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Pleading Guilty Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1994


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Murder, embezzlement, bookmaking, offshore banking, and the politics of a high-powered law firm supply varying shades of corruption as Turow ( Presumed Innocent ; The Burden of Proof ) returns to Kindle County in this wise, surefooted legal thriller. World-weary attorney Mack Malloy, 50-ish ex-cop and recovering alcoholic, is the protagonist and narrator. Despite humiliating annual pay cuts, Mack plods on at Gage & Griswell, nearing the end of his usefulness. When another partner in the firm disappears, along with several million dollars, Mack is assigned the difficult and potentially dangerous job of discreetly discovering his whereabouts. During a one-month time span, Mack dictates his account onto six tapes corresponding to the book's chapters. It is an engaging, street-wise narrative full of plain talk and homespun philosophy, as well as a candid account of the behind-the-scenes workings of a powerful law firm. Though every element of the novel is polished and professional, the charisma of Mack's narration is its triumph. Add that to a taut, twist-filled plot, expert pacing, colorful and well-rendered supporting characters, and an appealing whiff of larceny, and Turow surpasses Grisham hands down. 875,000 first printing; Franklin Library First Edition; BOMC and QPB main selection; paperback to Warner; author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Mr. Turow's prose is powerful ... a tough, vivid urban poetry, singing of ambition and corruption....  an arresting performance."
--The New York Times
 
"Though every element of the novel is polished and professional, the charisma of Mack's narration is its triumph. Add that to a taut, twist-filled plot, expert pacing, colorful and well-rendered supporting characters, and an appealing whiff of larceny, and Turow surpasses Grisham hands down."
--Publishers Weekly
 
"His legions of fans surely won't miss the chance to see Turow as they've never seen him before."
--Kirkus Reviews
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (June 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446365505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446365505
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,304,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Not Scott Turow's usual.
Amazon Customer
Turow also assumes that we care more than we do about a couple of the more minor characters in the book, and this slows the ending down a bit too.
RMurray847
Turow has always developed his characters superbly, and his study of narrator Mack Malloy is masterful.
Brian Reynolds

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Brian Reynolds on January 29, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
An extremely well crafted legal drama/mystery. Turow has always developed his characters superbly, and his study of narrator Mack Malloy is masterful. Malloy is a deep and believable character, and his personality gives Turow even better opportunities than usual to exercise his wit--how often does a page turner legal thriller also have you rolling with laughter on several occasions? I highly recommend this book, and I second the notion that this is the perfect place to start if you're wondering if Scott Turow is for you.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By KWags on July 11, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's been several years since I've read this book, but I highly recommnend it. After reading a couple of the poor reviews (from the looks of the reviews, you either love it or hate it), I felt I had to throw in my two cents. This book is different than Turow's other loosely-connected trilogy and certainly one of the best. It's written in that first person, detective-type cadence that keeps the pages turning fast. If you're new to Turow, read Presumed Innocent and this one, the others are a notch below.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read and enjoyed the first two Turow novels (let's ignore 1L or whatever that law school book he wrote is called), but they are normal legal thrillers, although much more substantial than anything by Grisham (whom I also enjoy). But this book was a surprise and a delight to me. It's an hilarious dark comedy that has a nifty little whodunnit as a spine. If you are looking for a normal "hero comes through" book, this isn't it. But it is an acutely observed, bleak comedy of manners with what I found to be a very logical, but satisfactory, ending.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By RMurray847 VINE VOICE on April 27, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For some reason, John Grisham continues to be the hugest name in the "legal thriller" business, when that honor ought to be firmly in the grasp of Scott Turow. His books have more "meat on the bone," dabble in moral ambiguity more instead of having such clearly delineated good guys / bad guys, and are written in a more literate style. Grisham's characters are sketched in quickly and seldom grow and change. He's like the lawyer's version of Michael Crichton, all plot and no heart.
By shear coincidence, this was really driven home to me when I first read THE PARTNER, by Grisham, which tells the story of a lawyer who steals a huge amount of money from his shady law partners and disappears with it. It's a fun STORY with many amusing touches, but never makes you truly care for the characters. I followed this read immediately with PLEADING GUILTY, which also dealt with some shady attorneys being ripped off big-time by one of their partners.
The main character is Mack Malloy, an ex-cop turned lawyer, who is grappling with raising on his own a VERY troubled teenage boy and is also a recovering alcoholic right on the edge of no longer recovering. He's a smart attorney but not a terribly productive one for his firm, and he's given the job of tracking down his fellow partner who is suspected of raiding a company settlement fund of millions and disappearing. Mack begins to investigate, and he peels of layer after layer of secrets and surprises...off his firm, off their #1 client, off the local police force and even from his friend, the disappeared lawyer.
Told in the first person, the character of Mack is flawed but totally engaging. And when I say "flawed," I don't mean a little.
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 17, 1996
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I wasn't prepared for how funny this book would turn out to be. The plot isn't as memorable as Presumed Innocent, but the main character is much more likable.
I'm always looking for a suspenseful book that is intelligently written and this one has great humor besides.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By brazos49 VINE VOICE on December 24, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the third Turow novel I've read and it was the third he wrote. It also ranks third in quality of the three I've read. It's not a bad book at all, and it is well worth reading. It just lacks the higher quality of characters I found in the other two novels, Presumed Innocent and Burden of Proof. The story has plenty of Turow style surprises and is quite interesting. To me, the thing that pulled the book down was the character development. I just didn't find Mack or Brushy to be interesting or well developed. Toots was the most interesting character and he was a bit player in the story. So, overall I'd say read it, but if you only have time to read one or two, I'd pick his earlier novels.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By hardly_b on August 18, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mack Malloy is a burned out ex-cop turned lawyer -- he's smart, tough-minded, and pretty much past caring. He's asked by the managing partners at his high-profile firm to investigate something, and as he begins shambling along looking for the truth, his frayed life really begins to unravel.
This book is wonderfully perceptive -- it's really a portrait of a very able man defeated by his life who retreats into alcohol and (apt) wry observations and wisecracks, but who still has a few tricks up his sleeve. The book is hilariously funny, a satire of the earnest "redemption stories" (wherein the hero wins one last big case to turn his life around). It's dark, funny, and a delight to read. I think that this is Turow's best book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bill Garrison VINE VOICE on December 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have read two Turow books, this one and Burden of Proof. Burden of Proof was a challenge to read because Turow made it that way. All of the characters were intriguing and the intricate plot was very interesting. This book is the opposite. It takes talent to swich to a completely different writing style. Unfortunately, this new writing style of the first person lawyer/detective did not tell a good story. I was bored by all of the characters and often couldn't tell one lawyer from another. This is not a good book.
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