Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...

updated 06/07/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/07/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>Scott Turow


"I THINK THE PRINCIPAL THING PEOple have against lawyers is that they pretend they know all the answers, and yet when you look into their world you see it's no better than anybody else's," says Scott Turow, 44, who spends half his time as a high-powered Chicago attorney specializing in white-collar crime and the rest writing best-sellers like Presumed Innocent that expose the moral morass of the legal milieu. "Lawyers do, in the public perception, have these clay feet, because they are so bad at practicing what they preach."

In Pleading Guilty, the former prosecutor returns to an "abiding concern—the temptation to do wrong and the ways people react to that temptation." The book was inspired by a story a friend told Turow after he realized that "I was just stuck" on what was to have been his third novel, centering on Sonia Klonsky, a sexy prosecutor he introduced in The Burden of Proof. "It was a heavy courtroom book," Turow says of the story, which he has resumed writing. "In backing away from it, I suppose I was seeking my own refuge."

Although there are times "when I'm pulling my hair out, when there's too much to do in too little time," Turow will keep commuting between suburban Chicago, where he lives with his wife and three children, and his law office high in the Sears Tower. "You get an odd view of human fallibility as a lawyer, and I must admit I continue to enjoy it. It feeds my profound human curiosity. There's always something to savor from a sort of voyeuristic perspective."

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