Scott Turow

Large print - 2010

"INNOCENT continues the story of Rusty Sabich and Tommy Molto who are, once again, twenty years later, pitted against each other in a riveting psychological match after the mysterious death of Rusty's wife"--Provided by publisher.

Saved in:

1st Floor Show me where

1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor LARGE PRINT/FICTION/Turow, Scott Checked In
New York : Grand Central Pub. Large Print 2010.
Main Author
Scott Turow (-)
1st large print ed
Item Description
Sequel to: Presumed innocent.
Physical Description
642 p. (large print) ; 24 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by New York Times Review

"How, my heart shrieks, how can I be doing this again?" asks Judge Rusty Sabich, the hero of Scott Turow's cunning, intricate legal thriller "Innocent." And it's a fair question, for both the character and his creator. Twenty-three years ago, in Turow's best-selling novel "Presumed Innocent," Sabich cheated on his wife, was charged with the murder of his mistress and, after a long and exceptionally messy trial, walked. "Innocent" finds Sabich - just turned 60 and still living, uneasily, with his wife - once more violating his marriage vows, now with a woman young enough to be his daughter: hence the shrieking heart, the italicized self-interrogation. It's only natural that he feel a touch of foreboding in this situation. The age difference between him and his eager lover, a lawyer named Anna Vostic, is of course worrisome, as is the effect this new infidelity might have on his campaign for election to the state supreme court. Sabich has become wary of himself, spooked by the intensity of his late-life desire. But the greatest cause for concern while he's conducting this affair is his wife, Barbara, who is, he knows all too well, dangerously unstable: bipolar and prone to rage. The judge is tense, and his twitchy mood is contagious. By the time "Innocent" has run its tumultuous course, pretty much everybody around him seems to have come down with an acute case of performance anxiety. Or perhaps all these nervous lawyers have caught the bug from Turow, who understandably betrays a certain trepidation about returning to the themes, the tone, the sly narrative technique and many of the characters of his first, enormously successful novel. How can I be doing this again, he appears to be asking himself, over and over in the first half of "Innocent," before the courtroom fireworks begin. Again, Sabich is suspected of murder, this time of his wife, dead of what appears to be a heart attack (but maybe poisoned by an overdose of one of her many medications). Again he's represented by the wily Sandy Stern. Again he's prosecuted by the dogged, earnest Tommy Molto. Again the hero guards enough secrets to keep the reader wondering whether he might in fact have done the deed. It's no crime to write a sequel, but it's an activity a serious novelist should feel at least a little guilty about. Turow evidently does. (Calling the new book "Innocent" may constitute a sheepish plea for forgiveness.) Practically everyone involved in this strange case is compelled to comment on the been-there-done-thatness of the thing. "Too much history," Molto says wearily, as his avid deputy tries to persuade him to indict Sabich for murder just this one time more. The defendant himself characterizes the case as "old wine in new bottles." Acknowledging the "Presumed Innocent" reader's sense of déjà vu is crafty, but what makes this new book more than a cleverly executed stunt is Turow's determination to use the familiarity of the story and the characters for purposes loftier than earning some very hefty royalties. He seems, in part, to have written this book out of a fascination with the enduring human puzzle of repetitive behavior. Judge Sabich, who strives to be a scrupulous self-examiner, can't stop wondering why he nonetheless finds himself, two decades older and presumably wiser, making exactly the same mistakes that, as he puts it, "all but ruined his life." Turow is returning to the scene of a personal triumph rather than a catastrophe, but he's wondering too: like his protagonist, he knows he's pushing his luck. In "Innocent," he's exploring the many ways in which, time after time, we fail to understand ourselves, in which we miss or misinterpret the evidence that could tell us who we are. "If we are always a mystery to ourselves," Anna asks at the end of Sabich's latest ordeal, "then what is the chance of fully understanding anybody else?" That's a novelist's question as much as it is a lawyer's. WHO Scott Turow is has become a good deal clearer in the 23 years and eight novels since "Presumed Innocent." If none of his subsequent books have quite achieved the popular-fiction perfection of his debut, they have been consistently thoughtful and absorbing - and increasingly melancholy. "Innocent" is a meticulously constructed and superbly paced mystery, full of twists and surprises and the sort of technical arcana on which the genre thrives. The reader will learn quite a lot about toxicology screening, e-mail shredding software and the peculiar properties of MAO-inhibitor antidepressants. The book's real distinction, though, is its stubborn, powerful undercurrent of regret, mostly felt by Sabich but also, to a lesser degree, by everybody else in this murky world, where even the bright light of the law can't show people, or their desperate acts, as they truly are. Judge Sabich narrates much of the novel's first half, in flashbacks to the anxious period before his wife's death, and then his voice disappears for a long stretch, to be replaced largely by that of his grown son, Nat, a recent law school graduate who was once a student of philosophy. At one point in his father's trial, ex-philosopher Nat reflects on "the screwy epistemology of the courtroom, where the million daily details of a life suddenly get elevated to evidence of murder," and in this he may be speaking for Turow himself: a practicing attorney who appears to have become more preoccupied with the ambiguities of the law (which are many) than its certainties (which are few). The effect of spending a lifetime in the halls of justice, his novels suggest, is - or should be - a growing sense of the law's incapacity to explain anything important about human folly. Justice may not be entirely blind, but it appears to have cataracts. It turns everything fuzzy and dim. Worst of all, it doesn't know how to tell a story. And that, in the end, may be the reason Turow continues to write novels, to have his bit on the side while apparently remaining faithful to his long-term relationship with the law. It's clear in "Innocent" how different young lawyers like Anna and Nat are from older ones, who still have their ambitions but have been relieved of most of their illusions. Legal lifers like Sabich and Molto have seen too much and say, at times, too little. They've become cautious, reluctant to speak or act for fear of muddying the truth again. They play everything so close to the vest, keep their own counsel so rigorously, that they've become, in a way, strangers to themselves. It's terribly sad when, at the end of "Innocent," Sabich begins to speak for himself once more and what he has to say is: "Accepting the truth is often the hardest task human beings face." (He's also an epistemologist, of sorts.) By some odd process, Sabich's repetition compulsion has led him to a kind of rueful clarity about himself, a belated sense of who he is and who, all along, he has been. This is a lovely novel, gripping and darkly self-reflective. How can Scott Turow be doing this again? As the lawyers say, asked and answered. Again, Sabich is suspected of murder. Again, he has enough secrets to make you wonder about his innocence. Terrence Rafferty is a frequent contributor to the Book Review.

