Please note that this review spoils events from Samantha Brinkman #1
I was really intrigued by the first book in the Samantha Brinkman series. Maybe because Clark ends it with a surprising revelation that had my mouth hanging open. In Brinkman you have someone that even though they are a defense attorney, has no qualms about making sure the bad guys (even her own clients) get brought to justice.
Samantha is still dealing with the fallout of her actions in the last book. She is trying to do her best to keep a former client and somewhat friend out of trouble after the drugs she took of him come due. She is also trying to persuade another client that she does not know why his son had a mix-up that sent him off to his death while in death. While juggling this, Samantha is also dealing with a new case that involves a teenage girl who is the only one left alive after a home invasion goes wrong.
Samantha is brisk, hard as nails, and does not suffer fools lightly. She has her best friend Michelle who also works for her, and a new investigator Alex. Samantha after finding out about her mother and her real father in the last book, has cut off any interaction with her mother, but is trying her best to get to know her father, Dale.
We definitely know because of what happened to Samantha as a kid that she is still dealing with the fallout from that. There are multiple references to her nightmares and not sleeping. At least Clark has the character acknowledging that she's not 100 percent.
That said, Samantha is pure anti-hero material. I don't have much more to say than that honestly. I don't know if you can root for her because of her actions in book #1 and even her actions here. I do like the ending to the book. But the cliffhanger aspect just goes to show that Samantha is walking a dark path that is probably going to get those around her killed.
I did like the legal aspects of this book. Clark obviously knows her stuff. And she explains things to you in Samantha's voice that keep you engaged and not bored. Clark also has great commentary on women in today's world one one comment about looks really got me while reading. With everything that happened in the most recent US election, I would say yes looks/clothes did play into things. How many times did someone hear that Hillary Clinton sounded shrill or had on an ugly pantsuits?
Back to this book, the flow was good in parts, but did get a bit fouled up here and there. That's because besides the two previous cases rearing their ugly heads, Samantha has a new case, and then is asked to look into something by her father. There was seriously at least three books worth of plot happening here. It would have been fine to hold one of them off. Or at least to focus more on the new case.
Clark has the city down flat. I always thought of Los Angeles as some sparkly place, but Clark shows the underbelly and the place that regular people live, and I have to wonder why anyone stays.
As I said, the ending was a bit of a cliffhanger, and I honestly don't think I will keep reading this series. I will definitely check out Clark's work in the future though.