By Richard North Patterson
(Ballantine Books, Mass Market Paperback, 9780345450203, 528pp.)
Publication Date: October 25, 2005
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When the body of nine-year old Thuy Sen is found in the San Francisco Bay, the police quickly charge Rennell and Payton Price with her grisly murder. A twelve-person jury, abetted by an incompetent defense lawyer, is nearly as quick to find the brothers guilty, and to sentence them both to die for their crimes.
Fifteen years later, overworked pro bono laywer Teresa Peralta Paget, her husband Chris, and stepson Carlo, a recent Harvard law graduate, become convinced not only that Rennell didn't receive a fair trial but that he may well be innocent. Racing against the clock and facing enormous legal obstacles, Teresa, Chris, and Carlo desperately try to stay Rennell's execution, taking the case all the way to the Supreme Court, and to an enormously moving and powerful conclusion.
Richard North Patterson is the author of twelve prior novels, including Balance of Power, Protect and Defend, and Degree of Guilt. Formerly a trial lawyer, Mr. Patterson served as the SEC's liaison to the Watergate Special Prosecutor, and is now on the boards of several Washington-based advocacy groups. He lives on Martha's Vineyard, MA.