About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Innocent by Scott Turow

14. – 573.) Innocent by Scott Turow – Rusty Sabich is back in trouble. His wife, Barbara, has died in her sleep beside him. After finding her dead he sits with her 23 hours before calling his son, Nat. I understand Sabich’s desire to spend some quiet time reflecting on 35 years of marriage. I was alone with my Dad when he died. I spent a few minutes thinking about our life together and how there would be no more new memories. It is the length of the wait that raises immediate police and prosecutorial suspicions. They have not forgotten Rusty was tried and acquitted over 20 years ago on the charge of murdering a lover. For Prosecuting Attorney, Tommy Molto, it is still a raw memory.
            The first section of the book alternates between the period before her death and the present day. The time before explores the dynamics of a failed marriage that never ended. The current time sees the investigation into death becoming a murder investigation closing in on Sabich. What had seemed a natural death is rendered impossible by the powerful drugs taken by the mentally unstable Barbara.
            Rusty is a flawed man. Turow explores a 60 year old man indulging himself while seeking to conceal his infidelity. Turow skillfully explores the affair.
            The second half of the book is Turow at his most brilliant. An ailing Sandy Stern returns for the defence. Nat has an active role in the trial.
            No one portrays an American trial better than Turow. He has mastered the challenge of being faithful to the rules governing criminal trials while creating interesting testimony. I defy a reader not to race through the trial. You cannot see a Turow trial twist coming though all are logical. You feel yourself in the courtroom watching the questioning and considering strategies. Effective trial lawyers adjust to unexpected developments. Molto and Stern skillfully react to the ebb and flow of the evidence. No trial ever goes exactly as planned.
            In Barbara there is a powerful victim a part of every page.
            There has never been a legal mystery/thriller that better combined the experiences of a family and the drama of a major criminal trial. A deeply flawed family remains together as they struggle forward on life’s journey.
            It is a great book deserving of its acclaim. (Mar. 9/11)

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