Book Review | Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
I am generally one of those people who never re-reads a book – I love reading but it is a very rare occasion when I will have loved a book SO MUCH that I want to read it again. That being said, when I was offered the chance to review, and revisit, Presumed Innocent, by Scott Turow, I found myself excited at the chance to read this courtroom thriller again!
I remember reading Presumed Innocent a number of years ago and I also remember how much I enjoyed it! It also sparked a highly acclaimed movie, starring Harrison Ford as Rusty Sabich, an assistant prosecutor that finds himself at the very hands of the justice system he has worked within in his whole life (if you haven’t seen the movie, I’d recommend you hit the video store for that as well)!
Once I began reading Presumed Innocent, I remembered why I loved this novel so much! Rusty Sabich, an assistant prosecutor, finds himself in charge of the murder investigation of a colleague but Rusty has a secret to hide. He knows it is a conflict of interest for him to pursue this case because he has, in fact, had an affair with the woman murdered, though it ended before her death. In the midst of all that happens, Rusty finds forensic evidence piling up against him and he is put on trial for her murder. Rusty keeps insisting that he is innocent, but the evidence is stacked against him – has he really murdered her and forgotten or is something else at play?
My favourite elements of this novel are two-fold: I love the development of Rusty Sabich’s character and I am enthralled by the twists and turns of the plot. I really enjoy the fact that Rusty is humanized in many ways – he isn’t a perfect husband, he’s had affairs, he is not a saint – but through the internal thought process that Turow provides in the novel (which I think is what makes this novel work SO well – it is from Rusty’s point of view) – he has not committed this crime and he either cannot, or will not, critically analyze what is happening to him for most of the novel because it might mean that he will learn things he doesn’t want to face. It is interesting to watch a character who is obviously so bright and knowledgeable who possesses astute skills of observation refuse to face the reasons behind the events that are taking place or who might be framing him for murder.
I also love the twists and turns of the novel – every time I think I have a handle on what is happening, or how the story may be evolving, another twist is added and another layer clouds the events and makes it even more difficult to judge how the story may end. At the end of the novel I felt myself exhaling – I realized I had been holding my breath waiting to see what would happen to Rusty – which was funny because I already knew how the story ended but I was so engaged I found myself anxiously turning pages and sitting on the edge of my seat!
Part of the reason I was given the chance to review this novel is that Scott Turow has written a sequel to Presumed Innocent. I did a little research online and found out that the new book, entitled Innocent, will be released shortly and it centres on Rusty Sabich, once again. I can’t wait!
I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves crime dramas and to anyone who read the novel before – take some time and revisit Presumed Innocent because you will enjoy the ride all over again!
*I received no monetary compensation for this review. I received a free copy of the book to read and provide an honest review of its contents. The opinions are entirely my own and may not reflect your own opinion upon reading the book.*