The Competition by Marcia Clark is the fourth book in the Rachel Knight series. It is another great mystery/suspense book. This one is a hard book to read because of the material it covers, a school shooting. Los Angeles District Attorney Rachel Knight teams up with Los Angeles Police Department Detective Bailey Keller to try to solve the who and the why of this tragedy.
In my opinion, the author’s writing has improved with each book. In this book, there is little time spent on the extra-curricular activities of Rachel and Bailey and their friends. The book is focused on the case and what goes into solving a crime and prosecuting the guilty. In my opinion, this is a very good thing.
The characters continue to grow and develop and are very realistic. Relationships continue to build and grow and it’s great to be able to continue to follow the lives of Rachel and Bailey. There is a lot of emotion surrounding the families and friends of the victims from the shooting. And a lot of emotional turmoil for the investigators, as well. All of this made for a more realistic in-depth mystery book, in my opinion.
The suspense and tension start right at the beginning of the book and never slows down. There are so many twists and turns throughout the book that neither the investigators nor the reader are able to figure things out right away. Are the students who appear to be the assailants really victims of the shootings? Is there someone else behind the scenes that is actually responsible? This are questions that must be answered but doing that will not be an easy task. The conclusion ties up all the loose ends nicely and the outcome is very feasible and makes sense.
Don’t let the subject of school shootings scare you away from this book. This is a very delicate and emotionally charged subject, but the book takes an insightful look into it. It helps with understanding the type of personality that a person who could do this might have. It takes you through the steps for investigating and prosecuting someone who has been charged with this crime. I think it makes for an educational and very interesting read, besides being suspenseful.
I would recommend this book to all mystery/suspense fans. I think it really helped reading all of the books in order, but it is not absolutely necessary to do that.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. I would like to thank NetGalley and Mulholland Books for the opportunity to read and review this book.