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THE LAWS OF OUR FATHERS by Scott Turow Kirkus Star


by Scott Turow

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1996
ISBN: 0-374-18423-2
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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.