cover image Blood Defense

Blood Defense

Marcia Clark, read by Tavia Gilbert. Brilliance Audio, , unabridged, 10 CDs, 12 hrs., $14.99 ISBN 978-1-5113-5928-3

Clark’s new Samantha “Sam” Brinkman series begins with the whip-smart, ambitious, and relatively new attorney trying to boost her reputation by taking on a high-profile, seemingly unwinnable case—the defense of LAPD Detective Dale Pearson, accused of the double murder of his ex-girlfriend, a popular TV actress, and her roommate. Sam narrates this hard-edged legal thriller, and reader Gilbert lends her a fast-paced delivery that is usually intense and aggressive, stopping just short of shrill. Her deviations include softening during personal moments with her teammates—office manager Michelle and eager novice investigator Alex, who’s a former client. The new client, Pearson, brings out a few of Sam’s other vocal shifts as the plot twists and turns, among them suspicion, caution, elation, and self-doubt. Gilbert’s version of Pearson is hard-boiled and straight-talking. Gilbert’s Michelle is friendly but sarcastic, and at times sharply critical; her Alex is sweetly naive, especially in a continuing joke involving quoting from a book of legal ethics. Some listeners may feel at the novel’s end that Sam should have paid more attention to that book. A Thomas & Mercer paperback. (May)