Crime of Privilege: Book summary and reviews of Crime of Privilege by Walter Walker

Crime of Privilege

by Walter Walker

Crime of Privilege
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2013
    432 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

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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Reviews

Media Reviews

"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

The information about Crime of Privilege shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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Sandy P. (Gainesville, FL)

Well written and entertaining
Because of the similarities, at first I thought it was just going to be a re-hash of the Chappaquiddick incident (Ted Kennedy) or the Martha Moxley case (Michael Skakel) but it differed enough to be interesting, hold my attention to the end the book. I felt the anguish of Heather's father and his doggedness to not let the case languish and die was a critical part of the plot and emotion of the story. Once Asst. DA George Becket realized the leads Heather's father was furnishing were not being followed up he became his ally and advocate. And always in the background was the earlier death of Kendrick Powell (and her equally determined and powerful father). George was there that night. Should he have done more to prevent what happened? Guilt is powerful. The privileged gentry has, well, privileges afforded to them. But don't underestimate a wronged, vengeful, grief-stricken parent who should never have to bury his child. The story had enough twists, dead end leads and cast of players to remain interesting. I'll definitely look for more of Mr. Walker's books.

Jane C. (Brighton, MI)

Crime of Privilege
Privilege is interesting concept. We hear many times of how great it is to have money and what you can get away with. This book is a perfect example. The book takes privilege to a new height. I really liked the book. It was hard to put down. It moved from coast to coast and to several world venues to solve a crime that did not want to be solved. Great read. Walter Walker is a great legal writer.

Bink W. (Sopchoppy, FL)

Great crime literature
This book hooked me immediately with its setting, characters, and plot. Pretty much read it without putting it down and enjoyed the suspense and complexity. I tend to like the more involved noir and Swedish mysteries and this fit in well with that mood and use of language. Can't wait for more from this writer.

Sarah C. (Cape Girardeau, MO)

Crime of Privilege
Justice?? what is it? and for whom??? This book came so close to describing events that happened in my lifetime. Eventually someone paid, but to what end? I found the story very thought provoking and absolutely riveting. I gave it to my husband to read his nose was in the book constantly. The last line is very powerful. Just do what?

Darcy C. (San Diego, CA)

This is going to be a BESTSELLER!
What a fantastic book! The characters were believable and the tension was palpable. I raced through this book and was caught off-guard with the antics of the characters and the deception was written with such cruelty, that your heart poured-out for the protagonist. This book will be flying off the shelves when published. Just when you think you have read 'all' of the murder-mysteries possible..... pick up this book, and you will be rewarded with a great story! I am putting this novelist on my "to watch for" list, NOW! Enjoy this stellar story!

Linda W. (Summit, NJ)

A labyrinth of secrets
The plot of this novel has a familiar ring to it. Power, politics and privilege are all bought with money and connections. A lone individual, George Becket, is sucked into the vortex of an event because he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He continually makes poor or just plain wrong conclusions and is easily manipulated. But he is a likable character without much depth.

This was an enjoyable page turner with a weak and unsatisfying ending. The location of the story and the family that it revolves around are recognizable which leaves the reader with the sense that you know how the book will end long before you come to the last page.

...16 more reader reviews

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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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