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IDENTICAL, based loosely on the myth of Castor and Pollux, is the story of identical twins Paul and Cass Giannis and the complex relationships between their family and their former neighbors, the Kronons. The novel focuses principally on events in 2008, when Paul is a candidate for Mayor of Kindle County, and Cass is released from the penitentiary, 25 years after pleading IDENTICAL, based loosely on the myth of Castor and Pollux, is the story of identical twins Paul and Cass Giannis and the complex relationships between their family and their former neighbors, the Kronons. The novel focuses principally on events in 2008, when Paul is a candidate for Mayor of Kindle County, and Cass is released from the penitentiary, 25 years after pleading guilty to the murder of his girlfriend, Aphrodite Kronon. The plot centers on the re-investigation of Aphrodite's murder, carried out together by Evon Miller, an ex-FBI agent who is the head of security for the Kronon family business ZP, and private investigator Tim Brodie, 81, a former homicide detective. The complex web of murder, sex, and betrayal-as only Scott Turow could weave-dramatically unfolds, and the chilling truth is revealed: people will believe what they want to believe.


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IDENTICAL, based loosely on the myth of Castor and Pollux, is the story of identical twins Paul and Cass Giannis and the complex relationships between their family and their former neighbors, the Kronons. The novel focuses principally on events in 2008, when Paul is a candidate for Mayor of Kindle County, and Cass is released from the penitentiary, 25 years after pleading IDENTICAL, based loosely on the myth of Castor and Pollux, is the story of identical twins Paul and Cass Giannis and the complex relationships between their family and their former neighbors, the Kronons. The novel focuses principally on events in 2008, when Paul is a candidate for Mayor of Kindle County, and Cass is released from the penitentiary, 25 years after pleading guilty to the murder of his girlfriend, Aphrodite Kronon. The plot centers on the re-investigation of Aphrodite's murder, carried out together by Evon Miller, an ex-FBI agent who is the head of security for the Kronon family business ZP, and private investigator Tim Brodie, 81, a former homicide detective. The complex web of murder, sex, and betrayal-as only Scott Turow could weave-dramatically unfolds, and the chilling truth is revealed: people will believe what they want to believe.

30 review for Identical

  1. 5 out of 5

    Zoeytron

    A young woman is murdered in her own bed, and a sentence is served.  But it is not destined to end there.  Secrets carefully plucked from an addled mind lend credence to another possibility.  Paul and Cass Gianis.  Identical twins . . . or are they?   (view spoiler)["What's your name?  Who's your daddy?"  Time of the Season by the Zombies, 1968 (hide spoiler)] It was a very high bar indeed that was set with Turow's Presumed Innocent.  Truth be told, I would have been happier rereading that one tha A young woman is murdered in her own bed, and a sentence is served.  But it is not destined to end there.  Secrets carefully plucked from an addled mind lend credence to another possibility.  Paul and Cass Gianis.  Identical twins . . . or are they?   (view spoiler)["What's your name?  Who's your daddy?"  Time of the Season by the Zombies, 1968 (hide spoiler)] It was a very high bar indeed that was set with Turow's Presumed Innocent.  Truth be told, I would have been happier rereading that one than I was with this offering.  But we can't know these things until the time is already spent.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was disappointing. For some reason, it was a slow and non-engaging read (especially at the beginning). Initially, there were too many characters to keep track of, and the author oscillated referring to them by their first and last names, which was extremely confusing. (We could have done without getting to know less important characters -- the lawyers, etc.) Also, did anyone else notice a major plot flaw? Spoiler alert. Towards the end of the book, when Tim corners Sofia and "Cass" at This book was disappointing. For some reason, it was a slow and non-engaging read (especially at the beginning). Initially, there were too many characters to keep track of, and the author oscillated referring to them by their first and last names, which was extremely confusing. (We could have done without getting to know less important characters -- the lawyers, etc.) Also, did anyone else notice a major plot flaw? Spoiler alert. Towards the end of the book, when Tim corners Sofia and "Cass" at the rest stop for "Cass"s perspective on what happened the night Dita dies... "Cass" tells him what happened, including how he went to Dita's bedroom later that night but found her dead. Yet, when Tim escorts Sofia and "Cass" to see Beata and "Paul," it turns out that "Cass" is actually Paul. So, at the rest stop, Paul was telling the story as though he were Cass... not sure why Tim still trusts this version of the story. The novel did pick up towards the middle/end, with some dramatic surprises. But the characters weren't fully developed so I didn't really care about them one way or the other.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Patterson

