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Conviction    by Richard North Patterson order for
by Richard North Patterson
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Richard North Patterson writes weighty books that capture the reader's attention from the first page and hold it until the last. Conviction is no exception.

Rennell Price, a young black man, and his brother are convicted of the death of an adolescent Asian girl - a horrendous death that defies description. After sitting on California's death row for fifteen years, questions arise as to the young man's guilt - as well as whether he is retarded and had adequate representation at trial.

If these suppositions are true, how can Rennell be put to death? Is the letter of the law more important than setting an innocent man free?

In tense courtroom scenes, Patterson looks at both sides of the argument fully. He presents the case from the view of the defendant so masterfully that one can almost feel the hush in the courtroom as the lawyers await the judge's ruling. Unfortunately, politics and back scratching raise their ugly heads and that is also a part of this chilling story.

If you were ever interested in the working of the US justice system, this is the book for you. The reader is taken from the lowest court right up to the Supreme Court of the United States. Fascinating reading. While ponderous at times, it's still hard to put down.

I now better understand the workings of the court. I just hope that I never have to appear in one as a defendant. And certainly not to have my mental ability questioned. Conviction is masterfully written by an accomplished storyteller.

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