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Identical Hardcover – October 15, 2013

3.5 out of 5 stars 770 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Turow continues his obsession with innocence (his breakout first novel, Presumed Innocent, 1987, was followed after 20 years by Innocent). In this strained reworking of the theme, the mystery centers on identical twins, Cass and Paul Giannis, who both attend a party at the home of their father’s greatest rival, Zeus Kronon, in 1982. The mythological references are many, most seeming to underscore the simple point that the book is about twins. The pivot for the action is the 2008 release from prison of Cass, who confessed to the 1982 murder of his girlfriend Athena Kronon (daughter of Zeus). Cass has been destroyed by prison; Paul is a state senator and mayoral candidate. Matters get further complicated when an ex–FBI agent and a PI reopen the murder case on their own, convinced that Cass is innocent. Much of this book is weighed down by unnecessary accounts of characters’ lives from childhood on. The interesting part has to do with the forensics of fingerprinting and DNA, though the 2008 time frame limits what can be done with that. All in all, a disappointment from a much-loved author. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Turow may have drunk from the well of innocence one too many times, but his fans are still thirsty. --Connie Fletcher

Review

"A compulsively readable tale of love, guilt and revenge that may take its cues from the story of Pollux and Castor and other Greek myths but resonates even more strongly with the near-epic Kindle County narrative Turow has created over some three decades. Even when "Identical's" many twists challenge the reader to figure out who's on first, it is Turow's deftly drawn characters - coping with advancing age, old grief and lost love - that linger in the mind."―Los Angeles Times

"Suspense with twists and turns from a master of the form."―Sacramento Bee

"Complexity is the hallmark of Turow's brainy legal thrillers."―USA Today

"Turow has obvious fun with his mythological conceit...the process of discovery takes nice and sometimes unexpected twists. Amid the super modernity of DNA tests, the austerity of case law and the tangles of contemporary politics, Turow never loses sight of the ancient underpinnings of his story...Classic (in more senses than one) Turow."―Kirkus

"A wrenching story of violence, betrayal, and human credibility."―Library Journal

"It's classic Turow: love, lies, and lawyers."―Good Housekeeping

"A tantalizingly tangled web of betrayal, deception and familial love...this twisty who's-who whodunit packs plenty of drama."―Family Circle

"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." (Praise for Innocent)
Stephen King --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (October 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455527203
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455527205
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (770 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By TChris TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a review of the entire novel, not of the free four chapter preview.

The identical twin crime novel has been done so often it's become a cliché, but Scott Turow knows that. Just when I thought I had it figured out and was disappointed that the story followed an obvious path, the plot twisted. Then it twisted again, becoming a different story altogether. Kudos to Turow for taking a familiar plot device and doing something new with it. Unlike some of Turow's other novels, Identical isn't a courtroom thriller, a departure that might disappoint readers who want an author to write the same novel over and over. It is instead a novel about the intersection of politics and law. That's been done before too, but few writers do it better than Turow. Identical is set in the familiar legal terrain of Kindle County and features several secondary characters (including Sandy Stern) who are well known to Turow's fans.

Paul Gianis is a brand new attorney who, as the novel opens in 1982, will soon become a prosecutor in Kindle County. Paul is attending a picnic where several of the novel's principle characters are gathered, including Paul's twin brother Cass, his mother Lidia, his brother's caustic girlfriend Dita, and Dita's father, Zeus Kronen. After warning us that the day of the picnic will change Paul's life, Scott Turow jumps ahead to a 2008 parole hearing, where we meet Dita's brother, Hal Kronen, a wealthy real estate developer. Cass has nearly finished serving his sentence for Dita's murder. Also attending the hearing are Kronen's vice president for security, Evon Miller, and his private investigator, Tim Brodie. Paul, having departed the prosecutor's office for a lucrative personal injury practice, is now the majority leader in the state senate and a candidate for mayor.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A novel revolving around a murder and the parts that twin brothers play in it loosely based on the ancient Greek myth of Castor and Pollux. The Greek version has one of the twins mortal and the other the son of Zeus, head of the Gods and immortal. Upon the death of the mortal twin the other asks if his immortality can be shared with his dead brother.
Paul and Cass Giannis are identical twins growing up in Turow's favorite locale: Kindle county. Their family has been involved in a long term feud with their former neighbors the Kronons. Cass falls in love with Dita Kronon and wants to marry her in spite of the opposition of both families to the match. At a party given by Zeus Kronon, the patriarch of his family and her father Dita is beaten and murdered in her own room. Shortly afterward Cass confesses to the crime and plea bargains his way into serving 25 years at a minimum security prison.
The main events of the book take place in 2008, the year that Cass is released from prison, and coincidentally the year that Paul is running for mayor of Kindle county.
Evon Miller, an ex FBI agent, and head of security for ZP the Kronon family business decides to reopen the investigation into Dita's death 25 years ago and enlists the aid of Tim Brodie a former homicide detective and currently a private investigator. Evon's purpose is to make sure that Cass is really the one that killed Dita and not Paul who is running for mayor.
The permutations and spins of the investigation make for fascinating reading with the ending logical but not at all the one that we might believe. Turow is a master of painting scenes and logically developing his principal characters. A must read, and a very rewarding one with a surprise ending that will fascinate the reader, even those that have read Turow previously.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dita is murdered in September of 1982….Cass (born Cassian) pleads guilty and is sentenced to 25 years. His identical twin Paul becomes a successful politician and is running for mayor. Hal (born Herakles), Dita’s brother, blames Paul and is out for revenge. Sounds simple enough. Regretfully Turow has decided that the tale is not simple and must be embellished with plots; sub-plots and sub-sub-plots to enrich his tepid tale. Starting with Evon (born DeDe) a FBI agent, her lesbian lover Heather, and their tortured and unfulfilled life together. She works for Hal (undercover, of course) but is as irrelevant to the plot as is her sexual orientation. Then we get to meet Sofie, Tim, Mina, Zeus, Corus, Lidia, Beata, Hassan, Maria and on and on and on. The result, in this convoluted read, is that the reader become asphyxiated by the endless, confusing and banal prose. Turow is a gifted writer….who misses sometimes. Sadly Identical is a boring miss.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is more than uneven. The dialogue in the first parts is awkward, trite, and so different from some of the dialogue in other parts of the book that it's hard to believe that it was written by the same person. The plot is a mess. A few interesting judicial rulings and an occasional intelligent observation about life and human nature find a way into the over-long novel, but there's not enough to make reading this book worthwhile.
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Format: Hardcover
Can one admit admiration for Scott Turow in one breath, and then gently chastise him in another? Because that's what I feel like doing. He took me through this case again, I think more for his own amusement than mine. Sure, he can write, but we didn't need this latest look at Kindle County, now complete with lesbian fights in the street. It's a convoluted mess, if you ask me. Greek soap opera- something below what it should be! Too much DNA stuff to interest me. I don't want to be a DNA expert, nor a twins scientist. I just wanted a good read, a new story to entertain me, and I didn't get it!
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