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A book by Scott Turow

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Sequel takes place 20 years after "Presumed Innocent"

  • Jun 3, 2010
This 20-years-on sequel to Turow's blockbuster, "Presumed Innocent" (recently re-released), finds Rusty Sabich chief justice of the appellate court and up for election to the state supreme court. His wife, Barbara, who stood by him when he was accused of murdering his lover and colleague so many years ago, won't be standing by him when it happens again. This time she's the victim, if there is a victim.

Turow constructs the first half of the novel around a timeline. Sabich's narration begins on his 60th birthday (3/19/07), Tommy Molto's sections (Sabich's old prosecutor, now chief) begins with Barbara's death (9/29/08). Part I culminates on the date of the election 11/04/08.

Despite his success Sabich is a gloomy fellow - partly temperament, partly his claustrophobic existence with agoraphobic Barbara who has a cabinet full of medications to control her bi-polar disease. So, after all these years of self-control it's understandable that he falls for a law clerk half his age.

It's a little harder to understand on her part, however. The passionate love born of intellectual admiration apparently. Worse, she seems to spend most of their time together (when they're not having hot young sex) sobbing and whining because he won't leave his wife.

Meanwhile Molto, despite his own happy marriage to a younger woman, nurses his grudge against Sabich and, prodded by an ambitious junior, begins building a case against him for Barbara's murder, which was ruled a natural death.

Part II centers on Sabich's trial. Sabich's narration ceases until after the trial, but he spends a lot of time sparring with his old nemesis from the witness chair. And we hear from his son, Nat, handsome, brilliant, socially awkward, and a lot less clued in than we, the readers.

Actually everyone knows less than we do, which is a problem. Suspense flags and the lawyerly maneuvering and manipulation of language to extract information already known to us grows tedious, unless you're just in it for the clever repartee.

But mostly these tired old men are just not as interesting as their younger, hungry selves. And Turow has had a lot of imitators since his stellar debut so it doesn't feel as fresh. Still, Turow is an excellent writer and the characterizations of the two central characters are complex, while the courtroom footwork is clever and there are enough twists to keep the pages turning. Fans will enjoy the reprise and may want to revisit "Presumed Innocent."

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review by . September 04, 2010
3 1/2 Stars   I rate this enjoyable book between 3 and 4 stars.      Twenty years after "Presumed Innocent," Rusty Sabich is now a chief judge of an appellate court and is running for reelection.      When he finds his wife, Barbara, dead in her bed and waits twenty-four hours before calling authorities, something doesn't seem right and his old nemisis, Tommy Motto, the acting prosecuting attorney, begins building a case of murder.   …
review by . August 10, 2010
Rusty Sabich, hero of 1987 bestseller Presumed Innocent, now reveals his true colors in Innocent. Two decades ago, Sabich stood trial for the murder of his mistress; he was acquitted, resumed both his legal career and his lackluster marriage, and restored his reputation. When wife Barbara dies suddenly, long time nemesis Tommy Molto seizes the opportunity to accuse Rusty of yet another murder, hoping to destroy him once and for all. Inexplicably, Rusty recently became embroiled in yet another steamy …
review by . May 19, 2010
Presumed Innocent was THE book back in the early 90's -- THE book that everyone read and that everyone was talking about. The movie just fueled it. It isn't often that a book's ending totally catches you by surprise.    I watched the movie (again) before reading this book. I don't think it's necessary if you are familiar with the story, but if you haven't read the book or seen the movie, I would definitely do so before you read this one.    I honestly never …
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Lynn Harnett ()
Ranked #182
I love to read, always have, and have been writing reviews for more years than I care to say. Early on, i realized there are more books than there is time to read, so I read only books I like and mostly … more
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Starred Review. 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.(May)
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ISBN-10: 0446562424
ISBN-13: 978-0446562423
Author: Scott Turow
Genre: legal thriller
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Date Published: 05-04-2010
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