The Laws of Our Fathers
A drive-by shooting of an aging white woman at a gang-plagued Kindle County housing project sets in motion Scott Turow's intensely absorbing novel. With its riveting suspense and idelibly drawn characters, The Laws of our Fathers shows why Turow is not only the master of the modern legal thriller but also one of America's most engaging and satisfying novelists.
Turow once again proves that there is more substance in a single page of one of his novels than in the entire works of John Grisham or any other author in the legal thriller genre. In this latest, the mother of a probation officer is shot near a gang-infested housing project, provoking charges that her son orchestrated the killing. The ensuing trial reunites a group of affluent Sixties activists who knew each other in their student days. The courtroom scenes are energetic and intelligent, and Turow never resorts to playing good guys vs. bad guys. Nor does he subject his characters to tearful, revelatory testimony while on the stand. His dialog is snappy and believable?aside from some awkwardly rendered sections featuring the leader of an urban street gang?and his insight into his characters' petty motivations and misplaced love is dead on. All public libraries should have a copy of this fine novel.?Mark Annichiarico, "Library Journal"Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. With the same masterful narrative technique used in his previous best-sellers, Chicago attorney Turow delivers another dense, exciting legal thriller. The setting is his usual fictional Kindle County, and we revisit Judge Sonia "Sonny" Klotsky, last seen in The Burden of Proof (1990). Sonny, a newcomer to the bench after the district cleared out numerous corrupt justices in the latest sting, finds herself sitting as judge in a high-profile murder case--a juryless bench trial, no less. Although confident in her knowledge and application of the law, Sonny feels an incessant knot in her stomach over being the sole arbiter of the lives of heinous though pitiful defendants. Only adding to her inner struggle is the fact that this particular trial--where a senator's son allegedly had a hand in murdering his mother when he was, in fact, trying to kill the senator himself--becomes something of a reunion of 1960s college chums, for Sonny was in a virtual commune with the defendant and his family, the defense attorney, and, most poignant of all, her former lover turned journalist. Turow, while telling a fascinating crime story, skillfully turns the book into a tale of love and loss, of family and friendship. Expect much demand. Mary Frances Wilkens
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