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Degree of Guilt
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Degree of Guilt (Christopher Paget #2)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  6,829 ratings  ·  98 reviews
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
ebook, 720 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1992)
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The problem I have with Richard North Patterson's novels is that once I start one, I seem to be completely unable to do anything but finish it. They are all-consuming. This one I found particularly remarkable. A legal thriller of the highest order. As always, great character development, but the plotting of this one - weaving a murder, a trial, celebrity scandal, and personal conflict into a frenzy - was remarkable. Unlike most other "series" authors, Patterson weaves together a world where the ...more
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This is a good legal case study, well-written and with good characters. I really want to say I enjoyed the book, but it became ponderous. One of those "am I really STILL reading this book?" I haven't read a Patterson in a while and I did not read the first novel in this series. I don't think I'll run out and buy the next one, either.

A good author, a decent book, but perhaps too overdone.
This was a bit of a windy affair, I thought, although there were some unsettling accounts of rape and female degradation. No need to describe the plot as the synopsis tells you the facts you need to know about this 700-page monster that ambles back and forth between legal and domestic drama.

The legal stuff is all right, though extremely repetitive, and would probably go over well in a movie. I know plenty of people love courtroom drama and there is some meat here, though it takes about 400 page
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 15, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Who Like a Good Legal Thriller
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Readling List
I actually haven't read many legal thrillers. The one before this I remember best was Grisham's The Firm and the one I read just before this was Lescroart's Hard Evidence. Patterson has it all over Lescroart, who within a hundred pages showed he knew nothing of the law, completely losing credibility. And credibility is important, whether you're writing about a nuclear submarine or medieval London. Patterson, who worked as a trial attorney and was a liaison to the Watergate special prosecutor, ha ...more
Lorraine Cobcroft
It got off to a bit of a rocky start, for me at least. I almost put it down. But the back cover held my interest and I persevered. Glad I did!

It was gripping: beautifully written; full of emotion and wisdom; packed with drama; rich with unexpected twists and turns, and came to a heart-stopping climax. The characters found their way into my life and into my heart. Patterson brought them to life so superbly - even Mary won my sympathy, despite her flaws. She sinned, but she was so real, and one c
Another of Richard North Patterson's legal thrillers. This one revolves around Christopher Paget, a lawyer who had previously brought down a president with the help of Mary Carelli. Now a high profile TV journalist, and mother of his child. She has called him to the police station where she is being held after shooting dead Mark Ransom, America's pre-eminent novelist. The only thing certain is that she did shoot him, but why?[return][return]This book is stuffed full of twists and turns that you ...more
Linda Gosslin
This is the second book, chronologically, featuring Christopher Paget. Having met him and Mary Carelli in The Lasko Tangent, I was interested in seeing what the future held for them.
It is many years later. We learn that a child was born from the brief intimacy shared by Chris and Mary. Mary is accused of murder and Chris is fathering Carlos, a child he never met until he was 7 years old. The dynamics of the relationship between his parents and the ongoing investigation and trial are well written
I read this book years ago, and identified quite strongly -- for reasons of my own -- with the young attorney Terri Peralta. Now that I'm more removed from my own situation I can see the sometimes glaring flaws in the plot, at least from a trial lawyer's perspective. The thinly-veiled characters of Mark Ransom, Laura Chase and James Colt are a little too obvious, at least to readers of my generation. Still, Patterson writes an intelligent legal thriller and one that keeps the reader engaged thro ...more
This book was interesting so long as the author kept to the crux of the story, the crime and the trial, but he likes to go off on his personal relationships and gives us TMI. Also, in my opinion, he goes a bit overboard with the sexual aspects surrounding the got a bit gaggy at times. However, that being said, I am stubborn enough to finish out the series and will now go on to read "Eyes of a Child," the last of three in this crime/courtroom drama series.
A reasonably good read. I sometimes found the characters far fetched, and I'm not quite sure that I bought into the ending ...but entertaining and distracting which is what I look for in a "page turner".
JC Andrew
I agree with a Washington's Post review I read stating that this book was "one intense courtroom dash after another…an intelligent and gripping thriller".

I enjoy courtroom drama and Richard North Patterson really knows how to get you involved in the drama. The author studied fiction writing at the University of Alabama but he makes you believe that he has practical law experience. The courtroom drama is so real to life.

The story centers on a well-known and successful female journalist named Ma
This was my first introduction to Richard North Patterson. The novel was in a bag of books that I was given for 'recycling'. I’m so glad that I decided I should glance over the titles before immediately passing them forward. This novel has definitely earned my praise as one of my highest recommendations / examples of legal thrillers. I haven't found as compelling a legal novel since reading Brad Meltzer’s "The Tenth Justice" or John Lescroart's "The 13th Juror” and my appreciation of the charact ...more
Reading this court room thriller by Richard North Patterson (my second title from him) reminds me why I've grown weary of Grisham lately. While Grisham has a tendency to focus on an interesting issue, he also gives you flat characters to act within them. Patterson gives you characters with dimension. Christopher is dealing with the complex feelings of being a single dad and having to defend the boy's mother. Mary Corelli, the woman on trial, is chock full of moral ambiguities. Their son, Carlo, ...more
When I first started to read this it felt a little slow. I had a hard time being interested and really wanted to put it down. Since I'm sure I have a touch of OCD, I can't just "give up" on a book unless it's REALLY bad. Thankfully, it got better... quickly. I was pulled into the story and enjoyed it by the end. There were a few things I would have liked to see expanded upon, but they weren't really important to the story.
Just finished "degree of guilt". Bit of a struggle to get through it. Some disturbing aspects about the crime scene and evidence that make for uncomfortable reading. Legal elements a bit tortuous. Liked the judge, not keen on any of the other characters. Didn't realise it was part of a trilogy until reading reviews on here. Don't think I'll be troubling myself to pick up the other two parts.
I accidentally picked this book up, because I thought it was written by the other Patterson, who I have not read, and thought I should given that he seems to write twenty percent of novels lately.

