272 of 285 people found the following review helpful
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. The sharply written and sometimes earthy dialogue as well as Turow's entertaining and often dryly humorous prose keep things moving along quickly. "Innocent," as its predecessor did more than two decades ago, demonstrates how difficult it is to mete out perfect justice in an imperfect world where so many people lie to themselves and others.
106 of 116 people found the following review helpful
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.
This is my first Turow book, but I thought it was a solid plot. I like court-type legal thrillers that focus on the drama of trial and strong characters. This book fits this category. We get a detailed set-up, with each chapter being told from the point of view of different characters, and their various secrets.
132 of 147 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2010
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.
69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2010
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.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2010
I have read all of Scott Turow's books and loved all of them. In this, as in others, Turow examines the thoughts, feelings and motives of all his characters. Innocent is written alternatively from the perspectives of the leading characters, which adds a dimension to the story that I particularly enjoyed. There are many twists and turns to the story and it does keep you guessing. If you liked Presumed Innocent, you'll enjoy revisiting Rusty Sabich. While it's true that he should have known better than to get into this type of situation again, the story of how it happened shows a more vulnerable, human side and you appreciate how unhappy he'd been for so long. Now he's fighting for his freedom in another trial with Tommy Molto prosecuting, Sandy Stern defending and nothing is certain except that he's not a murderer. His son, Nat, turned out to be a particularly interesting character and I hope to read about him in future books. I think this is among Turow's best books and would recommend it very highly.
136 of 158 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2010
Eight of you have given 1 Start ratings to this book because you do not like the price. I object.
Look, I have a right to read unbiased reviews and to count on the average review as a meaningful expression of the average reader's take on the book. You have a right to not like a price and to not pay it. You do not have the right to make it impossible for me to judge the contents of the book as seen by readers by using this review section to whine. Price is not based on cost to produce. It is based on what the market wil pay. By refusing to buy you collectively will get a lower price in time. This will be 9.99 in two weeks or so. Your whining here will not have any impact on price but it will inflict an injury on me and thousands of readers like me. And it is grossly unfair to the author whose work you effectively libel.
So stop. You are ruining a good thing and achieving absolutely nothing in return. Your behavior is mere vandalism.
39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2010
This is a terrific novel -- I literally couldn't put it down. When I got to the last hundred pages or so, I was even picking it up for whatever I could read while stopped at a red light! It is truly that good, and I feel terrible for Scott Turow that the Kindle price protesters have manipulated its star rating to this extents. It's completely unfair and I wish Amazon would put a stop to it.
59 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2010
I haven't even read this book but I came here to see what others thought of it. I noticed it had a rating of 3 stars and I thought to myself, "Wow, this must just be an average book so maybe i'll pass for now". But then I read some of the reviews that gave the book one star and I was astonished by what I read (And what I read was not unique to this particular item). But people were actually downngrading the book because the Kindle format was too expensive! All of you haters need to stop this craziness right now! The purpose of the review section on Amazon is for people to rate the books not the prices of the books or how long it took the book to arrive or anything else. Come on folks, when you read movie reviews does the reviewer downgrade a movie because he paid $7.50 to see it whereas it may have been showing at the theater across town for $6.50?? Of course not!! I reiterate, this area is for book reviews and not for price of book reviews or reviews of anything else besides the content of the book. And if you have a problem with how much something costs just STFU and don't buy it!!
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2010
This was a great legal thriller. I couldn't put it down and in fact, i missed work to finish it. What sets this book apart from the rest is the writing- the legal drama is there, the twist and turns are there, but so is the writing. you will not be able to put this down. This is the best book i've read in a while.
the kindle gripes should be shared elsewhere, not in the reviews.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2010
Before getting to the book itself, I was stunned to see how many one-star reviews there were. The first few were legitimate, actual readers who really disliked the book. But then came a barrage of "reviews" from, um, I'm sorry, idiots who were protesting the kindle price. This is unfair to the author and the folks who use the rating system as a tool to tell if a book is worth reading or not. Please, Amazon, if an actual person is checking reviews out for more than just dirty words, either find a forum for these, uh, gentlefolk, or just erase their bogus opinions.
There, I feel much better. Now on to the actual book:
The unhappy readers have pretty much summed up the problem with this book. It isn't remotely as good as Presumed Innocent. Too little time is spent on the actual trial, Turow's obvious strength. The sex scenes that occur much too frequently early on are boring. The plot twists, when they inevitably come in a flurry late, are underwhelming. Some of the characters are unbelievable (the son Nat, supposedly a 28-year-old genius, sounds like a 14-year old, either saying "dude," or "cool" or crying a lot).
The only thing totally mystifying about this book is how Turow managed to get a rave review on the front page of the Sunday New York Times book review. (I probably would have bought it anyway, but that sealed the deal).
So why did I give it two stars instead of one? Well, in my mind a one-star is a book I read for 75 to 100 pages, then toss. Curious to see if Turow could write his way out of this hole (he didn't) I stayed up until 2 in the morning until I finished it. In retrospect, it was time ill-spent.