Christopher Paget is a trial lawyer with a famous past: as a young investigator in Washington he unearthed a scandal that brought ruin to the President - and an abrupt end to his affair with journalist Mary Carelli. Now, fifteen years later, Carelli is a famous TV journalist in New York and Paget is leading a relatively tranquil life raising their ...Read MoreChristopher Paget is a trial lawyer with a famous past: as a young investigator in Washington he unearthed a scandal that brought ruin to the President - and an abrupt end to his affair with journalist Mary Carelli. Now, fifteen years later, Carelli is a famous TV journalist in New York and Paget is leading a relatively tranquil life raising their son in San Francisco. Until a charge of murder changes everything. The victim - a world famous (and infamous) novelist. The accused - Mary Carelli. When Paget agrees to defend her, largely for the sake of their son, her claims of attempted rape and self-defence seem water-tight. But gradually secrets from her past come to light and Paget is suddenly facing an explosive mix of public trial and personal conflict leaving his own and his son's fates vulnerable and exposed.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 1993-12-06 This absorbing but overstuffed courtroom thriller revolves around a California attorney's efforts to defend a TV newswoman who kills a famous novelist. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1992-10-26 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. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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