When it appeared in 1987, few people realised that Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent would not only be a remarkable commercial winner (selling over 4 million copies) but would be the main instigator of a virtually new popular fiction genre -- the legal thriller. With the aid of a highly successful movie starring Harrison Ford, Turow forged a writing career that has enjoyed considerable acclaim to this day. And here, 23 years later, is Innocent, a belated sequel to that groundbreaking earlier book, in which his protagonist Rusty Sabich (now in his sixties) is once again accused of murder -- and this time he has further to fall, having become a senior court judge in the interim.
Some might argue that Turow should have left the concept of the original novel alone, but just a few pages of this powerfully involving new novel should put most doubts to rest. Rusty has woken up next to the dead body of his wife, who has died from an overdose of barbiturates. But why has he waited 24 hours before informing anyone of Barbara's death? His opponent once again is Tommy Molto (with whom he went head-to-head in the earlier book when the latter tried to convince the jury that Rusty had murdered his lover Carolyn). Once again, the plot ramifications are positively labyrinthine -- and it's perhaps difficult to like any of the protagonists. But Scott Turow’s narrative skills in Innocent remain in rude health, and we are quickly involved once again in surefire plotting that will ensure (for most readers) a particularly speedy turning of the pages. --Barry Forshaw
"'Undoubtedly one of the most successful first novels published in the last 50 years' The Guardian"