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Eyes of a Child [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Richard North Patterson , Ken Howard
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 29 2003
Ricardo Arias is found dead, the gun still wedged in his mouth. It looks like suicide, but the physical evidence strongly suggests murder. The police investigation uncovers an estranged wife, Terri Peralta; an ugly custody battle over their six-year-old daughter, Elena; heated charges of child abuse; and a murder suspect: San Francisco defense attorney Christopher Paget.

Paget has motive--it's his son accused of abusing Elena, his political plans for the future put at risk by the dead man's accusations, and his alibi that is dangerously threadbare.

And the shocking revelations that threaten to explode in the courtroom may remain hidden forever...by Chris Paget's refusal to testify on his own behalf...by Elena's tangled loyalties...and by dark secrets that some desperately wish to keep silent....


From the Paperback edition.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Patterson has recycled some of the characters and one of the subplots from last year's hit, Degree of Guilt, into a new novel that can still be enjoyed without knowledge of the previous one. Young Latina lawyer Teresa Peralta, aide and lover to Degree hero Christopher Paget, is fighting to get away from creepy husband Richie Arias and take daughter Elena with her, when Richie is found dead, in what looks like murder disguised as suicide. Paget is the prime suspect, and most of the book is a detailed account of his trial. It's obvious he knows more about Arias's death than he's willing to tell, to the frustration of his brilliant defense lawyer (she was the judge in Degree). Local San Francisco politics and an accusation of child molestation against Paget's teenage son contribute to this complex brew, in which, as before, narrative skill and legal know-how take precedence over characterization and credibility. The court scenes are absorbing, covering such issues as jury selection, and the lawyerly give-and-take is convincing, but the romantic interludes fail to take wing (Paget remains a cipher throughout). Any seasoned reader will spot the murderer quite early. Still, it's a long, luxuriant read that is also refreshingly free of gratuitous violence. 250,000 first printing; author tour; Literary Guild selection; simultaneous release in large-print edition and as Random House Audiobook.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Lawyer Patterson's bloated sequel to his best-selling courtroom novel, Degree of Guilt (LJ 12/92), is already slated for television. His new work could have been cut in half by any diligent editor-30 pages of jury selection, for instance, is enough to glaze the eyes of the most dedicated crime reader. The intense dialog and plot, however, will grab fans of Scott Turow and John Grisham, and Patterson gives readers a convincing look at San Francisco's corrupt politics. The plot concerns the death of ne'er-do-well Ricardo Arias, who may or may not have committed suicide. Because of the widely publicized custody battle waged with Arias by his ex-wife and her lover, Christopher Paget (hero of Degree of Guilt), both are investigated and Paget indicted. The author's deeply felt antiviolence theme is smoothly integrated into the narrative. Expect demand.
--Joyce Smothers, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, N.J.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful but one dimensional Jan. 27 2004
Format:Audio CD
this was my first North Paterson audio book and while I was pulled into the story I felt after it was over that it left a bad taste in my mouth. As another reviewer stated here Chris Paget and his lover/associate Terri are just too smug for my liking. The no can do any wrong couple that supposedly sacrifices much to put things right. I do confess that Terri's ex husband Richie was one of the worst scum to ever grace the pages of fiction literature his opposites however were too self righteous for my taste. In fact the only character which was three dimensional was Elena the little girl and perhaps even Rosa Terri's mother. The story does grip you and you want to finish the book if only to find out what happens at the end but in the end you will not admire the main characters much when you have finished. The sex abuse angle was interesting though I could not believe Terri was so stupid not to notice it from the start. Chris's son Carlos was annoying to no end and the political side plot was a complete yawn. I have one more North Patterson book that I purchased, "No safe Place," I hope that one will be suspenseful without presenting such black and white characters as there were in this one. This book contains three CDs and is narrated by Ken Howard. He does a good job but his female voices could be improved upon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars STUNNING WORK Feb. 21 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is only my second RN Patterson book, but wow, what a find! I can't wait to go back and get them all.
"Eyes of a Child" is one heck of a story, that grips you right from its chilling opening until it's shattering finale.
The characterizations are richly drawn and extremely credible. Patterson's way with setting up compelling dramatic scenes is amazing. There's one long scene in the book where Terri and her mother Rosa finally discuss why Rosa stayed with the abusive husband. It's forthright, somber, believable and sad, as well. Patterson does this kind of great work in other scenes, too, including the one where Terri comes to find out her daughter, Elena's, horrifying "secret."
