Presumed Innocent, published in August , is Scott Turow's first novel, which tells the story of a prosecutor charged with the murder of his colleague. Presumed Innocent book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Hailed as the most suspenseful and compelling novel in decades. But the phenomenal success of Presumed Innocent, which spent 45 weeks on In retrospect, Turow sees the book he wrote at Stanford, which.

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Presumed Innocent Book Presumed Innocent (): Scott Turow: Books. Start reading Presumed Innocent: A Novel (Kindle County Book 1) on your Kindle in. Chicago defense attorney Turow, formerly a U.S. prosecutor, capitalizes on his intimate knowledge of the courtroom in an impressive first novel that matches. In Presumed Innocent by Scott Turrow readers watch as a man is prosecuted for murder. Rusty Sabich is the The beauty of this book is the courtroom drama.

During this time, Carolyn Polhemus, a colleague of Rusty's is brutually raped and murdered. With the case becoming an important issue, Rusty, who had a short affair with Carolyn, was assigned to it. The case goes no where due to the lack of evidence and no clues. Click here to see the rest of this review After Raymond loses the election, Rusty is accused of killing and raping Carolyn. The newly elected Nico Della Guardia and his right hand man, quickly bring up evidence against Rusty as he has to battle to prove his innocence. Rusty can only rely on the team of layers he assembled and a mysterious B file. This novel provides deep insight into the day to day struggle between the defense and prosecution. Life for Rusty gets very complicated. Carolyn was a divorced, absentee mother with a very promiscuous lifestyle. The upcoming election will determine if Rusty will have a job; if Horgan wins he stays, if he loses he's done. Rusty's affair with Carolyn ended several months earlier when she dumped him.

Novels that are written in recognizable genres such as adventure, romance, mystery, or fantasy often do not place great emphasis on character development, which is the hallmark of so-called literary fiction.

Instead, genre novels tend to concentrate on the development and rapid-paced movement of the plot and on creating a vivid atmosphere.

When a novel that fits into a genre also presents highly developed and believable characters, it is liable to be praised as a breakthrough book as was this one. As the book opens, an election is underway for prosecuting attorney in the fictional Kindle County. The chief deputy prosecuting attorney is Rusty Sabich, the book's protagonist and narrator.

He is quickly sketched as talented, intelligent, and nobody's fool, yet loyal to his boss, Raymond Horgan, who is running for reelection. Horgan is drawn as a sharp and self-interested politician but also a highly capable attorney, which Rusty admires. They have worked together for twelve years. Rusty has a wife, Barbara, and a young son, Nat.


He loves them both but is having difficulties with his wife, especially since Rusty's affair with a coworker, Carolyn Polhemus, who now has been murdered apparently by a rapist.

Rusty heads the investigation into Carolyn's killing with his police partner and friend, Dan Lipranzer. It is also easy to see how Turow and other popular novelists of his era like Tom Wolfe and Donna Tartt provided a template for contemporary authors like Gillian Flynn, whose book Gone Girl incorporates literary techniques to flesh out her plot machinery.

But the phenomenal success of Presumed Innocent , which spent 45 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, was also a turning point in the decades-long process that saw highbrow literature and middlebrow entertainment, once sworn enemies, merge into the hybrid literary world we live in today, in which literary writers routinely use murder mysteries to propel their novels and genre authors routinely grant their characters elaborate inner struggles to add literary heft to their plots.

Turow did not cause this shift on his own, of course. His father was a talented and hard-working doctor, Turow says, but also a complicated man whose mercurial personality proved something of a mystery to his son.

Presumed Innocent

All I know for sure is that he was a phenomenal liar about himself. Olsen took Turow under her wing, and by the time he graduated, he had published two stories in reputable literary magazines, including The Transatlantic Review , originally founded in the s by novelist Ford Madox Ford.

After Amherst, Turow began a two-year Stegner Fellowship at Stanford, then as now the most prestigious fellowship of its kind in the country.

Turow sided with the Realists, whose guiding lights were Saul Bellow and John Updike, but found the form an awkward fit. Still, he hankered for the critical respect that seemed to go along with the moral seriousness of the Realist school, even if it meant stifling his inclination for plot-driven fiction.

In retrospect, Turow sees the book he wrote at Stanford, which focused on a rent strike in a Chicago slum, as the work of a writer fundamentally at war with his own instincts. This case, and others like it that he worked on during these years, turn up time and again in fictional form in his novels, including Presumed Innocent , which contains a subplot involving payoffs to the judge presiding over the central trial in the novel.

Turow still recalls the moment when the idea for Presumed Innocent came to him.

It was in the early s, by which time he had been promoted to a supervisory role, and he was in court to evaluate a young prosecutor he was overseeing:. This is what I ought to be writing. I got the idea for Presumed Innocent right then and I started writing it.

Presumed Innocent begins, as all murder mysteries must, with a dead body, in this case, that of brainy blonde county prosecutor Carolyn Polhemus, who is found naked in her apartment bound in a web of ropes, the victim of a savage rape or perhaps a rough sex game gone wrong.

This, in effect, turns the novel into the first-person testimony Rusty never gives at his trial. We watch him quietly cover up evidence that points to his guilt even before we realize he is going to be accused of the crime. Because we are in his head, we realize he has not only the motive and the opportunity to commit the crime, but the intelligence to get away with it.

Presumed Innocent (novel) - Wikipedia

He has strayed in his marriage, but then so have many other essentially decent people, and he loves his son, cares deeply for his emotionally unstable wife, and is passionate about justice and the law. He is also plainly lying to us.

If he were innocent, why would he wait to get the fingerprint analysis done? Why would he try so hard to get the forensic pathologist to see the crime as a stranger-rape rather than a case of consensual sex gone wrong as the evidence suggests?


And why on earth is he, a man still desperately in love with the deceased, investigating the murder in the first place? This helps explain why Presumed Innocent was such an explosive bestseller in , and also why, in my view, it deserves to be read as a seminal novel in the history of the melding of literary and genre fiction.

Rusty Sabich is, in other words, a character straight out of lateth century American literary fiction who happens to be caught in the middle of a murder mystery.

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