A man has been found dead, a gun still wedged in his mouth. It looks like Ricardo Arias killed himself…but the physical evidence tells a different story. The police investigation turns up all sorts of troubling data—a bitter estrangement between Ricardo and his wife, Terri; an ugly custody battle over their six-year-old daughter, Elena; charges of child molestation. And before long there’s a murder suspect: San Francisco defense attorney and political hopeful Christopher Paget.
But where’s the motive? It could be that Paget is Terri’s new lover. Or that Paget’s own teenage son is the one who’s accused of abusing Elena. But a series of long-hidden secrets—on both sides of the case—are slowly rising to the surface…and threaten to explode in the courtroom, where the final verdict will be delivered. Where the truth about what really happened to Ricardo Arias will either be revealed—or buried for good...
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Ricardo Arias’s face filled with fear and disbelief.
“If you’re going to kill yourself,” the intruder repeated softly, “you must leave a note.”
Richie’s eyes would not move from the gun. Pulled from damp and darkness, it had not been fired for years; the intruder wondered if it would fire now. But Richie Arias did not know this.
Sitting at his desk, Richie began groping for a pen.
His movements were sluggish, like those of a man struggling under water. Fixated on the gun, he seemed blind to the darkened living room: the
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RICHARD NORTH PATTERSON is the author of The Spire, Degree of Guilt, Eclipse, The Race, Exile, and more than a dozen other bestselling and critically acclaimed novels. Formerly a trial lawyer, he was the SEC liaison to the Watergate special prosecutor and has served on the boards of several Washington advocacy groups. He lives on Martha’s Vineyard and in San Francisco and Cabo San Lucas with his wife, Dr. Nancy Clair.
Richard North Patterson