    I wanted to like 'Identical'. I was a Scott Turow fan when 'Presumed Innocent' was released but I read his next novels with a set of mixed emotions. I always felt he was trying too hard after the phenomenal success of his first book. 'Identical' is no different. It's as if he's forgotten the art of good story-telling. He concentrates on so many characters and twists and turns that I was more bewildered than enthralled. In Identical, Turow tells the story of twins involved in a 26-year-old murder I wanted to like 'Identical'. I was a Scott Turow fan when 'Presumed Innocent' was released but I read his next novels with a set of mixed emotions. I always felt he was trying too hard after the phenomenal success of his first book. 'Identical' is no different. It's as if he's forgotten the art of good story-telling. He concentrates on so many characters and twists and turns that I was more bewildered than enthralled. In Identical, Turow tells the story of twins involved in a 26-year-old murder case. We have Cass Gianis, who pleaded guilty and served time when his girlfriend Dita Kronon was beaten to death, and his brother, Paul Gianis, who is now running for mayor. But Dita’s wealthy brother, Hal thinks the wrong twin went to jail, and he hires an investigator to prove it. Paul files a lawsuit for defamation. And from there it just becomes more and more convoluted. I wish I could tell you I loved it, but I couldn't find the magic in this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tucker Elliot

    “People see what they want to” There’s a point in IDENTICAL where author Scott Turow essentially offers the main theme of the book through one of his characters when he writes: “People see what they want to.” I think that’s true about the BOOKLIST review that's posted on the Amazon page as well – the reviewer states that IDENTICAL is “a strained reworking of the [innocence] theme,” “a disappointment,” that “much of this book is weighed down by unnecessary accounts of characters’ lives,” and “Turo “People see what they want to” There’s a point in IDENTICAL where author Scott Turow essentially offers the main theme of the book through one of his characters when he writes: “People see what they want to.” I think that’s true about the BOOKLIST review that's posted on the Amazon page as well – the reviewer states that IDENTICAL is “a strained reworking of the [innocence] theme,” “a disappointment,” that “much of this book is weighed down by unnecessary accounts of characters’ lives,” and “Turow may have drunk from the well of innocence one too many times.” I’m literally wondering if I read the same book as that reviewer. Not really trying to critique someone else’s review, but in writing my own thoughts I’d suggest that while innocence is certainly a theme, it’s not anything close to being the central theme of the book. In fact, the “unnecessary accounts of characters’ lives” are highly related to the emotional context of the story – all of the central characters have lost something in their respective lives that has left a tangible and painful void, and weaving those stories into the overall framework of the book actually strengthens it in my opinion. The story in a nutshell: one twin is being released from prison as the other twin is on the verge of winning a mayoral election. The brother of the girl who was murdered 25 years earlier is a wealthy business tycoon, and he believes the mayoral candidate was also involved in his sister’s death – so he begins a vicious ad campaign attacking the twin brothers, inciting a defamation lawsuit, which brings about the courtroom drama in the book. At the same time, the business tycoon has his security chief, who is a former FBI agent, and a local PI, who had been the lead investigator on the original case, begin combing through every area of the original investigation, looking for something to prove both twins had been involved in the murder. At one point Hal Kronon, the businessman, exclaims in exasperation, “You should do something. I’m the client. Those are my orders. Do something.” Looking back over the story, that exclamation illustrates perfectly the literary quality of this book, because what Turow does so well is all the mistakes made by the characters, the poor decisions, the life-altering moments, all of it came about from the characters “seeing what they want” rather than the reality of the present situation – and in that light it’s not an “innocence themed book,” it’s about real consequences, the far-reaching impact they have, and the lengths people will go to escape them. I understand some of the criticisms offered by other people, but in my mind this is a really good book – it’s terrific writing, fast-paced, a good mystery, with character development that most authors could never dream of creating.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Olivia "So many books--so little time.""

