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Guilt Study Guide & Plot Summary

John Lescroart
This Study Guide consists of approximately 46 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Guilt.
This section contains 579 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Guilt Study Guide

Guilt Summary & Study Guide Description

Guilt Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Guilt by John Lescroart.

Plot Summary

Mark Dooher is a successful lawyer at the head of an equally successful San Francisco law firm. He has a devoted wife, Sheila, and a devoted friend, Wes Farrell. Mark controls his life with an iron hand, taking what he wants but never making anyone realize his self-centered attitude. When Mark sees one of the junior lawyers, Joe Avery, with a beautiful woman, he immediately begins planning a way to have the woman for his own. The woman, Christina, believes Mark's cover of the successful businessman and devoted friend and husband. Christina begins confiding in Mark, trusting his friendship implicitly from their first meeting. Christina volunteers at the Rape Crisis Counseling Center and becomes friends with her boss, Samantha. Known as "Sam" to her friends, she meets—quite by chance—Wes Farrell. The two immediately connect but Sam is furious when she learns that Wes is the attorney successfully defending a man named Levon Copes, whom they all know to have raped and murdered a woman.

One of Mark's most influential clients is the archbishop of the Catholic Church, Jim Flaherty. When the Church is sued by a young attorney named Trang who claims his client loaned thousands of dollars to a priest while they were having a sexual relationship. Trang's lawsuit demands both the return of the money loaned and an additional amount. Hoping to avoid a public scandal, Mark tries to settle but Trang refuses, apparently sensing weakness and believing he can win. Mark then kills Trang in order to stop the lawsuit and protect his most important client. The case against Trang is stalled when Flaherty puts pressure on police to leave Mark alone. Mark soon after kills his wife, staging the scene to look like a burglary gone wrong but a dedicated detective, Abe Glitsky, refuses to believe Mark's cover stories and the case is brought to trial. Mark is represented by Wes who leads a brilliant defense though he comes to realize near the end of the trial that Mark is guilty. Meanwhile, Flaherty learns from a priest that Mark confessed to a crime to him, apparently the murder of Trang. Wes cuts his ties with Mark but Mark and Christina marry.

As the birth of Christina's first child draws near, she realizes that she needs to leave Mark, fearing for herself and for the child. She hides herself away in a motel but then goes into labor. When she tries to reach Sam through the Rape Crisis Counseling Center, a new volunteer—Diane Price—answers. Diane has claimed that Mark was the man who raped her in college though Mark denies it. Mark discovers from Christina's mother that Christina is in the hospital and arrives soon after the birth. He manages to get his hands on the child and then goes to Christina's room where Diane and Glitsky are with Christina. As Christina and the others try to talk Mark into handing over the child, he repeatedly squeezes and shakes the infant. Diane goes toward him though he warns her away, and pulls a gun from her handbag, shooting Mark and grabbing the infant before Mark falls to the ground. Glitsky notes that Diane will say that Mark was going to kill the baby, and that she had no choice but to shoot him. Glitsky says that he will back up her story though he seems to believe that Diane had finally seen an opportunity for revenge.

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This section contains 579 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Guilt Study Guide
Copyrights
Guilt from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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