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Innocent Paperback – May 10, 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 399 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Reviewers agreed that Innocent is a worthy follow-up to Presumed Innocent. Turow is ever a master of the legal system, and he relays his intimate knowledge through intelligent writing, good characterization, and generally suspenseful plotting. The New York Times noted some implausible developments, and the different narrators--which reveal "a rich portrait of the resentments, fears and loyalties that fester over years among family members and co-workers" (Miami Herald)--also caused some confusion for reviewers. Despite these quibbles, Entertainment Weekly, despite its relatively tepid review, spoke for all critics by noting, "It's a thrill to see the old faces again." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (May 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446562416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446562416
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (399 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Scott Turow was born in Chicago in 1949. He graduated with high honors from Amherst College in 1970, receiving a fellowship to Stanford University Creative Writing Center which he attended from 1970 to 1972. From 1972 to 1975 Turow taught creative writing at Stanford. In 1975, he entered Harvard Law School, graduating with honors in 1978. From 1978 to 1986, he was an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago, serving as lead prosecutor in several high-visibility federal trials investigating corruption in the Illinois judiciary. In 1995, in a major pro bono legal effort he won a reversal in the murder conviction of a man who had spent 11 years in prison, many of them on death row, for a crime another man confessed to.

Today, he is a partner in the Chicago office of Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal an international law firm, where his practice centers on white-collar criminal litigation and involves representation of individuals and companies in all phases of criminal matters. Turow lives outside Chicago

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Back in 1987, Scott Turow's "Presumed Innocent" created a sensation. It had all of the elements that fans of legal thrillers adore: murder, adultery, courtroom pyrotechnics, and a final twist that knocked everyone's socks off. In "Innocent," it is 2007 when Turow rejoins Rusty Sabich, who is now sixty years old and has risen to become Chief Judge of the Third District Appellate Court in Kindle County. He is hoping to run for the State Supreme Court in the near future. Unfortunately, his personal life has been far less successful than his career.

Turow keeps us off balance by going back and forth in time, changing points of view, and withholding key bits of information so that he can spring a few surprises in the final chapters. "Innocent" is an intense story of how people nurse deep-seated resentments that fester for years and do inestimable damage; of family members who are afraid to tell one another the truth; of infidelity and betrayal; and ultimately, of love and redemption. Turow's courtroom scenes are mesmerizing, and he makes the complex proceedings accessible and fascinating, even for those who know little about criminal procedure.

One quibble is that Rusty's behavior does not always ring true. He is supposedly an intelligent and self-disciplined individual who has learned something from his past mistakes, but his actions in this novel are too naïve, foolish, and self-destructive to be believed. In addition, there is a bit of contrivance in the way the author sews up the threads of his narrative. Still, Turow knows how to grab our attention and hold it, and he maintains a high level of suspense throughout this intricate tale.
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Format: Hardcover
In "Innocent," Scott Turow presents a sequel to his 1987 debut novel, "Presumed Innocent." Judge Rusty Sabich is accused of murder once again--but this time it is of his wife Barbara. The story is mostly told in flashbacks, from Spring 2007 when Barbara was still alive, to Fall 2008 when she mysteriously passes and Spring 2009 when court proceedings are well underway.

In Spring 2007, Judge Rusty Sabich is a happily married man, who sympathizes with his bipolar wife Barbara and shy, law-school graduate son Nat. His world is turned upside down after he starts an extra-marital affair with his former law-clerk, Anna, who is young enough to be his daughter. Complicating matters is that Judge Sabich's election to the Supreme State Court is coming up, and news of his affair can cost him not only his wife, but his career.

Fast forward a year, and Anna has broken up with Judge Rusty Sabich. Instead, she starts dating his love-struck son Nat---but is terrified of word slipping out about her past relationship with his father.

And then the unthinkable happens--Rusty Sabich is accused of murdering his wife Barbara when he doesn't react properly to her failure to get up. Instead of calling medical services, he spends twenty-four hours at her bedside in a trance-like state. By the time Barbara is finally seen, she's no longer alive. By this time, even his son Nat has trouble figuring out if Rusty is guilty or not.

Meanwhile Rusty's old nemesis from "Presumed Innocent," acting prosecuting attorney Tommy Molto, assisted by his fiery chief deputy Jim Brand, sees his chance to finally get back at Rusty by gathering enough evidence against him to bring the case to trial. A legal-thriller type court battle ensues, and takes up much of the book.
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Format: Hardcover
Its been almost 25 years since the ending of Presumed Innocent made it one of my ten best reads, a feeling reinforced by the Harrison Ford movie. A lot has changed in that time. I for one am now in my early 50's a and the main character Rusty has just turned 60. My view of life has changed dramatically while Rusty's world not so much. The familiarity of the continuing characters including Molto & Stern gave a comfortable ease back into the plot and new characters Nathan & Anna have depth and color. I would have liked to see more of Rustys wife though. Turow's use of a changing timeline and variable character viewpoints tended to be confusing and a cleaner way of telling the story might have helped. The story evolves into part Grishamess coutroom drama, part Law & Order, part Lifetime and part social commentary on family life in America. I am not sure in which of the genres (if any)the author was trying to write but he fails to stand out in any. That being said, I am still thankfull to Turow for the sequel and all in all an OK read.
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Format: Hardcover
As a long time fan of "Presumed Innocent", I looked forward to this book and found it quite good. The story line moves reasonably well, we see various characters from the original-all who have plausibly aged, moved on, suffered, etc. The mystery is well created, and moves to a reasonable conclusion. There is a good balance of courtroom v. Forensics involved. Long time Sabich advesary Tommy Molto comes out with more flesh on him in this book than in "PI", and for those who read "PI" you see in the solution a continuity of personalies that is consistent with the first book. Turow is able to ultimatley take the reader to a place of justice and consistency-characters are punished for what they did, and to some degree for what they are.

"Innocent" stands on its own as an excellent book. However, it is knowledge of the first book that causes the loss of a star in this review. While a sequel may well offer less detail than the original-which has to set the scene-this book loses a great deal in comparison to "PI" by offering far less detail about the Kindle County and a wide variety of lead up events. Turow chose to use the bare minimum of characters from the first book as he needed to. I think as a sequel he would do well to have involved other original characters, and not simply toss them away. As a result a certain amount of background color is lost.

On a different matter, I urge all those who are unhappy with Kindle prices to show their displeasure in the Discussion area and not in the Review area. It is unfair to the author and to potential readers to create a false impression about the quality of the book simply because the Kindle price is not where you think it should be.
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