Warner, 2003 (2002)
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Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
in 1987 to
in 1999, Scott Turow has been a force in courtroom procedurals. And what a force! With
, he's back with a vengeance. It's complex but well-plotted, tightly written, suspenseful, intriguing, and with a deep insight into what makes people tick.
was fascinated by the author's read on peoples' characters. He delves into their inner being and draws them forth slowly and with great skill. He makes no excuses for his players' personalities, just presents them without bias. Wonderful actors on both sides of the law tell his story. Rommy Gandolph, convicted of murdering three people in 1991, sits on death row facing his end by lethal injection, and claiming, as most inmates do, that he is innocent. Arthur Raven is appointed Rommy's lawyer for his final appeal. Pro bono. For a bit, the plot bounces back and forth between the commission of the crime in 1991 to the present of 2001. A trifle confusing, but I soon got the rhythm of it.
he crime is researched and the people involved originally are once again involved: prosecutor Muriel Wynn, detective (on the case then and now) Larry Starczek, and Judge Gillian Sullivan who heard the case and sentenced Rommy. These people were entangled not only with the trial but also personally. And therein lies the tale. It makes a really good, but not a quick, read, one to get caught up in. And one you'll hate to put down. At times the vernacular used by various dubious figures was a trifle difficult to understand, but it does drop the reader into the scene.
is not a true page turner, because there is much that Scott Turow has to say that is too deep to just skim over. He encourages the reader to stop and cogitate, and it's well worth the effort.
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