    This superb legal thriller is the story of a couple of identical twins. Paul is a state senator and is running for mayor. Cass is about to be released from prison, having served a 25-year sentence for murdering his girlfriend. The plot is excellent, with many surprises.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anne (Booklady) Molinarolo

    Did Scott Turow REALLY write this book!?! Where is the easy storyteller that whispers in my ear when I read Turow? AND WHERE IS SANDY STERN???????? I really wanted to like Identical, but it was just plain awful. The book structure was really bad and I felt nothing for the characters, except for Tim and Evon. I kept reading this god awful novel just to see what happened to them. I read an excerpt of Innocent, and immediately saw the Scott Turow I came to know and love years ago. I should have read Did Scott Turow REALLY write this book!?! Where is the easy storyteller that whispers in my ear when I read Turow? AND WHERE IS SANDY STERN???????? I really wanted to like Identical, but it was just plain awful. The book structure was really bad and I felt nothing for the characters, except for Tim and Evon. I kept reading this god awful novel just to see what happened to them. I read an excerpt of Innocent, and immediately saw the Scott Turow I came to know and love years ago. I should have read that novel instead. Can I get my money back? Enough said.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    I enjoyed the book’s title - how it can be used to define a twin - “Identical”......vs. “Fraternal” involved in the murder (below link). Cass Gainis & Paul Gainis are main characters & twin brothers. 25 yrs ago, Zeus Kronon’s daughter, Dita (Aphrodite) is murdered. Her family wanted Cass Gainis to stop dating Dita. Cass confesses to the murder. Now after 25 years, Cass has been released from prison. His brother, Paul Gainis, State senator running for Major of Kindle county. Zeus Krono was a “grie I enjoyed the book’s title - how it can be used to define a twin - “Identical”......vs. “Fraternal” involved in the murder (below link). Cass Gainis & Paul Gainis are main characters & twin brothers. 25 yrs ago, Zeus Kronon’s daughter, Dita (Aphrodite) is murdered. Her family wanted Cass Gainis to stop dating Dita. Cass confesses to the murder. Now after 25 years, Cass has been released from prison. His brother, Paul Gainis, State senator running for Major of Kindle county. Zeus Krono was a “grieving father” of the murder. Hal Kronon (Dita’s brother) says he is convinced Paul is guilty not Cass! Evon Miller (ex-FBI) & Tim Brodie (homicide detective) are hired to investigate. “Identical” vs. “Fraternal” - they find some Plastic surgery noses (“Nasal prosthetic”) make them look “Identical”? Physical reviews to identify differences in woman’s wombs, carry 2 vs. 1 egg (below). The book mentions, these identifications are difficult, like someone trying to, “thread the eye of a needle”. The courtroom begins - Paul Gainis v. Hal Kronos. Det. Evon & Tim research questions if Paul or Cass is guilty? Why stay in prison if innocent? Were they switched in prison? What could the Kronos family done? ****** Research - I found this link when reading......“Twins form in one or two ways” https://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnanc... *****