At any rate, this book was easy to read and contained somewhat interesting characters who were caught up in situations that were, to be honest, completely unbelievable. It was a bit long-winded, and seemed to be trying way too hard, but I found myself turning the pages right up until the end, even thou
Lynn Pribus
Picked up at gym swap table for vacation in Maine. A sequel that goes so deeply into plot steps of first book, that I don't think I'd go back into it. Nicely written and interesting interactions among the various characters, but the Big Secret that Mary is determined to keep at Any Cost is telegraphed fairly early.

Still a decent enough vacation read.
There’s a blurb on the front of this book that says it’s “compulsively readable”. That’s no lie. Every time I picked up this book, I had a hard time putting it back down again. It is chocked full of conflicted characters, chief of them all being Christopher Paget. From the very beginning, you’re never quite sure what exactly happened, and even at the end you continue to wonder… Was that the truth? Is Mary Carelli capable of telling the truth? And is knowing the truth always important?

It turns ou

This is a paramount plot, one of a kind for smart guys, where the reader is forced to think deeply in order to medidate about all the offered scattered events so as to understand how the situations unfold and relate

Characters are very well created and developed and some of them relate to RNP other books.

As we approach the ending, we expect Judge Masters ruling with total anxiety, however this is solved fast paced in just one chapter leaving a bitter taste after 500 pag
This was my first introduction to Richard North Patterson. I found the novel while on a boring vacation with my mother and brother, during which I ran out of reading material and was desperate enough to buy this book as a paperback at the grocery store of all places. I was immediately absorbed and pleasantly surprised at how good it was. In particular, I liked the sensitivity with which the book dealt with the issue of rape, and how the background of the case included versions of real historical ...more
A woman kills the man she says raped her. Her attorney struggles with his history with her, the holes in her description of the killing and his relationship with his son. The novel highlights the legal systems issues with a crime wherein there are only two witnesses. In this case one of them is dead.
Shailendra Modi
Good book. The Courtroom scenes are taut and thrilling. However I feel that the book would have been better for not so serious readers like me, if it were made shorter by some 50-100 pages by removing not-so-relevant passages.

Degree of Guilt is another solid book by Richard North Patterson. As always the relationships between the main characters are at least as important as the storyline (if not more important).
From the start it is clear that Mary Carelli shot Mark Ransom, but why? And why does she insist that Christopher Paget represents her in court, despite how it may affect their son?
Well placed flashbacks and a good amount of twists and turns kept me glued to the pages. The only problem I had was that I had diff
i would recommend this book to someone who likes law related mystery novels. there were a few dry parts to the book but overall it was written well and had a great twist with interesting characters.
April Brewster-Smythe
I liked the book, and Patterson builds suspense to the point of frustration for the reader. I was ready to scream at some points!
I started this book in March. It started off with a lot of promise. Unfortunately, about 1/3 of the way through I realized I simply didn't like any of the characters so it was hard to care what became of them. At that point Degree of Guilt became my back up book, to be read when nothing better was on my night stand. After a couple months so I started skipping through. I probably read the first third, a few short middle sections and the final 5% so maybe I inadvertently skipped over some great pa ...more
Joe Holman
A very good who-done-it from the very first page right to the very last word.
After finishing The Lasko Tangent and being disappointed with its abrupt end, I thought I'd pick up the book that followed and connect the dots from one book to the next. Though I've read this, it's been easily 10 years or more, so while I know some of the story, I don't remember a lot of it and it should be a quick read. And after this one, I'm thinking of reading the next two in the Christopher Paget series (from what I can see, there are four). UPDATE: liked this better than Lasko Tangent. Fi ...more
Christopher is dealing with the complex feelings of being a single dad and having to defend the boy's mother. Mary Corelli, the woman on trial, is chock full of moral ambiguities. Their son, Carlo, is dealing with school, sports and his lack of understanding for his parent's relationships. Even a character who would normally be overlooked, Christopher's assistant, is given plenty of page time regarding her marriage to a paranoid, manipulative man. Not lost at all is the mystery...Mary confesses ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: bad description 3 26 Jan 12, 2014 08:52AM  
  • Pleading Guilty (Kindle County Legal Thriller, #3)
  • Prime Witness (Paul Madriani, #2)
  • The 13th Juror (Dismas Hardy, #4)
  • The Associate (Amanda Jaffe, #2)
  • Reversible Error (Butch Karp, #4)
  • The Juror
  • Word of Honor
  • Motion to Suppress
  • Perfect Justice (Ben Kencaid, #4)
  • The Tenth Justice
Richard North Patterson is the author of fourteen previous bestselling and critically acclaimed novels. Formerly a trial lawyer, Patterson served as the SEC’s liaison to the Watergate special prosecutor and has served on the boards of several Washington advocacy groups dealing with gun violence, political reform, and women’s rights. He lives in San Francisco and on Martha’s Vineyard.
More about Richard North Patterson...

Other Books in the Series

Christopher Paget (4 books)
  • The Lasko Tangent
  • Eyes of a Child (Christopher Paget, #3)
  • Conviction (Christopher Paget, #4)
Silent Witness (Tony Lord #2) The Final Judgment Eyes of a Child (Christopher Paget, #3) Protect and Defend (Kerry Kilcannon, #2) Exile

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“The impostor syndrome. I know it well. Inside every self-assured professional lives a frightened neurotic who prays that he can somehow succeed before his clients discover the fraud. It’s the guilty secret that drives us all.” 0 likes
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