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The Laws of Our Fathers

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Laws of Our Fathers.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Scott Turow(Author)

    Book details


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

4.4 (5131)
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Book details

  • PDF | 534 pages
  • Scott Turow(Author)
  • Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition edition (October 18, 1996)
  • English
  • 5
  • Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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Review Text

  • By S. Renzo on September 10, 2017

    This is a different sort of book for Scott Turow. Not based in Kindle County (although it begins there), it is instead based in The Hague, in the International Court of Justice.The premise is the investigation and proof of potential war crimes against Romas committed during the Balkan Conflict.The characters are not based on real people, but for those who remember that period of history (about 25 years ago) they might well be able to name the real life participants in the military and political activity of the times. Radovan Karadzic, leader of the Bosnian Serbs, was sentenced to 40 years for the crime of genocide only last year. The description of his counterpart in Turow's book will be easily recognized, right down to that impressive head of hair he had. (Quiz: Can you name the US General who ran the US military effort, ran NATO, then ran for President?)The story is a good one, the characters are well drawn (particularly the supply guru) and the book is a really good read.

  • By CM on August 28, 2017

    One has to admire Turow’s ambition in this 500+ page balancing of (or perhaps collision between) the demands of plot and characterization, an act that seemed so finely poised in his Presumed Innocent from nine years earlier. The Laws seems not to have worked so well for many, judging by some early press reviews. Characterization definitely looms large as we constantly shift between twenty-something characters flirting dangerously with social radicalism in late-’60s-early-’70s pseudo-Berzerkeley and their mid-’90s much-older-but-still-with-lots-of-psychological-work-to-do selves in some major metropolis much further east. There they collide with the far more dangerous world of Hardcore, a death-and-drug dealing kingpin from the projects (for me, the most interesting figure, who I would hope might find his way into Turow’s later novels, as characters seem to do). It takes some patience and concentration to follow the ’70s-to-’90s temporal shifts as Seth, Sonny, Eddgar (father and son), Hobie, Lucy work to figure out who they are and who they want to be—’Core, on the other hand, seems very clear on that score. The 1990s plot, intended to provide the legal thrills, intrudes often enough to keep things engaging, and eventually provides a nice twist to extricate Judge Sonny from her judicial dilemma. A sortof deus ex machina, set apart in italic, eventually intrudes to make sense of who really did what to whom (which was a bit confusing).Turow also ambitiously throws himself into Hardcore’s world, where others might fear to tread—perhaps more in 2017 than back in the early ’90s. The author-as-ventriloquist is challenged to speak page after page in ebonics to capture the world of the ghetto. I couldn’t help but think of Moonlight and how it confronts (or makes audiences confront) realities of that world much more quietly. (If this were Marshal Zeringue’s blog “My Book, the Movie” instead of Goodreads, I’d nominate Mahershala Ali for the part of Hardcore.) But Seth’s “righteous story” (as Hobie calls it), told after Seth’s father’s funeral, a challenging “what if” fantasy tale about black and white, and Hobie’s response to it [see the chapter, “April 1, 1996”] seems no nearer resolution in 2017 than in the mid-’90s.

  • By Shoeless Joe on March 10, 2006

    This is an all-around poor novel. Turow tries to mix elements of his legal thriller formula with an attempt to write a great novel about aging, crime, redemption, and other "Big Themes." The result is a botched mess, a sloppy book that fails to grasp the reader's attention.The first problem is Turow's overwrought prose. I have not read any of his other books, so I don't know if this is a common problem for him. Nevertheless, he make the mistakes you would expect from a novice writer. He never picks the simple, direct word or phrase when he can think of a more convoluted one. An early example: The main character is recovering, not from breast cancer, but from "cancer of the breast." What? No one talks like that, and it is consistently distracting.The second problem is with Turow's outrageous, maudlin sentimentality. Every character is suffering from some deep personal tragedy and meditates on it for pages on end. These passages sap the life from the novel and make the plot slip away.Even this would be forgivable if Turow had given us likable characters. His characters are not sympathetic in the least, however. One major character, a judge, takes a case she has no business judging, given her long personal history with all of the people involved. Worse, she only further entangles herself as the trial goes on and consistently allows her emotions to compromise her integrity as a judge.About the other main character, the less said about him, the better. A pompous windbag with no personal integrity, his main contribution to the plot is a scheme to defraud his own father, who is a Holocaust survivor. Ugh.The book is also far too long. Half of it is devoted to flashbacks to the 1960s that drag on and on. While the current-day trial sequences are decent, they are a small part of the novel. Moreover, the trial's resolution is singularly unsatisfying. As if this wasn't enough, Turow then throws a long, meandering conclusion in that feels thoroughly tacked on.My first Turow novel, and likely my last.


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