Copyright (c) The New York Times Company [June 2, 2010]
Review by Booklist Review

The more things change, the more they remain the same seems to be the burden of Turow's ninth novel, which is a clever reprise of his first, Presumed Innocent (1987). In Turow's breakthrough book, prosecuting attorney Rusty Sabitch is put on trial for the murder of a woman colleague with whom he'd been having an affair. Tommy Molto, another attorney, launches an unsuccessful prosecution against Sabitch in a nail-biter of a courtroom drama (with added zest provided by Turow's own background as a lawyer). Twenty-one years later, as this story begins, Sabitch has ascended to an appellate court judgeship, Molto is still a prosecutor, and they retake their roles as defendant and prosecutor (and persecutor, since Molto investigates Sabitch before the trial). Rusty's wife of 36 years, Barbara, is bipolar and extremely difficult. His senior clerk, Anna, is jolly and extremely willing. Sabitch embarks on an affair that has disastrous consequences and winds up with the judge once again fighting a murder charge. The first part of the book shuttles between Sabitch and Molto, each narrating his take on events suspense is often spoiled, though, because readers know what Sabitch has done before Molto figures it out. Part 2, inevitably, is the criminal trial, in which the two antagonists meet again. Turow is as agile as ever at plotting and characterization, and his fans will be thrilled at the prospect of a reprise between two of his most memorable characters. But this time the courtroom drama has a mechanical feel to it, as if Turow accepted a dare to put Sabitch and Molto back in the courtroom, older, but in the same position and pickle as in Presumed Innocent.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

