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...
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
“Patterson grabs the reader by the scruff of the neck and holds him until the very last page…The Spire might just be his best to date.”—Tucson Citizen
“Intriguing…we can’t read fast enough to reach the finale.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“gripping…A page turner with multiple twists and a well-earned conclusion at once shocking and inevitable.”—Richmond Times Dispatch
DEGREE OF GUILT
“A page-turner.”—The New York Times Book Review
“One intense courtroom clash after another...An intelligent and gripping thriller.”—The Washington Post
“Flamboyant and entertaining.”—The Boston Globe
“Electrifying.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“One of the year’s best thrillers…Superb characterizations and intense dialogue make this utterly compelling reading.”—Library Journal
“Passionate…exciting [and] eye-opening, page by page.”—Washington Post
“Compelling and credible…guaranteed to rouse you to thought.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
“This stellar legal thriller both informs and entertains… Patterson has exerted all his considerable skill in creating a nightmare atmosphere that will cling to readers long after the last page is turned.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A satisfying fable that pits a hero who deeply believes in the rule of law against a violent, lawless regime that holds all the cards.”—Kirkus Reviews