Picks and Pans Review: Presumed Innocent

updated 07/20/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/20/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Scott Turow

Here is a satisfying novel that should grab fans of police procedurals through the rest of this long, hot summer. The narrator, Rusty Sabich, is a lawyer in the prosecuting attorney's office of a Midwestern city that sounds a lot like Chicago, where Turow was once a state's attorney himself. Another prosecutor in Sabich's office, sexy Carolyn Polhemus, has been raped and murdered. Their boss is up for re-election. He wants this case solved, and he puts Sabich in charge. Sabich is only one of many men who had had an affair with the irresistible Polhemus, and he himself is eventually arrested for the murder. The last few pages contain surprise after surprise. Turow, who got a $200,000 advance, $1 million for film rights and expects another million for paperback and foreign rights, knows all the details that convince us we're getting inside dope. He also creates characters—cops, a black judge, a stupid coroner, politicians, brilliant trial lawyers, city scum—who are vivid, willful and powerful people. Like many novels that become best-sellers, Presumed Innocent is full of what appears to be authentic information about law enforcement in this country. This one will keep you up nights, engrossed and charged with adrenaline. (Farrar Straus Giroux, $18.95)

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