“I’m very excited to say that my next book, ‘Blood Defense,’ goes in a whole new direction,” Marcia Clark tells Hartford Books Examiner (HBE) exclusively. It may not be much, and yet it’s the most that she’s been able to tease about her forthcoming thriller in more than a year.
Clark—a former Deputy District Attorney for the state of California—made her debut as a novelist in 2011, with “Guilt by Association” (Mulholland Books). That title received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus; it also became a national bestseller and was nominated for a Nero (Wolfe) Award for Best American Mystery. The book introduced readers to protagonist Rachel Knight—a feisty prosecutor who busts crime with her best gal pals. Three critically acclaimed entries followed in as many years: “Guilt by Degrees” (2012), “Killer Ambition” (2013) and “The Competition” (2014). TNT optioned the property for television and even shot a pilot episode but ultimately chose not to move forward with the project. Then, things went quiet.
Finally, after an interminable silence—at least in the world of publishing—a few clues as to Clark’s intentions appeared earlier this month via a bare bones Amazon book listing for “Blood Defense” and a short article in The Tracking Board (a film industry resource). Though both items have remained largely under readers’ radar, they help to solve the mystery of Marcia Clark’s next chapter.
Clark’s new book is slated for publication on May 1, 2016. The twist? It boasts a new publisher and a new protagonist. Proposed as the first in a series, “Blood Defense” finds its author writing from the opposite side of the counsel table. Clark’s leading lady, Samantha Brinkman, is a “struggling defense attorney … who bends the rules while maintaining her own dark sense of justice, as she takes on a case that will shape her career while revealing the truth about her family” (The Tracking Board).
Or, in Clark’s own assessment, “She’s a kickass criminal defense attorney with a unique take on justice.”
Thomas & Mercer—the Mystery/Thriller/Suspense imprint of Amazon Publishing—will release the book in digital and trade paperback editions. Clark’s literary agent, Dan Conaway of Writers House, tells HBE, “One of the things that made Thomas & Mercer a good fit is their embrace of an accelerated pub(lication) schedule—they’re taking a full year to set up ‘Blood Defense,’ but the subsequent books will come out faster than the usual book-a-year cycle.”
Clark—who gained notoriety during the 1995 criminal trial of O.J. Simpson—began her career as a defense attorney before joining the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office in 1981. She was the first woman appointed to the elite Special Trials Unit and handled a number of high profile cases—including the murder of actress Rebecca Schaeffer—before prosecuting the so-called Trial of the Century. Following Simpson’s controversial acquittal, she resigned her position and co-wrote a blistering trial memoir, ‘Without A Doubt,’ that quickly rose to #1 on the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, LA Times, and Publishers Weekly bestsellers lists. Fifteen years later, she realized her dream of becoming a published author of crime fiction.
Though “Blood Defense” has yet to be bound, Marcia Clark is already hard at work on the book’s sequel—meaning that the fate of Rachel Knight and friends is a mystery best left for another day …