Picks and Pans Review: Triumph of Justice

updated 06/08/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/08/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Daniel Petrocelli with Peter Knobler

After four years and countless Rivera Live roundtables, the O.J. Simpson epic has morphed into the mythic. But Petrocelli, the attorney who represented the Goldman family in their civil suit against Simpson, restores its human face with a powerful account of how the family's hunger for justice became his own.

At the book's heart are unflinching portraits of the trial's cast: from the hapless Kato Kaelin and the outgunned DAs to loyal Simpsonites like Al Cowlings and Cathy Randa. Most gripping of all is the picture of Simpson himself, imploding on the witness stand when confronted with his inconsistent testimony. A hefty tome, Triumph looks as lengthy as the first Simpson trial. But thanks to Grisham-style pacing and refreshing candor (as when Petrocelli tells how, to his horror, even he was briefly sucked in by O.J.'s charisma), it flies by. (Crown, $25.95)

Bottom Line: The O.J. trial we wish we had seen

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