It's been more than two decades since Edward Hermann narrated Presumed Innocent, splendidly interpreting the voices of that book's main characters: hapless protagonist Rusty Sabich on trial for the murder of his lover; his shrewd defense attorney, Sandy Stern; and the determined prosecutor, Tommy Molto. Now that Turow has brought the trio back for a sequel, cleverly arranging them, after all these years, in a roughly analogous situation, it's only natural for Hermann to be back on board, too, performing with the same eloquence and subtlety that distinguished his earlier work. This time, following the author's lead, he presents a more philosophic Sabich, an ill but no less wily Stern, and a kinder, gentler Molto. And because a new character, Chief Justice Sabich's attractive young law clerk Anna Vostic, narrates several chapters, Hermann is assisted by Orlagh Cassidy, who smartly conveys both the wistfulness and strength of the new key player in this never less than engrossing multilayered drama-whodunit. A Grand Central hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 8). (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

The sequel to Turow's Presumed Innocent (1987), read by Edward Herrmann, who also reads Hachette Audio's new unabridged edition of that title; simultaneous release with the Grand Central hc (750,000-copy first printing), to be reviewed in LJ 5/1/10. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

'Tis the season for sequelsunexpected, decades removed from their well-remembered predecessors. June sees the return of Brett Easton Ellis with Imperial Bedrooms, another Elvis Costellotitled novel that revisits the lost boys of Less Than Zero, the lost men they have become a quarter-century later and the new Hollywood generation of lost girls after whom they lust. It also finds Oscar Hijuelos returning with Beautiful Maria of My Soul, the title of the lovesick ballad immortalized 20 years ago in his breakthrough novel, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love. Here, Hijuelos retells the story of that ill-fated romance from the perspective of its inspiration.But first comes the May publication of Innocent, by Scott Turow, a sequel after 20 years to Presumed Innocent, the novel that not only launched the Chicago-based lawyer's literary career but inspired a spate of popular courtroom procedurals. Though at least one other lawyer turned author has subsequently achieved greater commercial success, Turow remains the master of the form, at least partly because he's more fascinated by the mysteries of the human heart than he is by the intricacies of the law.Here, suspense and discovery sustain the narrative momentum until the final pages, but character trumps plot in Innocent. The ironic title underscores the huge gap between innocence as a moral state of grace and "not guilty" as a courtroom verdict. Once again, Turow's novel pits Rusty Sabich against Tommy Molto, former colleagues turned adversaries, with the former now chief judge of the appellate court and the latter as prosecuting attorney.Sabich remains more complicated and morally compromised, while Molto is much more certain of right and wrong. Exonerated in a murder trial 20 years ago, but his innocence never completely established, Sabich finds himself once again under suspicion after the sudden death of his mentally unstable, heavily medicated wife. As in the first novel, Sabich suffers the guilt of infidelity, but does this make him guilty of the murder Molto becomes convinced the judge has committed?Complicating the issue are the judge's only son, more of a legal scholar than his father though with some of his mother's emotional instability, and the whirlwind romance between the junior Sabich and the former clerk for the senior Sabich. To reveal more would undermine the reader's own pleasure of discovery, but the judge, whether guilty or not, might prefer prison to the revelation of crucial secrets. "How do we ever know what's in someone else's heart or mind?" the novel asks. "If we are always a mystery to ourselves, then what is the chance of fully understanding anybody else?"The various perspectiveswith some characters knowing more than the reader does, while the reader knows more than otherscontribute to an exquisite tension that drives the narrative. Where the title of the first novel may have presumed innocence, the sequel knows that we're all guilty of something.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.