Degree of Guilt


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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…

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…

“One intense courtroom clash after another… An intelligent and gripping thriller.” —The Washington Post
“A taut courtroom thriller… Richard North Patterson seems destined for celebrity status…as an acknowledged master… A brilliantly engaging story.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Compulsively readable… A Chinese box of a puzzler, where one mystery is penetrated only to reveal another.” —People
“A page-turner.” —The New York Times Book Review
“There’s no doubt this is the best courtroom thriller to hit the stands since Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent... It’s almost impossible to put down.” —The San Francisco Chronicle
“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