  8. 4 out of 5

    Patrice Hoffman

    Scott Turow's latest Identical is definitely the must-read legal thriller of the year. Although thriller doesn't seem fair since it isn't really thrilling in the usual sense but there's a mystery just as well that's needed to be solved. Turow's most famous work Presumed Innocent has probably made him an abundance of loyal fans who will buy this book just for his namesake, but the plus is that it's also satisfyingly written. Paul and Cass Gianis (a play on the names in the Greek myth Pollux and C Scott Turow's latest Identical is definitely the must-read legal thriller of the year. Although thriller doesn't seem fair since it isn't really thrilling in the usual sense but there's a mystery just as well that's needed to be solved. Turow's most famous work Presumed Innocent has probably made him an abundance of loyal fans who will buy this book just for his namesake, but the plus is that it's also satisfyingly written. Paul and Cass Gianis (a play on the names in the Greek myth Pollux and Castor) are twin brothers who have everything in the world going for them. Paul is soon to be a lawyer while Cass, a little less ambitious, is headed to a future in law enforcement. At times it's hard to know where the other one stops, and the other begins. Their lives are on the right track until the death of Cass' girlfriend Dita changes the course of both their lives. After 25 years, a long-standing family feud and family secrets boil to the surface when the brother Cass is up for parole after serving his time for the murder of Dita. His brother Paul is by his side the day of his release when Hal Kronon, Dita's brother, yells for all the media to see that Paul Gianis has played a role in her murder as well. This isn't good for someone who's running for Mayor of Kindle County. With a lot of uneasiness, and many secrets, Paul decides to file a defamation lawsuit against Hal which opens up a can of worms that no one is quite prepared to face. Scott Turow begs readers to question what is truth from what we want to believe. Investigators Evon Miller and Tim Brodie, an unlikely duo, dig into this family's history and start to find twist after twist to the death of Dita. The mystery of her death held me in suspense the entire time. The realness of ALL the characters kept me invested in the outcome of the evidence gathered by the investigative team. It's obvious that Turow does his research when it gets into the technical details of DNA and how it is processed when deciphering the differences in twins. I appreciated the information, although I probably still couldn't explain half of what was being disclosed. At times I only wish that attention was given to a trial of some sorts. So all you fictitous trial chasers out there beware. Identical is geared more towards the investigative side of cases than the sensationalism of a trial. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a huge fan of Scott Turow and Identical only helps me to realize I have great taste in authors. Turow's ability to write real living and breathing characters in a genre that doesn't pay as much attention to that detail is astounding. I always feel that he's the thinking-man's John Grisham. Please don't pelt me with rocks... but that's always the idea I get when reading Turow's work. In conclusion, Identical is highly recommended and begs to question our affinity towards placing people on pedastals that maybe don't belong there.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Una Tiers

    A slow start, with confusing sections that developed into a great plot, but was spoiled a tad by trying too hard. This afternoon I will have to attend PA plot addicts anonymous.

  10. 5 out of 5

    David

    From the beginning, it was clear that Cass had killed his girlfriend, Diti. After all, he confessed his murder to the police. But Diti's brother, Hal, always thought that Cass' identical brother, Paul, had something to do with it. Twenty-five years later, when Cass was released from prison, the story really begins. Since at this time Paul was running for mayor, and Hal was very rich, Hal sponsored an advertisement blitz, accusing Paul of "something". And, it would be very difficult for Paul to p From the beginning, it was clear that Cass had killed his girlfriend, Diti. After all, he confessed his murder to the police. But Diti's brother, Hal, always thought that Cass' identical brother, Paul, had something to do with it. Twenty-five years later, when Cass was released from prison, the story really begins. Since at this time Paul was running for mayor, and Hal was very rich, Hal sponsored an advertisement blitz, accusing Paul of "something". And, it would be very difficult for Paul to prove that he didn't have anything to do with the murder. After all, his DNA was supposedly identical to that of his brother. Hal hired two private investigators to come up with some proof that Paul was involved in the murder. And, they came up with some very interesting findings. During the telling of the story, Scott Turow goes into some detail describing the lives of all the characters. Many other reviewers complain that the amount of detail is disproportionate to their importance to the story. And, I suppose this is true. I couldn't figure out why so much attention was paid to the background stories of all the minor characters. Was it simply filler? Or would these minor characters become major characters, later in the story? As another reviewer mentions, the background story behind each character describes how the character lost something (or someone) dear to him or her. And, of course, both Cass and Paul, being so close to one another, lost something dear to themselves, as Cass spent 25 years in prison for his crime. Overall, I enjoyed the story very much. I was intrigued by the mystery of it all. Paul had claimed that Cass was innocent of the crime, but then--why did Cass confess? The theme of the novel is stated clearly, that "people see what they want to see". This is very true on many levels in this book. People often ignore what is in plain sight, right in front of their nose. (And this is quite true in this story, in a very literal sense!) I did not read this book; I listened to the audiobook, as read by Henry Leyva. He does a good job narrating the story. He doesn't overdo the character acting. The reading sounds quite natural.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jay Connor

