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Degree of Guilt by Richard North Patterson

Degree of Guilt (1992)

by Richard North Patterson

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892139,899 (3.58)15
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lawyer + son - ex lover - claimed rape - defends her - sudden twist at end. GOOD

Mary Carelli, one of the most powerful women in TV journalism, is charged with the murder of Mark Ransom, America's most eminent novelist. Her attorney, Christopher Paget, sets out to shock the courtroom with revelations about Ransom as a twisted sexual predator. But as the trial unfolds, it is Paget who will be surprised...by Mary's secret motive for murder...by evidence that Mary is lying...by a woman prosecutor who believes Mary invented the story of rape...and by an enigmatic judge with an agenda of her own....
  christinejoseph | Jan 30, 2016 |
This was my first introduction to Richard North Patterson. The novel was in a bag of books that I was given for 'recycling'. I’m so glad that I decided I should glance over the titles before immediately passing them forward. This novel has definitely earned my praise as one of my highest recommendations / examples of legal thrillers. I haven't found as compelling a legal novel since reading Brad Meltzer’s "The Tenth Justice" or John Lescroart's "The 13th Juror” and my appreciation of the character Dismas Hardy but Christopher Paget has easily surpassed regard of Dismas Hardy.

On the author's web site various phrases or short comments are excerpted from reviews. A review from People says, "Compulsively readable… A Chinese box of a puzzler, where one mystery is penetrated only to reveal another." An excellent description as you unravel the clues of a mystery and another reveal begins. WoW! I’m off to add RNP’s other titles to my “Wish List to Read”. Would definitely like to read one (or more) of his titles during a vacation time period so I could simply enjoy the uninterrupted reading time.
( )
  Corduroy7 | Aug 6, 2014 |
loaned to pop ( )
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
I liked this book because the unravelling of the facts of the case came through questioning and evidence presneted in a pre-trial, and not by the lawyers turning into renegade investigators. The characters, particularly Mary Carelli, were complex, as were the relationships outside of the courtroom. ( )
  CarterPJ | Jun 19, 2012 |
Attorney who feel s mother of his child ( teen ) is guilty of murder defends her , meny twists but interesting. ( )
  donagiles | Apr 11, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 034538184X, Mass Market Paperback)

The core of Richard North Patterson's legal thrillers is characterization, and Degree of Guilt, the novel that relaunched his career in 1993, features two captivating individuals: Christopher Paget and Mary Carelli. Paget, the upstart hero of Patterson's 1979 Edgar-winning The Lasko Tangent, is now a sophisticated trial lawyer doing his best to raise a teenage son in San Francisco. He's a man to be admired: famous for bringing down the president in a financial scandal, he has settled into the comfortable life of a successful attorney. His life is transformed, however, when his former lover (and mother of his son), Mary Carelli, pays a visit.

The novel begins in a San Francisco hotel room as Mary, now an NBC journalist, surveys the torn landscape of author Mark Ransom's apartment. Ransom is, or was, America's most eminent writer. As she tells the police, Ransom had uncovered new recorded evidence of an affair between a long-dead starlet and a now-sainted senator (shades of Marilyn Monroe and JFK). While Ransom and Mary were listening to the tapes, she claims, he tried to rape her and she killed him in self-defense. Mary turns to Paget to defend her in what becomes a complex case of missing and conflicting evidence. Old emotions are stirred between the two just as Paget begins to doubt Mary's innocence.

The suspense of Degree of Guilt is grounded in the twists and turns of the trial at the novel's center, but just as compelling is the emerging history of Mary and Paget, and Paget's struggles to keep his son out of the media frenzy surrounding his mother's case. As well, Patterson addresses the deeper ethical questions that face many lawyers as they decide which cases to take and which evidence to use. Capturing archetypal characters and situations, Degree of Guilt becomes a parable of American law. --Patrick O'Kelley

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:50 -0400)

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As the trial of a well-known TV journalist accused of murdering a world-famous novelist unfolds, the defendant's claim to innocence becomes increasingly undermined.

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