THE BLOG
05/26/2010 10:28 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Innocent : Turow's Return To Glory

Scott Turow's latest novel is a sequel to his 1987 landmark novel PRESUMED INNOCENT. This book established Turow's career as a serious novelist and introduced the world to married couple Rusty and Barbara Sabich as well as his Rusty's nemesis Tommy Molto. Now Turow revisits these characters in INNOCENT, his best book since PRESUMED INNOCENT. It seems these characters are Turow's lucky charms.

The book starts off with Appellate Court Judge Rusty Sabich finding his wife Barbara dead. She has apparently died in her sleep. He sits by her bed for two days before calling for assistance, and seems overwhelmed by her death. Later his old foe, acting Prosecuting Attorney Tommy Molto, charges him with murder. This sets up a trial that involves cover-ups, obstructions of justice, and various procedural problems.

Turow also manages to show the human side of his characters who are full of flaws and defects. Sabich has a lot to hide from his family and his friends. Luckily his son Nat and his trusted lawyer Sandy Stern stand by his side throughout the trial and fight hard to protect his innocence.

Although the main characters in this story are terribly flawed they are also terribly understandable. Rusty is a man who has been unfaithful to his wife in the past and recently found himself involved with someone else again. This cover up of the recent affair leads to some of the mystery concerning his wife's death.

There are a lot of twists and turns in Turow's novel but his skills as a writer make them acceptable and intriguing. You never know from one page to the next what surprise is going to await you and that is the first requirement for a truly compelling story.

The death of Barbara Sabich is the main focus of the book but circling around that event are the relationships Rusty has with his son, with Anna who has been a clerk in his office, and with Tommy who has been his foe for many, many years. Each relationship introduces a new facet to the story and makes this one of the year's best reads.

Scott Turow's career took off like a comet with PRESUMED INNOCENT but faltered with each succeeding novel. He never seemed to capture the essence of the plot and characters as he did with that first big hit. Now with INNOCENT he comes back with his A-game and knocks it out of the park.

Someone contact Harrison Ford and Bonnie Bedelia and tell them they are needed in Hollywood to continue the story of the characters they played in the film based on PRESUMED INNOCENT. The movie version of this new book should make for an amazing film.

This story has been waiting to be told and now Turow has it down in print. It is a revelation to see what happened with these characters and to have Scott Turow back in such fine form.

INNOCENT is published by Grand Central Publishing. It contains 406 pages and sells for $27.99

Jackie K. Cooper
www.jackiekcooper.com