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Degree of Guilt Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook


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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Abridged edition (May 15 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553702262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553702262
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 17.7 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 95 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,979,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This big courtroom thriller, which comes garlanded with hefty foreign sales and a huge first printing, is being touted as the best of its kind since Scott Turow's fiction debut. It does not survive such a comparison well, having none of the density, psychological acuity or sense of place and character of Turow's two bestsellers. It is an agreeable, overstuffed and creakily plotted but absorbing piece of work that passes the time well enough and leaves no aftertaste whatsoever. The hero is Christopher Paget, who had an affair with TV newswoman Mary Carelli many years ago when both were involved in a Washington scandal; he is now an ace defense attorney in San Francisco. Carelli has killed obnoxious, world-famous novelist Mark Ransom in a hotel room, claiming that he tried to rape her. Can Paget defend her, in view of their shared past, and the fact that she seems to be the mother of his only son? And why is so much of what she says about the would-be rape so plainly untrue? Patterson takes more than 500 pages--including often skillfully handled court scenes before a nicely characterized woman judge, and the discoveries of a lot of highly emotional old tapes, all involving the same Beverly Hills psychiatrist with several principal characters--before the issue is resolved. Along the way there are subplots galore, involving an evil Kennedy-type senator with a Monroe look-alike ; a tragic lesbian movie queen ; Paget's pretty assistant's unhappy home life ; a shamelessly hokey climactic basketball game ; and ultimate political skulduggery by the DA. Patterson does his best to keep it all moving, and some court scenes tingle. But the characters, and many situations, are pure California cardboard. 250,000 first printing; BOMC main selection.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Vikram Ramanathan on March 5 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fantastic!!!!. This book is going to go into my top 100 paperback reads of my life. I mean this is a book that has a basic plot which is kind of steered in such a manner to make it really look more complicated. The beauty of the book is the mixing of the flashbacks with the present. I mean few authors given this basic plot line could have told a story which is pushed forward by such amount of sheer relentless tension and suspense for over 500 odd pages. Mr paget is a attorney acting as defence for an alleged murderer who happens to be his divorced wife who in turn claims that she shot the man she is accused of killing in self defence in the process of avoiding getting raped. The whole book unravels chapter by chapter where Mr Paget and ourselves dont know whether to believe the story of the accused story or the evidence of the prosecutor. Evidence doesnt support the theory of the defendant and we keep hurtling through the pages as Mr paget battles it out in the courtroom trying to convince the court that there isnt full and incontrovertible evidence pointing to his clients guilt. The twists and turns, the lies and deception will thrill you and the emotional aspect of the book has been delt superbly. This book is legal drama thriller interspersed with emotional family drama. Enjoy...
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By Michael Butts on March 5 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As I continue to read Mr. Patterson's books, I am in awe at this man's brilliance and writing skills. "Degree of Guilt" is an awesome book, filled with labrynthine plottings, excellently developed characters, and competent legal derring-do. As in all of Patterson's books, we find characters that are far from perfect, and whose personal secrets and disappointments can be both heartwrenching and disturbing. Unfortunately, I read "Eyes of a Child" which was written after this, so I knew some of what was going on with Mary and Paget and with Teresa and Richie. Patterson's development of the tension between Terri and her worthless husband is chilling; with no resolution truly in this book, one can find out what happens in "Eyes of a Child," but you would do best to read this one first.
Anyway, we know from the beginning that Mary Carelli murdered Mark Ransome, but why and what is all the intriguing things that Mary has done that she won't share with Paget? Patterson brilliantly unfolds a scenario that takes us back into Chris and Mary's past; and how Terri and Chris become the best of friends and more so. It's a great book, I don't want to go into too many plot details, but trust me, this one is a real winner!
HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The way I came to try a Richard North Patterson book is perhaps odd to some, perhaps not. I was reading the Stephen King book covered a few weeks back and his main character was a writer. In the book, more than a few titles and authors were mentioned, as was the author of this week's "Degree of Guilt." If one of my favorite authors admires a writer, guess it follows in my mind that I'll enjoy reading that writer too. In this case, I was right!
A writer with the mind of an attorney, Richard North Patterson conveys the courtroom environment very well, from the witness chair to the opposing side's tables and everyone seated in and at them. This novel, "Degree of Guilt" brings a female character, Mary Carelli, to the forefront who is very hard to like. She does indeed kill a man, and the degree of guilt is exactly what the book is about. Great title choice! The male characters are much more interesting and very, very easy to like.
From the beginning to the end, the relationship between the male protagonist, Chris Paget (an attorney for the defendant) and his son, Carlo, is evidenced by humor and love and a certain care placed around both elements. A pleasure to read, and to get to know them both.
Several topics are covered in this novel -- rape, murder, and self defense are the primary ones that move the plot smoothly along the pages. A determined prosecutor and interesting judge also add to the strength of the novel.
Overall, I'm not sure I'll read this one again, but for some escapism into the world of a one parent family and the legal system, it's just fine.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
My first outing with Richard North Patterson, and still ranks as one of my favorite of the genre. Once you get into it, and I understand this great story isn't a locomotive with no brakes at the beginning...but BELIEVE ME, it DOES get there. Our characters are likeable, but not without their faults. Christopher Paget is called to defend his former 'girlfriend' and Mother to his son in a murder charge which has just a ton of evidence that SHOWS us that she actually DID it...but if you are a reader of legal-thrillers, you KNOW that what the author wants you to know about and what actually happens at the end of the book are two entirely different things, right? 'Degree of Guilt' is NO exception here. Everything ISN'T as it seems--at first. But even as new evidence is unearthed that helps the defendant, she STILL looks guilty. IS she? I'm gonna let you find out the answer for that one yourself. 'Degree of Guilt' has some of THE BEST courtroom scenes I've read to date. It's obvious that Mr. Patterson was an honest-to-goodness lawyer, and he uses his skills very well here. I'll warn you of a BIG bombshell that Mary reveals to Christopher that kinda took me by surprise, it doesn't affect the outcome of the trial, but let's just say it gives the story a different twist. Also, this novel is a great lead-in for Patterson's next FANTASTIC courtroom whodunnit: 'Eyes Of A Child' a partial sequel to this book, and in MY opinion even BETTER. Legal thrillers can be some of the most compelling books out there, because let's face it: NOTHING could be more dramatic than one person fighting for their life in a murder trial. Patterson truly IS one of the better writers of this particular genre out there and 'Degree of Guilt' is one of his very best books. VERY worthwhile.
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