Monday, September 3, 2018

Powerful Pages: Presumed Innocent (1986) & Innocent (2010) by Scott Turow

Powerful Pages: Presumed Innocent (1986) & Innocent (2010) by Scott Turrow

First off, I'm combining these reviews because both are worthwhile endeavors, and anyone who reads the first one must make time for the sequel.  Secondly, I want to note that I'm not big on legal thrillers, even when the quality of the prose is endearing.  However, like many, I found these dramatic thrillers from Scott Turrow to be thoroughly engrossing.  This is primarily because his work is as clear and inviting as damn near anything I have read, and because he uses his expertise as a lawyer to ground the work in reality and provide readers with quite an education without ever resorting to info dumps or dull passages burdened with too much exposition.  The people are always at the center of Turrow's novels, and these complex characters are always intriguing to such an extent that readers will have a difficult time putting either of these titles down.  Turrow gets us to invest in these people without giving us clear-cut heroes and villains.  Things are rarely that simple when it comes to justice and the rule of law, and the average human being isn't so easy to characterize either.  Both Presumed Innocent and Innocent revolve around devious crimes, and both ensnare us by challenging us on two distinct levels.  Firstly, we yearn to discover who is guilty of the crime, and at the same time we are just as interested in the legal maneuvers and various power plays that will determine the outcome of the trials that ensue.  In both cases, Turrow manages to maintain that suspense until the end of the tale, and both outcomes are equal parts shocking and fulfilling.  Upping the ante, Turrow manages all the incredible things I have described above with his work while also endowing his thrillers with some profound insight into humanity as we know it--and once again, he is able to do this without sacrificing any intrigue or impact along the way.  I marvel at what he has accomplished here, and it is very easy for me to strongly recommend Presumed Innocent and Innocent to anyone who enjoys a good read of any sort.  You will not be disappointed.

Final Grades

Presumed Innocent: A+
Innocent: A

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