    I have enjoyed each of Scott Turow’s nine novels, starting with “Presumed Innocent.” He and John Grisham have had parallel careers for me. Both of their first novels – “A Time to Kill” for Grisham – were published in 1989. Both were practicing attorneys who were drafting their first novels during breaks in court appearances and at night and weekends. Both are excellent storytellers – Turow is perhaps the better plot master, Grisham the better definer of character. The main difference is output. I have enjoyed each of Scott Turow’s nine novels, starting with “Presumed Innocent.” He and John Grisham have had parallel careers for me. Both of their first novels – “A Time to Kill” for Grisham – were published in 1989. Both were practicing attorneys who were drafting their first novels during breaks in court appearances and at night and weekends. Both are excellent storytellers – Turow is perhaps the better plot master, Grisham the better definer of character. The main difference is output. Turow, who kept his attorney day job, has had a third the number of bestsellers to Grisham in the intervening near quarter-century. True to Turow’s earlier works about the goings on of Kindle County (looking less like Chicago’s Cook County than in past outings), main characters we’ve met before are supporting players here. This gives a pleasant familiarity and texture to, an at its core, family tragedy. “Identical” falls short of the full strength of Turow’s earlier work, because of two gaps in credulity from an author who has a tradition of not only throwing all of your suppositions up in the air mid-way through but doing so with such credibility that you are somewhat breathless by the agility you have witnessed. Here, while true to form, you are upended half way through, you are disappointed by the conventions he uses. Two murderers and twins who not only swap clothes but lives. Been-there-done-that. From the Prince and Pauper to Law and Order this ground has been tilled. Yet, don’t mistake this flaw as fatal. “Identical” is a very good ride … just slightly more bumpy than we are used to with Scott Turow.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Karl Jorgenson

