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Degree Of Guilt by [Patterson, Richard North]
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Degree Of Guilt Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Length: 546 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

Amazon Review

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-defence. 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 centre, 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. Patterson also 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

Review

“A page-turner.”—"The New York Times Book Review"

“Compulsively readable.”—"People"

“One intense courtroom clash after another...An intelligent and gripping thriller.”—"The Washington Post"

“Flamboyant and entertaining.”—"The Boston Globe"

“Electrifying.”—"The Cleveland Plain Dealer"

“One of the year’s best thrillers…Superb characterizations and intense dialogue make this utterly compelling reading.”—"Library Journal"

“Absorbing.”—"Publishers Weekly"

"A page-turner."--"The New York Times Book Review"

"Compulsively readable."--"People"

"One intense courtroom clash after another...An intelligent and gripping thriller."--"The Washington Post"

"Flamboyant and entertaining."--"The Boston Globe"

"Electrifying."--"The Cleveland Plain Dealer"

"One of the year's best thrillers...Superb characterizations and intense dialogue make this utterly compelling reading."--"Library Journal"

"Absorbing."--"Publishers Weekly"

A page-turner. "The New York Times Book Review"

Compulsively readable. "People"

One intense courtroom clash after another...An intelligent and gripping thriller. "The Washington Post"

Flamboyant and entertaining. "The Boston Globe"

Electrifying. "The Cleveland Plain Dealer"

One of the year's best thrillers Superb characterizations and intense dialogue make this utterly compelling reading. "Library Journal"

Absorbing. "Publishers Weekly""


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1458 KB
  • Print Length: 546 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital; 1st edition (23 Feb. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003ARUTWO
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #86,434 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an involving courtroom thriller with sympathetic characters. I have given it four stars because I did realise what the second tape would reveal, and the length of time it took for someone to connect the dots concerning the mail box seemed unlikely. I bought it on audible and it is extremely well narrated by Alexander Adams. Will definently be reading more from this author.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book may be described as a page-turner but to me it was not. As much as I wanted to know what would happen - and believe me, how often was I not tempted to take a peep at the last chapter - there simply was too much of interest to contemplate in between.

I have never read anything with such naked, honest and detailed characterization as in this book. Not only the description of people and their essential selves, as the author puts it, but the analysis of both their actions and the reasons for them. It made me stop a lot of times, both to think and to read whole paragraphs once again. My mind demanded clarity and understanding in order to continue reading, and I believe, being prepared to fully benefit from the detailed descriptions of people and fragments of their lives.

As the synopsis tells, defence attorney Christopher Paget has taken the case of famous TV journalist, Mary Carelli, as she stands trial for the murder of America's most eminent novelist Mark Ransom. Carelli and Paget have a shared past, which the case show as being more complex than it first seems. It also threatens their future and that of their teenage son. These are the main participants but the book contains several highly interesting people who all play an important part in the outcome of the case, as well as adding to the human and moral benefit of the story.

I would recommend reading "The Lasko Tangent", the book covering Carelli's and Paget's past, before reading "Degree of Guilt", although it's not absolutely necessary. Also, after "Degree of Guilt" I strongly recommend "The Eyes of a Child", which may actually be seen as a sequel, continuing exactly where "Degree of Guilt" ends.
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Format: Paperback
Having become tired of John Grishman I have been looking for an alternative author in this genre and, in Richard North Patterson (RNP), I have found a credible author.
Christopher Paget is the protagonist with Mary Carelli, his former lover, as the accused. She is also the mother of his only son which develops into an intersting parrallel story.
The story revolves around leading novelist Mark Ransom, who Mary murders, however her plea of mitigation is that he tried to violently rape her and therefore killing him was an act of self defence.
Mary convinces Chris to defend her and as the events unfold a terrific courtroom drama develops.
The leading prosecutor is an avid feminist and would usually defend female rape victims to the hilt but here she has to put this to one side in prosecuting Mary who maintains that attempted rape was the cause of her actions.
The judge is also female and would normally be empathetic to rape victims but again she has to compromise these views in order to determine a fair and reasonable outcome.
Mark Ransom's obsession of a famous dead actress is a critical central issue and the hsitory of her death becomes a fascinating passage of this book.
Almost inevitably you sense that Chris and his female sidekick - Terri - will form some kind of relationship and Terris's husband - a real sponger/chauvanist - doesn't help matters (although his behaviour is some what of a cliche).
It moves at a fast pace and misses 5 stars (by just one!) as it is somewhat overlong and there are some predictable passges which undermine the bigger story and RNP's writing ability.
However my overall impression is one of a terrific novel and if you like courtroom dramas then I highly recommend this book.
As an aside I do find him spelling out his name in full, as he does, pretentious.
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Format: Paperback
This was my first Patterson and I read it on holiday and literally couldn't put it down. The action grips you from page one and won't let go until you know how it ends. Patterson has the gift of a natural story-teller to really make you connect with his characters in a way few current writers can. Beware though, once you enter his world you'll never want to leave.
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Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading this book over several weeks in 25 minute installments on the train to/from work and feel like I have lived with the characters and agonised over their situations. It has a similar flavour to a Grisham but I found it much more involving with very plausible characterisation in particular - these people seem real! Gradually the truth unravels throughout the book. Highly recommended - I'm off to start the sequel! I also recommend 'The Lasko Tangent' which precedes this book but not quite as much as 'Degree of Guilt'.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mary Carelli is a successful broadcaster who has been arrested for the murder of famous author Mark Ransom. Mary claims that she killed Ransom in self defence when he tried to rape her. She calls on Chris Paget, a talented lawyer, who also happens to be the father and custodial parent of their teenage son Carlo. Although Mary and Chris have a bitter relationship, Chris feels compelled to help defend Mary for the sake of their son. The weight of evidence seems stacked against Mary, and Chris has his work cut out.

This is the second in a series of books centred on this group of characters. I haven't read the first book - The Lasko Tangent - but this didn't spoil my enjoyment or understanding of this story.

The plot is gripping in its own right. But what lifted this book for me were the complex characters. Sometimes the characters in a book are so easy to relate to that you feel like you know them and can totally understand their behaviour. But in this case, most of the characters were unlike anyone I have known. This made it difficult to "read" them and figure out their motivations. So it was hard to know what they were really thinking and why they might have said/done the things they did. The effect was that I found it much harder to try and figure out the truth, which made the book that much more challenging and engaging.

The book was the most expensive kindle book I've downloaded to date (£[]), but it was well worth it. I'm now reading the Eyes of a Child which is the next in this series because I'm dying to hear more about the further trials and tribulations of these characters.
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