Book Review: Without a Doubt – Marcia Clarke

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Overnight Los Angeles prosecutor Marcia Clark went from a hard working single mum dealing with a divorce and the cases that came through for her to one of the most recognised women in the world. In June 1994 O.J Simpson was accused of the brutal murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman. As a result of the celebrity nature and an infamous car chase, Marcia was a central player in the media circus that became ‘the trial of the century’, this is her story.

I had never heard of Marcia Clark until last year when I watched the American Crime Story series on the Simpson case. I was instantly drawn to this woman, played by the magnificent Sarah Paulson, and wanted to know more. I watched interview upon interview. I liked that she spoke her mind, she was quick, intelligent and most of all, human.

Clark’s account isn’t a glamorised version of the case, nor is it an autobiography. She goes into detail that is relevant to her reactions to the case and that is that. I was exactly the straight talking, honest opinion I expected from Marcia. There are no ‘woe is me’ moments, she knows that there were things that should have been done differently and things that impacted the case.

Reading about the trial from Marcia’s perspective made the case more real to me than ever. I wasn’t even born at the time of the murders, but Marcia’s detail made me feel like I was. She talks without hesitation about her frustration and anger at the ‘dream team’, Simpson’s defence lawyers, at Judge Ito and his quest for fame and the seeming uninterest of the Jury.

The book goes through evidence and, basically, breaks down evidence and why the team did exactly what they did at each point in time. She doesn’t shy away from the problems, the Fuhrman tapes, the infamous glove, she tackles them head on.

There is also a spotlight on the mistreatment of Marcia by not only the public but those in the courtroom. It’s easy to see now that she was the victim of rampant sexism and badgering. Every inch of Marcia was judged and discussed in any type of media, from many accounts she was mistreated by Judge Ito and Simpson’s lawyers, to the point that her personal life was brought up in court. This wasn’t a woman hungry for fame or with media savvy, she just wanted to do her job.

I devoured this book via Audible (I like listening to memoirs in the author’s voice if possible). Of course, I gave it a five-star rating. This book is more than just a tell-all about a celebrity trial. You can feel through the pages the responsibility that Clark felt to get justice for Ron and Nicole, her anger and frustration at the verdict. This is an extraordinary read and I would highly recommend it to all.

 

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