    Turow hits a magical space between literary fiction and mystery. Here, a murder occurred, but 25 years ago, and nothing premeditated or even really intentional. The characters are the thing, more real and more vivid than people you actually know, with secrets and problems and relationships that the reader will understand better than her own. But the characters aren't the whole thing. Unlike a lot of literary fiction, there is also a clever, surprising plot with multiple twists and surprises, and Turow hits a magical space between literary fiction and mystery. Here, a murder occurred, but 25 years ago, and nothing premeditated or even really intentional. The characters are the thing, more real and more vivid than people you actually know, with secrets and problems and relationships that the reader will understand better than her own. But the characters aren't the whole thing. Unlike a lot of literary fiction, there is also a clever, surprising plot with multiple twists and surprises, and a satisfying resolution. So worth reading.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Identical by Scott Turow is an Oct.15, 2013 publication by Grand Central Publishing. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Hal, the heir to his father's vast fortune, lost his sister when she was in her early twenties, murdered in her bed. Now, the man he believes is responsible for her death, Paul Gianis, is running for Mayor of Kindle County. Hal makes a very public accusation against Paul and his advisors recommends that he sue Hal. Mea Identical by Scott Turow is an Oct.15, 2013 publication by Grand Central Publishing. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Hal, the heir to his father's vast fortune, lost his sister when she was in her early twenties, murdered in her bed. Now, the man he believes is responsible for her death, Paul Gianis, is running for Mayor of Kindle County. Hal makes a very public accusation against Paul and his advisors recommends that he sue Hal. Meanwhile, Paul's identical twin brother, Cass is sitting in prison for killing Hal's sister, Dita. Although, he is soon to be released. However, the lawsuit opens up the whole can of worms all over again. New DNA testing is examined that raises some rather startling questions. The author takes us back in time to 1982 where Paul and Cass have been invited to Zeus Kronon, Dita's father, Greek New Year Celebration. This day is pivotal to Paul and Cass in many ways. Their mother will attend the event for the first time in years, Paul has words with Dita, a woman known for having a sharp tongue, and he also meets his future wife, Sofia. Cass comes to the decision that he is going to ask Dita to marry him. But, the day ends horribly when Dita found murdered. Cass ends up being sent to prison for 25 years. We then flash forward to the present and all the political wrangling, new allegations, reopening of old wounds, and a plot that only Scott Turow's diabolical mind could have dreamed up. This book is the ninth is the Kindle county legal thriller series. We catch up a little with some familiar characters, but their roles are small. The Greek families depicted in this story have a sordid history together and some bad blood between them. The romance between Dita and Cass is frowned upon by both families. But, does any of that have anything to do with Dita's murder? The tragic events of that day in 1982 have haunted both families for twenty-five years. The new DNA that speaks to blood, and finger print analysis, especially when it comes to twins, and Y chromosomes was especially interesting. The twin connection is also explored as Paul and Cass were especially close. After all this time, some people will finally be able to move forward with their lives. Maybe not in the way they had imagined, but they will be finally have some peace. For others, the road to recovery will not be so easy. This was a very interesting cast of characters, each with their own piece of information, or secrets, or bitterness. It all comes together in a most unusual way. In the end, as improbable has some things may be, I couldn't help but be impressed with how Turow continually comes up with all these complex twist and turns. It might be a little scary to be inside his head. This was an entertaining read and I recommend it to all mystery lovers, especially those who like Legal thrillers, and plots that are twisted and impossible to guess at the outcome. The only issue I had with the book was that toward the last quarter of the book, some of the things that took place seemed a bit too over the top and in current times, I don't know if this could really happen, but it's a story and I was thoroughly entertained by it, so I will give this one an A.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    Scott Turow has written another convoluted mystery set in fictional Kindle County, somewhere in the Midwest. Most of the narrative takes place in 2008, but the plot revolves around a murder of a beautiful young girl in 1982. Two of the main characters are brothers - identical twins, one of whom, Cass, had been the victim’s boyfriend and who has just been released from prison after serving 25 years for the murder. Meanwhile, the other brother, Paul, has become a very successful lawyer who is now Scott Turow has written another convoluted mystery set in fictional Kindle County, somewhere in the Midwest. Most of the narrative takes place in 2008, but the plot revolves around a murder of a beautiful young girl in 1982. Two of the main characters are brothers - identical twins, one of whom, Cass, had been the victim’s boyfriend and who has just been released from prison after serving 25 years for the murder. Meanwhile, the other brother, Paul, has become a very successful lawyer who is now running for mayor. All of the principle actors are of Greek descent, and there had been bad blood between the families of the victim and the brothers before the murder. The victim’s elder brother is a fabulously rich developer of shopping centers, who very much wants to prevent Paul from becoming mayor. Accordingly, he launches a vicious advertising campaign to implicate him in the murder for which his twin brother just spent 25 years in a minimum security prison. Discussion: For the first hundred pages or so, while Turow is fleshing out the dramatis personae, the reader suspects that the plot may unfold to reveal that the wrong brother went to prison. The ultimate resolution is much more complicated than that, however, with the plot taking a number of unexpected and interesting twists and turns. Indeed, the plot could be seen as a retelling of a Greek myth - I hesitate to say which one, lest it be too spoilery. I will only say the dead girl’s father is named Zeus, and as for the twins named Cass and Paul, whose mother is named Lydia - well, if you remember your Greek mythology, you can figure it out. If you don’t, I would advise avoiding refreshing your memory until after you finish the book. Kindle County seems less like Chicago and Cook County than in previous Turow novels. But his description of the Greco-American culture there is spot-on to the Chicago Greek community. It should be noted however, that all the characters are well developed, with very little stereotyping. Turow is always adept at correctly and accurately describing legal procedures, although they are less pivotal to the story here than in, say, Presumed Innocent or Reversible Errors. In this book, he must master the intricacies of the state of DNA and blood testing in both 1982 and 2008. I can’t speak with authority on the accuracy of his science, but it seems plausible. Evaluation: This is a well crafted novel, definitely more intelligent than standard “airplane reading.” Rating: 3.5/5

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lewis Weinstein

    The plot is not close to believable and I knew who the killer was very early, which is unusual for me since I don't try to "solve" the crime when I read. However, there are so many very clever turns and twists (really clever) that I finished the book and actually enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed it more if there was more attention to any of the characters earlier in the book. There was some at the end, actually moving in the instance of the 82 year old detective, but it came late in the read. The plot is not close to believable and I knew who the killer was very early, which is unusual for me since I don't try to "solve" the crime when I read. However, there are so many very clever turns and twists (really clever) that I finished the book and actually enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed it more if there was more attention to any of the characters earlier in the book. There was some at the end, actually moving in the instance of the 82 year old detective, but it came late in the read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lobstergirl

