Re: RARA-AVIS: good courtroom novels/HB?

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 28 Nov 2001

Jerry responded to Carrie's query about courtroom novels:

"Carrie asked about good courtroom novels. I think Scott Turow's PRESUMED INNOCENT was remarkable."

I can't comment on the other authors he mentioned, but I HATED Presumed Innocent. I found the dialog stilted and the plot transparent. I'm usually not at all concerned with figuring out "who done it," but when,
*SPOILER ALERT* during a search, the main character stated, Well, my wife keeps her diaphragm right out on the dresser, I knew it had to be a clue. No man would have said that in that way, especially while in the apartment of his mistress. So I immediately knew who had done it.
*SPOILER OVER* So that left me with character and I thought they were all just stock cutouts.

And I must admit that this has, probably unfairly, kept me away from most legal thrillers (I've never read Grisham, for instance), many of which had some variation on the blurb "As good as Presumed Innocent," before being replaced by "In the tradition of John Grisham." (I know, I shouldn't put that much credence in publishers' blurbs; after all, how many times have I been disappointed by "in the tradition of Hammett and Chandler"?)

Anyway, there is one legal thriller writer I do highly recommend, Walter Walker. His books can be quite hardboiled and many are even set in the vicinity of this month's city, Boston.


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