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Degree of guilt / Richard North Patterson.

By: Patterson, Richard North.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : St Martins Press, 2010Description: 711 pages ; 19 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780312381615(pbk).Subject(s): Trials (Murder) -- FictionGenre/Form: Detective and mystery fiction.
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Fiction Davis (Central) Library
Fiction Collection
Fiction Collection PAT Reordered - please request Unavailable T00504761
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

<p>TV journalist Mary Carelli admits that she shot and killed Mark Ransom, one of the world's most famous authors. She claims it was self-defense. She swears he tried to rape her. Now she has to prove it in a court of law--with her former lover acting as her attorney...</p> <p>Christopher Paget is one of the top lawyers in the country. But defending the mother of his son in the trial of the decade, he begins to have doubts. Is Mary telling the truth? Did she invent her story about the rape? What is she hiding? With each shocking revelation, Paget is forced to question his defense, his ethics, and the whole legal system. Because no one, not even the judge, is completely innocent. And guilt is a matter of degree...</p>

First published in 1992.


Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Former Edgar-winner Patterson (for The Lasko Tangent , Norton, 1979) offers what will surely be one of the year's best thrillers. TV journalist Mary Carelli shoots and kills famous writer Mark Ransom in his hotel room, claiming that Ransom tried to rape her. The man she asks to defend her is Christopher Paget, with whom she has had a complicated relationship: Paget is the father of Mary's son, who lives with Paget and whom Mary has not seen for eight years. Paget agrees to defend Mary to protect his son. The puzzle that lies at the heart of this courtroom thriller is the character of Mary Carelli. Is she telling the truth about Mark Ransom? What is she hiding, and who will be hurt most? Superb characterizations and intense dialog make this utterly compelling reading. Patterson also manages to offer a stinging criticism of the way female rape victims are treated by the law and the legal system. Highly recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/92.-- Dean James, Houston Acad. of Medicine/Texas Medical Ctr. Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

This absorbing but overstuffed courtroom thriller revolves around a California attorney's efforts to defend a TV newswoman who kills a famous novelist. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

A beautiful TV journalist, Mary Carelli, murders a famous novelist in his hotel room. She claims it was because of an attempted rape, and, since she is a well-known feminist and the novelist had a dubious reputation with women, her case could become a cause c{{‚}}el{{Å }}ebre. But problems surface--why did Mary close the blinds after the novelist's death, why did she take so long to call 911, and what are those strange, bloodless marks on his skin? Enter Christopher Paget, the lawyer who brought down a President, who as it happens is also Mary's estranged lover, and who has custody of their son, Carlo. His only interest in Mary is that, in defending her, he protects his son. A murky background story emerges, about a well-regarded senator's messy affair with an actress rather like--not again!--Marilyn Monroe. Subplot: Paget has a sweet assistant named Teresa, married to a lout who, after much soul-searching, she's forced to jettison. Shades of Scott Turow here, and in his layering of guilt and complex plotting Patterson does indeed rival him. His characters are less attractive and their perfect political correctness is often labored. Too long by far, but Paget's fumbling about for the meaning of fatherhood, and, oddly, Patterson's dour moralizing are appealing. Demand is assured. (Reviewed Nov. 1, 1992)0679420649John Mort

Kirkus Book Review

Finally, a courtroom drama to rival Presumed Innocent: The scandal-strewn, hugely entertaining story of what happens after a glamorous TV reporter shoots America's most famous writer in his San Francisco hotel room. As soon as the police take Mary Carelli in after her 911 call, she admits killing Mark Ransom but insists she was defending herself against a rapist who was so obsessed with the story of movie-star Laura Chase--who shot herself 20 years ago after a devastating weekend (never before made public) in which Senator James Colt and two friends repeatedly assaulted her--that he could perform sexually only to the accompaniment of an audiotape of that weekend he'd secretly obtained. Now that James Colt, Jr., is running for governor, the D.A.'s office is under pressure to keep that tape under wraps. Meanwhile, another tape of Ransom forces Mary to confront ugly secrets about her own meteoric rise through her testimony 15 years ago against Presidential staffer Jack Woods--testimony that helped Woods's subordinate, rising star Christopher Paget, bring charges of corruption that destroyed both Woods and the President (as detailed in Patterson's first novel, The Lasko Tangent). Predicting the traumatic impact of these revelations on Paget's beloved son Carlo, whom she's never acknowledged as her own, Mary pressures Paget to defend her on the murder charge. When Mary's account of sexual assault begins to unravel, she seems dead in the water--until Paget uncovers evidence that Ransom had a long history of S/M fantasies with his wife, with an actress whose credits are just like Jane Fonda's, and with a New Yorker writer, whom he assaulted in exactly the same circumstances Mary describes. But there are dozens of fireworks, both in and out of the courtroom, left to come. Juicy hints of Washington secrets, agonizing decisions about professional and family loyalties, a backstory that plugs into all your most paranoid fantasies connecting the Kennedys, Marilyn Monroe, and Watergate--and all this on top of a polished tale of courtroom intrigue. Patterson's target audience seems to be everybody who's ever read a book--and most of them will consider it money well-spent. (First printing of 250,000)