Series Review: Samantha Brinkman

*Blood Defense review originally published 2016/05/16

On occasion NetGalley will have books listed on their site that are not available to request but you can “wish for it.” The publisher/author may later decide to grant a reviewer wish.  (I am not at all sure how this decided).    I have “wished” for a few books and not really thought much about it.  I was so excited to see one of my favourite authors, Marcia Clark, had her newest book on NetGalley.  And, then I saw it was a “wish for it” item. SIIIIIIGH. Less than a week later I get an email entitled….You Wish Has Been Granted! I finally got my wish 🙂

27207654BLOOD DEFENSE (Samantha Brinkman #1) Written by Marcia Clark

MAY 1, 2016; 400 Pages (Thomas & Mercer)

Genre: legal drama, suspense, mystery

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY)

Rating: ★★★★

Samantha Brinkman is a defense attorney in Los Angeles and striving to hit the big leagues. She has a part-time gig on HLN that doesn’t pay the bills but may help her get bigger clients. Helping her along is her Gal Friday and childhood friend, Michelle and former-client-turned-new-not-legally-an-investigator, Alex.

Soon all news networks are airing the case of a popular young TV actress who is found murdered in her apartment.  Her roommate and inspiring model is also found murdered with all clues pointing to  the actress’s older boyfriend, a LAPD cop.  As all defense attorney’s vie for the high profile case, the defendant, Dale comes to Samantha to take his case.  Even after saying yes, on the urging of Michelle and their mounting bills, to taking the case Sam is not entirely sure she believes in Dale’s innocence.  As she starts to investigate the case, talk to Dale and interview witnesses she is finding that nothing in this case is straightforward.  And, if Dale is not the murderer, is the real murderer watching her?

Ever since I read Clark’s first book, Guilt by Association I have been a big fan of her legal thrillers.  They are a more stylish Grisham that has you hanging on every suspense moment and twist.  I love that Rachel Knight is so realistic and easily to relate to.  When I saw that Clark had a new book out this year, and was not a Rachel Knight book, I was a little disappointed.  And, seeing that Samantha Brinkman was to be a new series I worried over the future fate of Rachel.  I, of course, was going to read Blood Defense either way – and did enjoy this book.  I really liked that we got to see the defense side of things (as Rachel was a prosecutor) and Samantha was a likeable character.  Like in the other series, friendship is the key to making Sam successful.  Characterizations by Clark are always well done in my opinion.  What I did think lacked in this book was a romantic interest…or maybe even banter with a frenemy.  I recommend this book, and any other Marcia Clark book, to fans of legal thrillers, suspense and mystery.


29756063MORAL DEFENSE (Samantha Brinkman: #2) Written by Marcia Clark

2016; 426 Pages (Thomas & Mercer)

Genre: legal drama, suspense, mystery

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY)

Rating: ★★★★

Defense attorney, Sam Brinkman is back and finds herself with another sticky case to defend.  Her newest client, Cassie Sonnenberg, a teenager is charged with murder and attempted murder.  She is accused of stabbing both her adoptive father and brother, and savagely attacking her adoptive mother.  Her mother is clinging to life and is the only one who could clear or damn Cassie.  This case is already being aired everywhere and as accusation of sexual abuse and other secrets come out, Sam is no longer sure if she is protecting the innocent or the killer.

While I still miss Rachel Knight, I am now a fan of Sam, though I don’t always agree with her.  She is more of a flawed character and as I started this book I found myself relating to her.  I also liked the crazy plot as it could be realistic.  I will not say too much about the plot as I am always scared I am going to accidentally include a spoiler.   Like her last case, Sam is not always sure if her client is really innocent.  As she veers between providing a good defense and her own morals, I find that there is where we get to know Sam.  I would recommend this book, and series, if you enjoy legal suspense thrillers told from the defense side.




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