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Publisher's Summary

Fifty-nine days. That's how long Rennell Price has to live after spending 15 years on death row for the horrifying sexual assault and murder of a girl whose body was found floating in San Francisco Bay. But attorney Terri Paget has dedicated her life to fighting for people like Rennell Price. This time, Terri has a client she believes may actually be innocent, which means that an unpunished killer may still be free. Rennell, along with his older brother, Payton, was found guilty of the heinous crime, and the conviction has been upheld through one appeal after another. But as Terri spends time with Rennell and re-creates the events that put him on death row, she starts to understand the forces that shaped Rennell and the reason he has never been able to defend himself adequately.
As Terri prepares for a last appeal, she gets a new weapon for her battle: fresh evidence suggesting that another man, not Rennell, helped Payton commit the atrocity. But the grim machinery of capital punishment is already in motion. As more people are drawn into Terri's last-ditch battle, this much is clear: the serious doubts about Rennell's guilt may not be enough to save him.
Conviction raises issues of ethics, political expediency, and personal trauma that will shake readers to their core. Patterson illuminates the mysterious precincts between justice and truth, where the fate of one man involves not only his own life and the lives he has affected but the moral life of a nation.
©2005 Richard North Patterson (P)2005 Random House, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"As with his previous novels, Patterson examines a complex issue through the lens of a compelling, gripping story. Readers familiar with his characters and those looking for a powerful courtroom drama will not be disappointed." (Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By N. Richardson on 03-12-05

The Nature of

Richard North Patterson, who has transcended the legal-thriller genre a few books ago has created a novel which explains how the appeals process in death penalty cases has become a stylized dance of arbitrary rules where political expediency trumps justice, fairness and truth. In telling the story of a last minute appeal of a retarded, and probably innocent man facing execution we are taken step by step through a grinding, mindnumbing and depressing process which exposes, in explicit terms, some very troubling truths about the death penalty today.

Patterson, in using a fictional case, has made a baroque and irrational system accessible to those open to be challenged on their assumptions about "activist courts" "coddled criminals" and other cleverly framed phrases which cloud the truth about a justice system which metes out the ultimate punishment without much concern for guilt or innocence.

This is not a fun book. However, it is an important book for those who truly want to understand an important issue, and how it defines us as a people. And Patterson does provide an excellent road map, for those with the courage and character, to proceed down that road.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Greg on 02-27-05

Long and drawn out

This book started well, but quickly became mired in an overly extended journey through the justice system, which was interesting to start, but quickly became monotonous and added very little to the book. To my mind, the story could have been told in half the time / pages. I many times debated just not finishing it.

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12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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