I could MAYBE agree that this was a taut psychological and legal thriller if this was a stand alone book. But it's not. It's a sequel. "Presumed Innocent" ended with a legal triumph and Rusty's personal despair. Rusty had had an affair, his wife deliberately and brutally murdered his mistress, and meticulously framed him.
Flash forward twenty years to this book--and I am giving nothing away that isn't apparent very early on--and Rusty is living with and still married to his wife. The details of the why and how are unsatisfactory; and the basis for the second murder investigation is consequently contrived.
The only redeeming quality to this book is the skilled writing. Turow sets a breakneck pace, and at the same time a dark melancholy mood.
Those who read and rooted for Rusty in Presumed Innocent as I did, will, I suspect, have no doubt as to Rusty's innocence here. It's just I don't care. For god's sake, I was rooting for Tommy Molto!
Lissa, March 13, 2011 (view all comments by Lissa)
Turow presents the story from the different perspective of most of the characters, drawing out the suspense. Like watching a suspense movie, I wanted to call out to the characters to warn them. Intriguing and difficult to put down, even tho the characters are every day people with their own strengths and vulnerabilities. A great read. Will make a good movie.
Dr. Rico, June 8, 2010 (view all comments by Dr. Rico)
In Turow's latest novel, as in all his novels, he explores people and their relationships and the ways that the law parallels, and affects, these relationships. This gives Turow's novels a depth beyond the run-of-the-mill courtroom thriller. And yet that doesn't prevent "Innocent" from being a crackerjack page-turner. The reader is hooked on discovering which clues are red herrings and which are real -- and what is the meaning of each real clue. Did Rusty really do it, and what is he hiding? Turow handles the shift of perspective among the main characters fairly well, although I admit that one (and only one) character is presented in the third person, and that took some getting used to. But that's a small flaw in a hugely enjoyable book, Turow's best novel in years.
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Grand Central Publishing -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Mesmerizing prose and intricate plotting lift Turow's superlative legal thriller, his best novel since his bestselling debut, Presumed Innocent, to which this is a sequel. In 2008, 22 years after the events of the earlier book, former lawyer Rusty Sabich, now a Kindle County, Ill., chief appellate judge, is again suspected of murdering a woman close to him. His wife, Barbara, has died in her bed of what appear to be natural causes, yet Rusty comes under scrutiny from his old nemesis, acting prosecuting attorney Tommy Molto, who unsuccessfully prosecuted him for killing his mistress decades earlier. Tommy's chief deputy, Jim Brand, is suspicious because Rusty chose to keep Barbara's death a secret, even from their son, Nat, for almost an entire day, which could have allowed traces of poison to disappear. Rusty's candidacy for a higher court in an imminent election; his recent clandestine affair with his attractive law clerk, Anna Vostic; and a breach of judicial ethics complicate matters further. Once again, Turow displays an uncanny ability for making the passions and contradictions of his main characters accessible and understandable." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day"
by Chris Bolton, Powells.com,
"What distinguishes Turow's work from boilerplate thrillers is his skill as a writer. Not only does he make the legal developments spellbinding — giving us just enough terminology and procedure to follow along, without cramming the information down our throats — but he makes the characters comes alive just as vividly. They often behave badly and make questionable choices (who doesn't?), and those actions are always believable and strike a note of truth that is sometimes lacking in popular fiction." (Read the entire Powells.com review)
by Stephen King,
"Scott Turow's new novel is the dedicated fiction-reader's version of El Dorado: a driving, unputdownable courtroom drama/murder mystery that is also a literary treasure, written in language that sparkles with clarity and resonates with honest character insight. I came away feeling amazed and fulfilled, as we only do when we read novelists at the height of their powers. Put this one on your don't-miss list."
by Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times,
"[A] fast and absorbing ride....Rusty's second trial — which takes up the better half of this novel — proves to be just as suspenseful and gripping as his first."
by Library Journal (starred review),
"This is a beautifully written book with finely drawn characters and an intricate plot seamlessly weaving a troubled family story with a murder. Drawing the reader in and not letting go until the last page, Turow's legal thriller is a most worthy successor to Presumed Innocent and perhaps the author's finest work to date."
by The Washington Post Book World,
"There are enough surprises in all this to keep the reader's attention fixed — Turow has always been very good at that — but as usual in his fiction there's more than skillful legal drama....All of which makes for an intelligent, thoughtful novel: a grownup book for grownup readers."
by Chicago Sun-Times,
"After reading Innocent...I had an urge to turn back to page one and start over to see where the clues and feints were. It's that good.... The plot twists are augmented by canny observations and richly captured personalities."
by Terrence Rafferty, The New York Times Book Review,
"Innocent is a meticulously constructed and superbly paced mystery, full of twists and surprises and the sort of technical arcana on which the genre thrives....This is a lovely novel, gripping and darkly self-reflective."
by The Christian Science Monitor,
"Though Innocent is a richer read for those who have read Presumed Innocent, it stands alone with ease....Adding that internal conflict to ambition, sorrow, and righteousness — with murder, adultery and careers at stake — makes for an easy summary judgment: Innocent is anything but a guilty pleasure, it's prime popular fiction."
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