By Marcia Clark
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Publication Date: 7/8/14
Series: Rachel Knight Series
My Rating: 4 Stars
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.
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!