#ImWithHer (aka A Vote for Marcia Clark’s ‘Moral Defense’)

Hey, hey—it’s Election Day!

Admittedly, I don’t make a habit of talking politics here. (Or religion. Confession: books are my religion.) But I feel comfortable enough with you all that I will share this: #ImWithHer.

Before you read too much into that statement—Ha! Read. See what I did there?—know that the her I reference is … Marcia Clark.


Marcia and I decided last election that we would consider running on the same ticket. I would pursue my rightful place as Commander in Chief and she would be my VP of Fun. Meaning I’d assign her to some tropical island paradise where she could sip fruity cocktails and we’d collaboratively mandate reading for the American people.

You probably think I’m kidding, but I assure you that I’m not. We even had a slogan: Valeri & Clark: Doing It by the Book.


Alas, Marcia was too busy writing said books (and I too busy reading them) to launch a proper campaign.  And this time around was even worse. In addition to bleeding on the page at a pace of two novels per year, she’s been consumed with television projects, lawyering, and living up to the moniker of feminist icon. Oh, and being Sarah Paulson’s date to the Emmys.

It seems appropriate, though, that her newest novel, Moral Defense (Thomas & Mercer)—the second in her series featuring criminal defense attorney Samantha Brinkman—officially pubs on this day of days. (Hey, there had to be something to celebrate, right?)


But, for the first time since Marcia debuted as a crime fiction author with the sensational Guilt by Association (2011), I don’t have a review to share with you. Shame! I feel shame. The reason, though, is one that I hope you’ll find justifiable: it’s on hold for the next edition of The Strand magazine.

Since Examiner.com kicked the proverbial bucket earlier this year (and my role as the Hartford Books Examiner along with it), I’ve been lucky enough to be able to contribute to several reputable forums—and I am beyond thrilled that my first print credit will be for Marcia. While I can’t divulge the full contents of that piece just yet, I can tell you that I bestow a new title upon my would-be VP: Master. Because she’s that good.

In the meantime, she’s been getting plenty of other stellar reviews:

“In Clark’s outstanding sequel to Blood Defense … [She] deepens her already fascinating lead, while adeptly juggling several subplots.” Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“This second in the Brinkman series (after Blood Defense, 2016) is a nonstop ride marked by legal and moral gray areas, with a cliff-hanger epilogue. Another Clark legal thriller that’s hard to put down.” Booklist

“A murdered family leaves only one survivor in this second roller-coaster case for Los Angeles attorney Samantha Brinkman … [The case] builds to a rare intensity.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Clark’s formidable experience lends itself to this exhilarating novel.” —RT Book Reviews

I suppose you’ll have to take their word for it.

Finally, can I tell you just how tickled I am that I’ve gotten to watch Marcia achieve this childhood dream? Seeing her make the transition from prosecutor to author—and doing it so brilliantly, and with such conviction (double ha!)—has been one of the greatest pleasures, and truest inspirations, of my life.


And let’s face it: there had to be something moral about this Election Day. Might as well be Marcia.

Now, get thee to the poll booth—and then get thee to a bookstore …



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