Books by Scott Turow

Scott Turow, is an attorney and an author. Mr. Turow’s first book, One L, about his experience as a first-year student at Harvard Law School, was published in 1977. Ten years later, he achieved a life-long ambition, with the publication of his first novel


TESTIMONY by Scott Turow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 16, 2017

"Worth staying the course."
An Illinois prosecutor seeks to learn who annihilated a group of refugee gypsies in Bosnia. Read full book review >
IDENTICAL by Scott Turow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 16, 2013

"Classic (in more senses than one) Turow."
Much-practiced legal proceduralist Turow (Innocent, 2010, etc.) steps onto Joseph Campbell turf in his latest mystery. Read full book review >
INNOCENT by Scott Turow
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: May 4, 2010

'Tis the season for sequels—unexpected, decades removed from their well-remembered predecessors. June sees the return of Brett Easton Ellis with Imperial Bedrooms, another Elvis Costello-titled novel that revisits the lost boys of Less Than Zero, the lost men they have become a quarter-century later and the new Hollywood generation of lost girls after whom they lust. It also finds Oscar Hijuelos returning with Beautiful Maria of My Soul, the title of the lovesick ballad immortalized 20 years ago in his breakthrough novel, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love. Here, Hijuelos retells the story of that ill-fated romance from the perspective of its inspiration. Read full book review >
THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES 2006 by Scott Turow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 11, 2006

"Despite the logrolling, a standout collection with no weak points except familiarity."
Twenty-one reprints with more than the usual virtues and vices. Read full book review >
ORDINARY HEROES by Scott Turow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 1, 2005

"Without diminishing his page-turning narrative momentum, Turow extends his literary range."
In a change of venue from contemporary courtroom to World War II battlefield, Turow further distinguishes himself from other lawyers turned bestselling authors with his most ambitious novel to date. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

"Well-presented, if dry and hardly original. In a handful of sorry examples from Illinois, Turow's storytelling talents shine."
Sober thoughts on capital punishment. Read full book review >
REVERSIBLE ERRORS by Scott Turow
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Nov. 1, 2002

"No car chases, explosions, threats against the detective, movie-star locations, or gourmet meals: just a deeply satisfying novel about deeply human people who just happen to be victims, schemers, counselors-at-law, or all three at once."
A final appeal from Death Row reopens a decade-old murder case as the world's preeminent legal novelist (Personal Injuries, 1999, etc.) proves once again why his grasp of the moral dimensions of legal problems sets the gold standard for the genre. Read full book review >
PERSONAL INJURIES by Scott Turow
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 1, 1999

The undisputed dean of legal intrigue (The Laws of Our Fathers, 1996, etc.) burrows deep into the muck surrounding the attempt to turn a dirty lawyer into an informant against the judges he's been bribing. Now that the feds have discovered the secret bank account he's been using to pay off some of the Kindle County judges who've been ruling on his cases, Robbie Feaver is ready to roll over on Their Honors. He'll wear a wire to his meetings with their bagmen, hoping to get enough evidence to persuade at least four judges—party hack Barnett Skolnick, alcoholic Gillian Sullivan, scholarly Silvio Malatesta, and aggressive black ex-athlete Sherm Crowthers—to testify against the big fish the Feebs are really after: Brendan Tuohey, Presiding Judge of the county superior court's common law claims division and uncle of Robbie's benighted partner, Mort Dinnerstein. And while he's waiting for the chance to get the goods on his former co-conspirators, Robbie will accept the constant companionship of FBI agent Evon Miller, disguised as one of the paralegals he can't stop chasing even as his beloved wife Rainey is descending into the excruciating final stages of Lou Gehrig's disease. It all sounds simple, and in the hands of a lesser storyteller the pivots of suspense would be utterly predictable: Will Robbie get found out? Will the bugging equipment actually work? Will the little fish he lands agree to turn on the big fish? All these problems come up here, all right, but, as usual, Turow is less interested in creating dangers for his hero than in exploring the ethical dilemmas of ambiguous legal situations—in particular, the morality of undercover work, whether the undercover ops are FBI agents or bogus lawyers the government can't make parties to defrauding innocent clients, and whether it involves lying about your political debts, your sexual preferences, or your personal loyalties. The result is a revelation—a subtle, densely textured legal thriller stuffed with every kind of surprise except the ones you expect. Turow is well on his way to making Kindle County the Yoknapatawpha of American law. Read full book review >
NONFICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

Like the hero of the book-then-film, The Paper Chase, Turow got all frazzled—smoking, drinking, making and breaking psychiatric appointments—by his first year at Harvard Law School (1975-76), the year with all the tough courses, heavy pressures, competitive snarls, and think-like-a-lawyer angst. So it's a wonder he was able to find time to keep this stupefyingly detailed journal, what with taking notes in technicolor (different pens for case-briefs, lectures, etc.), joining a study group, plunging into "moot court" arguments, fretting about future employment, and brooding over the motives of a brilliant, sadistic prof, the failings of an incompetent one, and the viability of the Socratic question-and answer law-teaching approach. Written too soon after the event to stifle self-dramatization—or to touch on the tenuous relationship between actual law practice and classroom drilling—this will be of interest only to masochistic, prospective law students but may mislead them, since Harvard's enormous classes, hothouse ambiance, and rock-rigid first-year requirements are less than representative of current options in legal education. Read full book review >
THE LAWS OF OUR FATHERS by Scott Turow
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 15, 1996

