In the tradition of Scott Turow, William Landay, and Nelson DeMille, Crime of Privilege is a stunning thriller about power, corruption, and the law in America - and the dangerous ways they come together.
A murder on Cape Cod. A rape in Palm Beach.
All they have in common is the presence of one of America's most beloved and influential families. But nobody is asking questions. Not the police. Not the prosecutors. And certainly not George Becket, a young lawyer toiling away in the basement of the Cape & Islands district attorney's office. George has always lived at the edge of power. He wasn't born to privilege, but he understands how it works and has benefitted from it in ways he doesn't like to admit. Now, an investigation brings him deep inside the world of the truly wealthy - and shows him what a perilous place it is.
Years have passed since a young woman was found brutally slain at an exclusive Cape Cod golf club, and no one has ever been charged. Cornered by the victim's father, George can't explain why certain leads were never explored - leads that point in the direction of a single family - and he agrees to look into it.
What begins as a search through the highly stratified layers of Cape Cod society, soon has George racing from Idaho to Hawaii, Costa Rica to France to New York City. But everywhere he goes he discovers people like himself: people with more secrets than answers, people haunted by a decision years past to trade silence for protection from life's sharp edges. George finds his friends are not necessarily still friends and a spouse can be unfaithful in more ways than one. And despite threats at every turn, he is driven to reconstruct the victim's last hours while searching not only for a killer but for his own redemption.
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"Starred Review. Are the Gregorys guilty, or has someone who resents their wealth and power made them targets? George must find his own moral compass, in a summer read notable for credible characters and unpredictable twists." - Publishers Weekly
"Starred Review. Walker's sixth novel (after The Appearance of Impropriety) is an outstanding crime story with spot-on characterization, a protagonist whose humiliating past compels sympathy, and a host of unexpected suspects. The novel's moral complexity will appeal to readers who enjoyed works as diverse as Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities, Nelson DeMille's The Gold Coast, and any number of contemporary thrillers." - Library Journal
"Even when the action slows, Walker maintains his dry, sometimes biting humor and moral edge. In his first novel since The Appearance of Impropriety (1993), San Francisco trial lawyer Walker delivers a convincing portrait of misbehavior among the rich and powerful." - Kirkus
"Walter Walker combines an experienced attorney's sense of our flawed criminal justice system with a natural storyteller's gift. Crime of Privilege is a twisting, engrossing, irresistible detective story." - William Landay, author of Defending Jacob
"Crime of Privilege is not only a first-class legal thriller, it is an astute examination of our society and how we are corrupted by power and money. The rich are indeed different; they get away with murder. An absolutely engrossing read from beginning to end. Not only is it a well told story of crime and punishment, but also a finely nuanced tale of sin and redemption." - Nelson DeMille
"Crime of Privilege is wonderfully written, and Walter Walker has a great talent, the God-given kind that can't be taught or learned or acquired, and the reader knows it from the first paragraph of the book. The characters are complex and interesting yet also emblematic of all the players in the class war, which is the stuff of all epic stories. I love the protagonist, and I also love the portrayal of the world of the very rich. There is something about the very rich that is hard to describe, but Walter Walker got them in the camera's lens perfectly." - James Lee Burke
"A gripping, chilling tale that pits privilege against pride, with a not-entirely-innocent man caught in the untenable middle." - Chris Pavone, New York Times bestselling author of The Expats
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Walter Walker is a trial lawyer in San Francisco, who has homes in Marin County, California, and on Cape Cod. He is the author of six novels, including Crime of Privilege (Ballantine, 2013), The Appearance Of Impropriety (Pocket, 1993), The Immediate Prospect of Being Hanged (Viking, 1989), Rules of the Knife Fight (Harper & Row, 1986), The Two Dude Defense (Harper & Row, 1985), and A Dime to Dance By (Harper & Row, 1983), which was named Best First Novel by a California Author. He is a graduate of the Northfield Mount Hermon School, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He has been a finalist for California Trial Attorney of the Year (2003) and San Francisco Trial Attorney of the Year (2011).
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