Christopher Paget is a noble hero, and I didn't realize he has been featured in other novels, so I was beginning to think he was the murderer. His trip to the Goodwill is one factor; the "journal" is another.
All of the characters are brilliantly conceived: the evil and despicable Richie, whose death seems more than justified; Paget's teen-age son, Carlo, trapped in those waning years between adolescence and adulthood; Rosa, the mother, is compelling and one can't help but sympathize with her; Caroline Masters, Paget's defense, who is a brilliant lawyer and seems to be a true friend as well.
There are no easy answers in this well-crafted novel and our heroes do some foolish things, but it chronicles the tragedy of what happens when a child is placed in a "used" position, and how sometimes even love isn't enough.
EXCELLENT!
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A mystery that is not a whodunit. Dec 10 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you have any experience at all reading the whodunit type of mystery story, you will know within the first two chapters who the murderer is in this story. If that's all you care about, you'll be tempted to stop. My advice? DON'T !!!
Eyes of a Child is one of the best mystery novels I have ever read, and I picked it up by accident, thinking it was by another author. Lucky accident! The story is told largely through the eyes of Teresa Peralta, a young hispanic legal assistant in San Francisco, whose husband of six years, Richie, is murdered just before she leaves to go to Venice with her boss and lover, Christopher Paget, a major character carried over from a previous Patterson novel. We know Chris can't possibly be the murderer, because he's the good guy in the previous book, so we're left with only one possible suspect-- so there's no mystery at all about 'whodunit.' In spite of that, the book is a terrific mystery-- not about who, but about how and why.
The 'victim' is a slimeball of major proportions. He's killed in the first few pages. Then, through flashbacks, we're taken through the last few months before his demise. By the time he finally gets what's coming to him, we're ready to go to SanFran and kill him ourselves!
The dramatic insensity picks up when Christopher is arrested and tried for the murder. We know he didn't do it, but his efforts to prove his innocence in the face of many facts that make him look guilty provides the terrific suspense. The outcome is unexpected and exciting.
But I'm missing the main point here: This is no ordinary mystery story, and the plot pales in comparison to some other issues. These are 'real' people. We care about them. We care what happens to them.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost a 5 April 11 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a very good, interesting and smart legal thriller. He has also got a very good mystery built in. The story line is very good with enough sub plots and interesting characters to keep it interesting through out the book. You keep asking yourself, who did it? The inter character dialogue is also a part of the book that keeps your interest. He writes a deeper book then many of the others out there in this filed so it is a book you need to pay attention too.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping to say the least.
Once I picked up this book it was impossible to put down. The characters become so real. Patterson makes the characters members of the family. Read more
Published on March 21 2002 by Esther Lynn
5.0 out of 5 stars LEGAL THRILLER by rnp
RNPATTERSON WRITES BOOKS YOU JUST DON'T WANT TO PUT DOWN. THE CHARACTERS ARE WELL DEVELOPED AND I FOUND MYSELF HATING RICKY BUT LOVING THE OTHERS, EXCEPT CHRIS. Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2002 by G. Bowser
4.0 out of 5 stars eyes of a child
this is a awesome book it talks about a divorce of two parents and a girl called elena that is caught between the fight for her. Read more
Published on May 18 2001 by Andres
5.0 out of 5 stars Consistently Excellent
I'm a great fan of Mr. RN Patterson and was not disapppointed with this one. Would recommend any of his legal mystery novels to anyone who likes a well written creative story.
Published on March 26 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS BY RNP
this was my first book by richard north patterson (rnp) which was kind of a mistake. little did i know that there were two books before this one about christopher paget, mary... Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2001 by Moe
5.0 out of 5 stars the best yet!
I had never read any kind of thriller until accidentally picking up No Safe Place at a friends house. 5 books later and I am completely hooked. Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite
This is the first Richard North Patterson book I've ever read and since reading this I guess I got hooked to all his books. Read more
Published on Dec 13 2000 by "onepointwo"
5.0 out of 5 stars One of THE best legal-thrillers you could possibly read
First off if you have picked up 'Eyes of a Child' and haven't read 'Degree of Guilt' go get it NOW. 'Eyes' is a partial sequel and even though it can stand on its own, it makes... Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2000 by Jeff Edwards
2.0 out of 5 stars I could barely get through this book.
I think the only reason I finished this book is so that I could write a review of it in it's entirety. Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2000
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