    This was a decent read, not great, not horrible. I don't read a lot of legal thrillers. I did like the nitty gritty legal aspects of this one, like the judge's ruling on whether a subpoena in a case that was being dismissed was still valid. Surprisingly, it was in this case... The plot, involving identical twins and their DNA and fingerprints, confusing identities, a 25 year old murder, and two middle-aged lesbians ending a relationship, had some good twists and turns. It won't be spoiling anythin This was a decent read, not great, not horrible. I don't read a lot of legal thrillers. I did like the nitty gritty legal aspects of this one, like the judge's ruling on whether a subpoena in a case that was being dismissed was still valid. Surprisingly, it was in this case... The plot, involving identical twins and their DNA and fingerprints, confusing identities, a 25 year old murder, and two middle-aged lesbians ending a relationship, had some good twists and turns. It won't be spoiling anything to say that the focus of the book is whether the correct person, Cass Gianis, served 25 years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend that happened in 1982. Cass pled guilty, and it doesn't seem like there was much of an investigation to see if the right guy was being sent to the slammer. DNA science was in its infancy back then, so not everything could be known. Still, it doesn't seem like some very basic stuff was looked into, such as whether the killer was right-handed or left-handed, whether the guy sent to prison was right-handed or left-handed, and what caused certain bruising on the victim's face. Only in 2008 do we get the answers to these questions. Which is strange because the victim and the supposed perp were from high profile families. Not poor black folks that you would expect to get the shaft in an era of Jon Burge types. If I were Greek, I probably wouldn't be happy with Turow's portrayal of Greek-Americans here. They seem to be a very conniving, deceitful, hot-blooded, rapey people. I'm not a regular Turow reader, but I know that he sets most of his books in the fictional "Kindle County." I've heard that this is based on Cook County, but Kindle County's wikipedia page explains that it could be any of several large cities. (One more piece of evidence for Cook County would be an anecdote Turow tells on p. 129, in which the protagonist represented "a concert violinist who lost an arm on the light-rail when the doors closed on his Stradivarius and dragged the musician several hundred yards down the track." This is clearly based on an event that happened to Rachel Barton Pine on the Metra. And "West Bank Mall," the first shopping mall built by the murdered girl's real estate magnate father, is described as "white brick buildings connected by networks of open walkways" - which people from Cook County will recognize as a description of Oakbrook Terrace.) Kindle to me sounds like something in the South, not the North - or worse, some type of electronic reading device manufactured by a multibillion dollar transnational company with horrible pay and working conditions. Seriously, "Kindle County" immediately makes me think "Kentucky." I wish, if Turow was thinking of Cook County, he would just call it Cook County and stop calling the Loop "Center City" and the poor black part of town "the North End". Also, what's with the protagonist running for "mayor of Kindle County?" Counties, if you've noticed, don't have mayors. Cities and towns do. A final point: I hew to the belief that a writer, unless he is trying to be James Joyce or Gertrude Stein, should use the proper words. Ordinary writers shouldn't make up words, or toss in a wrong word carelessly. Take this sentence: "At the doorway, there was a ruffle of activity." This is a ruffle: It seems like Turow was trying to combine rustle and scuffle. Later he writes: "There was a riffle of laughter." A riffle can be either "a quick or casual leaf or search through something" or "a rocky or shallow part of a stream or river with rough water." Perhaps he meant ripple. He misuses it again later: "There was a little riffle from the spectators..."

