Without a Doubt by Marcia Clark

Like (I suspect) many recent readers, I just finished watching the marvelous American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson. I was only eight years old when the infamous trial took place, so have no real memory of it, but the TV show sparked an interest that demanded further sustenance. Having discovered that prosecutor Marcia Clark went on to become a writer, this seemed as good a place as any to start. (I’m also a little bit in love with Sarah Paulson, but that’s really neither here nor there).

Clark’s account of the trial is both competent and highly readable. There’s a touch of legal thriller to it – there were times I could easily have believed I was actually reading one of Michael Connelly’s Mickey Haller novels. The only real sticking point comes perhaps a third of the way through, when Clark discusses the effect the publicity had on her personal life, and the trial tale is de-railed by a potted autobiography. It’s not that I wasn’t interested in her personal history, but I felt it could have been better distributed, perhaps interspersed throughout the book rather than stuck in a clump in the middle.

I’m definitely interested in further reading on the Simpson trial – I might try something by one of the defense next time (so many people involved with the case went on to write memoirs, it’s hard to know where to turn!), but I’d also like to read some of Clark’s fiction and see how it stacks up.

[Read from 23-30 April 2016]

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