Currently making my way through “The Laws of our Fathers” which is a very interesting book, but it is soooooo long: 817 pages. I’m almost halfway there, insomnia having kept me up until 2:30 this morning, reading.
I love Scott Turow’s writing; however, I think you need to be a serious reader to get through his collection of legal thrillers, as he describes everything in extreme detail which makes these long and fairly difficult to read. I had to read the first chaper of this one twice in order to understand what was going on, as it describes a gang shooting and is filled with street jargon that I had trouble understanding.
The reward comes in some of his courtroom scenes where every nuance of the players’ actions are conveyed, making you feel as if you are almost there in the courtroom too, experiencing the drama and emotions along with the characters when the defense attorney finally elicits the answer he is after from the witness. Very effective writing!
He also makes liberal use of flashbacks in order to get you well acquainted with his characters and to further draw you into the story.
I’ll let you know how this one turns out.
I am writing about this book, even though it is an older book (Farrar Straus Giroux, 1999) because I admire the way Scott Turow develops and details all his characters so thoroughly. Even with the minor characters, he always relates a backstory when they are introduced to give you a sense of what kind of person they are and what happened to make them that way, a technique I will be sure to employ in my own writing.
Personal Injuries is a fine legal thriller about Robbie Feaver, a wealthy and charismatic personal injury attorney. However, he has become embroiled in a network of legal corruption involving bribing judges to obtain favorable decisions. When the IRS discovers an offshore bank account Robbie has been using to pay off these judges, US Attorney Stan Sennett offers him a deal if he will cooperate to help catch the man he believes to be at the center of all this corruption.
This scheme involves making Robbie wear a wire to try to entrap the various judges receiving bribes and their facilitators, which of course then puts Robbie and those around him in danger.
All through this very interesting and tangled tale of secret wire taps, hidden cameras, mistrust, and betrayal, the author reveals more and more of Robbie Feaver’s past and present, providing insight into his complex character. In particular, his relationship with his deep cover FBI handler, Evon Miller, as well as with his invalid, terminally ill wife, continually evolve throughout the book and show a side of Robbie entirely different from his outward charm and bravado.
The book is a little long due to all this description, but it is a very fine and interesting read, and very well-written, I think. Well worth the time.
Check out his other books at: http://www.scottturow.com/