The undisputed king of contemporary legal intrigue (Pleading Guilty, 1993, etc.) offers a sumptuous triple-decker tracing the tangled roots of an apparently accidental murder back 25 years. The present-day story begins with the death of inoffensive June Eddgar, victim of a daybreak drive-by shooting. Investigating officers, who waste no time turning eyewitness Ordell Trent, a.k.a. Hardcore, figure the dead woman, who'd been driving a car belonging to her husband, State Senator Loyell Eddgar, was killed in error for him, and on the orders of Eddgar's son Nile, Hardcore's probation officer, whose reasons for ordering his father's execution Kindle County prosecutors are only too eager to unfold to Judge Sonia Klonsky. But Sonny Klonsky brings her own baggage to the case. Back in her college days, her political convictions and her hell-raising social life had brought her together with June Eddgar, unofficial den mother to campus radicals; Nile's baby-sitter Seth Weissman, who shared Sonny's bed and board; and Hobie Tuttle, the D.C. lawyer who's now defending Nile. As the case against Nile lurches forward—replete with all the courtroom razzle-dazzle you'd expect from Turow, and the revelations of character and milieu you wouldn't expect from anyone else—Sonny's voice increasingly yields to Seth's. Determined to avoid the draft by fleeing to Canada, and devoutly (if symbolically) attached to the cause of Cleveland Marsh, a jailed Black Panther whose bail he wishes he could post, he plots to combine his two goals by faking his own kidnapping—a plot that spirals out of control with fatal consequences for himself, his parents, and, yes, the Eddgar family. Beneath the layers of deep legal deviousness, Turow never lets you forget that his characters lived and loved before they ever got dragged into court, and that they have lives to go back to after the final gavel comes down. Read full book review >
PLEADING GUILTY by Scott Turow
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 1, 1993

Instead of cranking out clones of Presumed Innocent, Turow has preferred to take chances—first with The Burden of Proof, which dispensed with his whodunit plot, and now, even more radically, with a foulmouthed, alcoholic lawyer's account of his search for one of his missing partners—and the $5.6 million that vanished with him. If it weren't for the money—redirected from mega-client TransNational Air's accident settlement escrow to a nonexistent firm called Litiplex—nobody at Gage & Griswell would likely notice that their erratic star litigator Bert Kamin hadn't been in lately. As it is, the Management Oversight Committee—ageless Martin Gold, dried-up Wash Thale, and contrary Carl Pagnucci—is so fearful of scaring off TransNational that they press their fading ex-cop partner Mack McCormack, and not the police, into looking for Bert. Mack soon ties Bert in to a false credit card, a secret affair, a scheme to shave points off college basketball games, and a rapidly cooling corpse. As he doubles back to Gage & Griswell to follow Bert's trail, Mack runs afoul of Det. Gino (Pigeyes) Dimonte, the crooked cop his testimony once brought down, and has to enlist the unlikely help of ancient, deeply dishonest attorney Toots Nuccio to stay one jump ahead of his colleagues. Why? Because once Bert and the money have surfaced, separately, the most original phase of Turow's plot has just begun, as Mack struggles to figure out what to do with the cash, his increasingly divided loyalties, and the question of guilt while wandering among a knot of free-lance legal conspirators who change their allegiances more often than their underwear. In switching from Rusty Sabich and Sandy Stern to hard-bitten Mack Malloy, Turow's entering a much more crowded field, and neither Mack nor the byzantine plot he stumbles on is clearly superior to the competition from Grif Stockley, John T. Lescroart, or Clifford Irving. But his legions of fans surely won't miss the chance to see Turow as they've never seen him before. Read full book review >
THE BURDEN OF PROOF by Scott Turow
Released: June 5, 1990

The bad news is that the returning of Alejandro Stern, the canny defense attorney in Presumed Innocent, isn't nearly as devilishly twisty as he was in Turow's earlier megaseller. The good news is that Sandy Stem's own problems make for a compelling novel of a different sort. These problems surface when Sandy arrives home—preoccupied with his defense of his sister Silvia's husband (and Sandy's old school friend) Dixon Hartnack, whose coyly named commodities house, Maison Dixon, is under federal investigation for taking advantage of clients' futures orders to place illegal preemptive orders—to find that his wife Clara has killed herself. Why did his placid wife of 30 years commit suicide? What sort of prescription was filled for her only a short time before her death? And what could Clara's death have to do with the financial shenanigans of her Mephistophelean brother Dixon? Stumbling through grief and guilt, dredging up painful memories of his early meetings with Clara—he'd first been interested in her as a way to secure his position with her powerful father—and plunging into sexual escapades that eventually lead him to 40-ish federal attorney Sonia Klonsky, married, pregnant, and Dixon's principal nemesis, Sandy is stunned (and even farsighted readers will be too) to find how insidiously Dixon's troubles have twined themselves around Silvia and Sandy's children—Marta, Kate, and Peter. Although the whodunit question so prominent in Presumed Innocent is downplayed, Turow is a master at dramatizing legal complexities (Dixon deposits an incriminating safe with Sandy; Sandy warns him that he'll have to turn it over to the feds; Dixon steals it from the office; Sandy and a client break into Dixon's home to steal it back), and the last hundred pages of revelations about Sandy's decent, humane family are riveting. Despite a slow start and an overdose of middle-age angst, this complex, meditative novel is as richly entertaining as its predecessor. A surefire best-seller for summer—and on into the fall. Read full book review >