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A Deadly Game: The Untold Story of the Scott Peterson Investigation Hardcover – March 8, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After the seemingly never-ending media coverage of pregnant Laci Peterson's Christmas Eve 2002 disappearance and husband Scott's subsequent arrest, trial, conviction and death-penalty sentence for her murder, it's hard to believe anything about this notorious case could still be "untold." But Court TV anchor Crier and co-author Thompson's encyclopedic tome includes never-before-released transcripts of conversations between Scott and others (which don't significantly impact one's understanding of the case, however) and a 38-page appendix of photos, documents and other police evidence. Although much of the information in this book has been reported previously or revealed at trial, anyone looking for a comprehensive overview of the case will find it here. The authors chart not only the police investigation and trial but the personal and family history of Scott and Laci. A more balanced examination of the case is all that's missing to make this book really stand out. Up front, Crier states that since the first days of the case, she felt certain that Scott was a sociopath responsible for his wife's disappearance, and throughout the book, she demonstrates how and why. Given Scott's behavior in the weeks prior to and immediately after Laci's disappearance, not to mention all the lies he told to police, family and friends, she's not exactly going out on a limb. Although few people would doubt Scott's guilt, the whole book is very pro-police-it's even dedicated "To all those who protect and serve." Had the authors started from a presumption of innocence and turned a critical eye on the investigation, which yielded more circumstantial than solid forensic evidence, the book would have been more compelling, but its thoroughness will draw many readers nonetheless. 12 pages of color photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Catherine Crier is the host of Court TV's Catherine Crier Live. A distinguished attorney, legal analyst, and the youngest state judge ever to be elected in Texas, Crier has received an Emmy Award for investigative journalism and the DuPont-Columbia Journalism Award. Also the author of the New York Times bestsellers A Deadly Game and The Case Against Lawyers, Crier lives in Westchester County, New York.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (March 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060766123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060766122
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (250 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

195 of 206 people found the following review helpful By American P. on March 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This work is excellent! Was hard to "put down." Brings to light much more than has been defined and described in other works and reports on the case. The book is very well written and the many transcripts of the case provided are an excellent way to understand the real depth of the case. It is very investigative and legal in many parts, but, the author does a wonderful job of making Laci Peterson real to the reader and you come away understanding more who Laci was. The author also did an excellent job describing the pain and suffering of the familes that were destroyed by this event; and so Catherine Crier has mastered the "weaving" of both the factual and the emotional sides of the case. There is a significant amount of information provided, and new information including transcripts of conversations and facts that the jury did not hear. If you have followed this case at all, this is "a must read." If you have not followed the case then this is the book that covers it all. A real work of authority on all facets of the case. Very highly recommended! 5 stars +
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187 of 203 people found the following review helpful By MovedbyMusic on March 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is far better than Amber Frey's book "Witness to the Prosecution" mainly because it's not "gossipy" and it's written by a former judge who understands the total package of evidence -circumstantial and direct. She takes a reader through a linear time-line of behavior and documents it with credible sources. Unlike other sensational journalistic accounts of case law I think Crier does a great job of compartmentalizing emotional aspects that are only relevant in an ancillary way but do shed light on intent.

I still think that typically juries do the right thing and trust the process, so I think this book is a reliable testament that justice unfolds most of the time. Great book. Well done.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By mwreview on March 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Now that Judge Delucchi imposed the formal death sentence on Scott Peterson, many intrigued by the case will be looking for books to recap the investigation and trial that led to Peterson receiving the harshest penalty for killing his wife Laci and unborn son Conner. Catherine Crier's A Deadly Game is the most detailed and informative Peterson book out right now. It certainly blows Amber Frey's scant and fluffy book out of the water. Crier's work is 436 pages of text with details from the investigation previously unseen by the media and jury, including a photo section in the back of previously unpublished evidence files. Crier uses her vast resources as a Court TV journalist to provide an important work that will impress even the most devoted Peterson case follower.

First Crier covers Peterson's early deceit with other girlfriends that set the stage for the many lies to come, then she plunges into the investigation demonstrating reasons why officer Al Brocchini became suspicious of Scott from the start. Little details that would have been missed by most observers (i.e. the oddly located indentation left in the Peterson bed, pg. 19) were red flags to Brocchini. In the early chapters, I, as the reader, could sense Peterson's assumptions of getting away with the crime crumble before his eyes. Peterson obviously did not anticipate the case taking on a life of its own, with the massive search parties looking for Laci and his house and office being closed to him for a time for investigative purposes.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By clarissa on March 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A Deadly Game lives up to Crier's reptuation in the legal and reporting fields and uncovers countless details of the case that even avid followers do not know. We are taken from the first day through and get a behind the scenes perspective from law enforcement's point of view. Plus we hear from witnesses and read reports never covered in the trial or in reporting. This case has fascinated the nation but I think a few have had some sort of doubt about Peterson's guilt due to lack of forensic evidence. This detailed account will put any doubts to rest. Plus, it finally gives readers a hold on who Scott Peterson really is and the approach he took toward life (and women) from where he is coming in his psyche. I found it interesting that he didn't just have "affairs" as if that wouldn't be bad enough. The truly remarkable thing about his extramarital ramblings is that he approached these relationships as one might do if he was single, with all out gusto. This is a must read for anyone interested in the case.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Radioactive on March 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
WOW!! If you have any interest in this case - you should definitely read this book - it is absolutely riveting!

There are tons of things we hadn't even known about - details that didn't come out in the media or in the trial.

Reading this book is like watching a compelling thriller with tons of drama, twists and turns, and surprises.........sadly, the fact that it really happened makes the case that much more chilling and tragic.

It is truly an examination of a cold-blooded sociopath........and how he used his charm and charisma for evil.
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