcia Clark was my first book by this author, and most definitely will not be my last, as currently going back to read the others in the Rachel Knight Series! The novel opens with the story of Chris Shilling, a girl whose dream was to be a cheerleader. She worked so hard to be on the team with practicing, losing weight and sweating out the trials—an average girl who pursued a dream and then something horrible happens to her in the gym during the pep rally. On a regular day which turns into a Fairmont High School shooting, in San Fernando Valley LA— a devastating massacre, which took the lives of eight-four wounded, and thirty-three dead, and counting—making it one of the worst school shootings since the thirty-three killed at Virginia Tech (University). As far as high school shootings, it was worse than Columbine or Sandy Hook. This of course, is what the killer (s) wanted. To be the best—to prove they were better, so they exceeded the body count and managed to escape. Two snipers, with ski masks—taking no mercy. A Competition. Rachel Knight, Special Trials, DA’s office is called in to oversee the investigation. Rachel teams up with her best girlfriend, LAPD detective Bailey Keller, neither one caring for the limelight. As things get personal, Rachel begins to receive letters from the killer sent in care of the school to warn her of more to come and challenge her. They have little to go on, and begin asking students to tell them if they’ve heard any talk about feelings of persecution and plans for revenge. As sometimes with this type of pathology, they often vent to others, and may even demand an audience. With help from many psychologists trying to get into the minds of the potential killers, as studies indicate sometimes these mass shooters are a heterogeneous group, coming in all stripes with certain markers showing up with some consistence. What goes on in the minds of these killers? What about the parents—did they miss the warning signs? However, the facts of the investigation do not add up, and when you think you know the identity of the killer, turns out wrong, so the suspense continues to build and the mystery heats up as they are in a race against time before the next hit. If you enjoy the psychological aspect, you will be pulled into the drama with twist and turns. Loved the strong women characters and their wit and their off duty time with the guys (and who would not want to live at The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, which I love)! THE COMPETITION offers reflection on the good versus evil and the strength of the parents, and the selfless forgiveness and determination to help prevent others from suffering the same tragedy. This book can be read as a standalone; however, if you are like myself, you will be intrigued –to go back and read the previous books. Fans of Lis Wiehl will enjoy Clark’s style, and this riveting thriller. With Clark’s background--a former LA, California deputy district attorney, who was the lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson murder case and a frequent media commentator and columnist on legal issues—she knows her stuff and is reflective throughout THE COMPETITION!
MargieS1 More than 1 year ago
Given To Me For An Honest Review The Competition by Marcia Clark is the 4th Book in the series. Although it is part of a series and it would be good to  read the previous books in this series, all of the books can be read as stand alones. This book has twists and turns and its hard to put down once you begin it. As you read it, you will begin to feel as though you are being pulled in and  become a part of the story. It is fast paced and full of surprises. If you like to read suspense, mysteries and thrillers  then this book is for you. I recommend this for everyone. I look for more from Marcia Clark.
BarbaraLyn More than 1 year ago
This is the 2nd book I have read of Los Angeles District Attorney (Special Trials prosecutor) Rachel Knight and LAPD detective Bailey Keller. This story comes alive as it is written about school shooting which is very much in our real news stories today. It is a long book and every time the two gals thinks they have a handle on “who done it”, something changes and they find out they are still looking for the real mastermind. It begins with a shooting during an assembly in a high school. They are immediately on the job trying to stop this murdering before it can happen again. The author describes the interviewing process, the long days and nights the police detectives and attorneys put in to figure out where the killers are. The story also contains a bit of the life other than the killings such as who is dating who and what they like to drink when they do get a chance to unwind. I do love the fact that Rachel is not a morning person (I can so relate!) and that she permanently lives in a hotel. I did figure out who was the mastermind about a chapter or two before the story actually said it. If you are a mystery/police procedural reader, I would recommend you get a copy of this book. Be prepared to have late night reading sessions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good