Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation
Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation

Richard North Patterson Guest Speaker, 2/10/05

Avid readers and supporters of the KSMF gathered on February 10th for an evening with highly acclaimed author Richard North Patterson, who introduced his emotionally charged novel, Conviction. Mr. Patterson provided vivid details about his writing endeavors and in-depth research, including visits to death row. He is currently working on a new novel to be staged in the Middle East. The author answered a number of fascinating questions from the audience, which shed light on his road to fame, key characters, former life as a lawyer, and political connections. The attendees were treated to autographs and dessert. What was the greatest personal secret? Mr. Patterson writes all of his novels by hand without the support of a computer!!

Highly skilled and suspenseful, Conviction is a novel about the world and politics of death row. 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, with Payton days from his execution, overworked pro bono lawyer 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 and 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 in Massachusetts.

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