The Competition by Marcia Clark

The Competition by Marcia Clark

Genre: Mystery/ Suspense
Series: #4 in the Rachel Knight series
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 416
Source: copy provided by publisher

The Short Version:
Opening with a Columbine style High School shooting this quickly turns into a matter of trying to prevent something worse.

Why I Read It:
The Rachel Knight series is one of my favorites and I’ve become a fan of Marcial Clark’s thrillers.

The Book:
From the publisher:

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?

My Thoughts:
Rachel Knight is a prosecutor with the Special Trials unit. This allows her to be involved in the potentially high profile or complex cases from the very beginning. For that reason she’s involved from the beginning and investigating this with her friend Detective Bailey Keller.

This one is a tough read because of the horrifying nature of the crime and the reinforcement over and over that it’s so difficult to see ahead of time that any individual might be capable of such a thing. The idea that someone would take the well known mass shootings as something to outdo as a form of competition is truly frightening and not all that out of the realm of possibility.

Clark does a good job of balancing the police investigation, the concerns of not hampering the potential prosecution if the perpetrators are apprehended alive and the consultations with psychologists to try to profile the killers and to evaluate the possible suspects. As the investigation runs into one dead end after another the exhaustion and desperation of Rachel and Bailey is well portrayed. I felt their exhaustion just reading about their non-stop efforts.

This is a good series and while my preference is to read series books in order these could easily be read as standalones.

4 starsRating 4/5