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Courtroom drama and medical forensics Two men, identical twins, one goes to jail at age 25 for the murder of his sweetheart. His brother becomes a respected attorney and a politician. This is a courtroom drama intermixed with medical forensics pertaining to twins' DNA. Can they be distinguished with any certainty? Turow also dances around faulty police work and the influence the rich and famous can bring to a case. Turow also looks at identity as a more general concept. Who one identifies with an Courtroom drama and medical forensics Two men, identical twins, one goes to jail at age 25 for the murder of his sweetheart. His brother becomes a respected attorney and a politician. This is a courtroom drama intermixed with medical forensics pertaining to twins' DNA. Can they be distinguished with any certainty? Turow also dances around faulty police work and the influence the rich and famous can bring to a case. Turow also looks at identity as a more general concept. Who one identifies with and the assumptions made pertaining to it have a large impact. It defines who we are. And it's self imposed. Paul and Cass Giannis are the twins. Just as Paul is running for mayor after several terms in the State Senate Cass is released from jail. So what could be the problem since Cass confessed to the crime all those years ago? Open and shut case. Yet things get more complicated when the older brother of the murdered girl accuses Paul of having a part in the murder as well. To make things more complicated all the characters come from a formerly close knit Greek immigrant population. Their families were close prior to the tragedy that exploded in their midst. The accusation prompts a reexamination of the 1980's forensics. A cop turned PI, Tim Brodie, was the original lead investigator. Now he's relying on current science and experts to help him look at things with fresh eyes. But he also has to listen to his gut and his gut is at odds with the science. As we've come to expect from him Turow gives us lots of twists and turns. He keeps us guessing about some elements while making others easy to surmise. He plays out just enough facts to make us feel we've figured things out but not so fast. Look carefully around the next corner because things may not be that straight forward. Great fun though the courtroom scenes were too drawn out in my opinion. The medical stuff was perfectly done however. This review is based on an e copy provided by the publisher. (Disclaimer added as required by the FTC.)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    So much to read, how could I drop it all to read Identical? My all-time fascination with twins got the best of me. Identical was not the next on my list but when I read comments by my GR friend Cynthia, I rushed to my library and was the first to grab the just processed book. Lucky me. Identical met all my expectations. I've read Turow before and loved Presumed Innocent though I've yet to read Innocent where characters from the first clash yet again. Identical is based loosely on the Greek myth o So much to read, how could I drop it all to read Identical? My all-time fascination with twins got the best of me. Identical was not the next on my list but when I read comments by my GR friend Cynthia, I rushed to my library and was the first to grab the just processed book. Lucky me. Identical met all my expectations. I've read Turow before and loved Presumed Innocent though I've yet to read Innocent where characters from the first clash yet again. Identical is based loosely on the Greek myth of Castor and Pollux. Cass is all set to marry Dita though he seems to be the only one, including Dita, who is happy with the match. Even his identical twin, Paul, despises Dita but doesn't know what to do. When Dita is found dead in her bed, Cass seems the most likely suspect. He pleads guilty and is sent to jail to do the time. Speed forward 25 years. Cass has served his sentence and is scheduled for release. Dita's brother Hal is not satisfied with the original verdict and believes Paul had something, possibly all, to do with the death of his sister. Hal wants answers and he wants revenge. The original lead investigator, Tim Brodie, now on retainer to Hal, is ordered to get to the bottom of things. So begins a story of truths and lies, love and hate, family and friendships, evidence and forensics, politics, and the power of wealth. Though there are many twists and turns, clues are given, making me think I had the answer. So much for that! So who killed poor Dita? Identical is a doozy or if you prefer, doozie of a ride. Double the pleasure, double the fun. Read it and see if you can pick the killer before book end.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jerry B

    We’ve read Turow’s entire booklist, always feeling he is a bit more of a “thinking man’s” legal thriller writer than Grisham, who perhaps weaves a more compelling tale. “Identical”, the title referring to twins who wind up impersonating each other, hardly an original thought, revolves around a 25-year-old murder for which one of the twins, Cass, pled guilty and served the long prison term. Upon his release, brother Paul is running for mayor when the murder victim’s brother starts running negativ We’ve read Turow’s entire booklist, always feeling he is a bit more of a “thinking man’s” legal thriller writer than Grisham, who perhaps weaves a more compelling tale. “Identical”, the title referring to twins who wind up impersonating each other, hardly an original thought, revolves around a 25-year-old murder for which one of the twins, Cass, pled guilty and served the long prison term. Upon his release, brother Paul is running for mayor when the murder victim’s brother starts running negative ads saying Paul was involved with the old murder too. An ex-FBI agent (Evon) and a retired cop (Tim) resume investigating the old case and make a number of interesting discoveries that add suspense, particularly near the end, to the plot. Our problem was that the entire mid-book was really slow going – so that when Turow finally reveals all in a rather dangling ending at best, we were already a little tired of the getting there. A sub-plot involving Evon and her lesbian girlfriend seemed so irrelevant we wonder why so many pages were devoted to it, unless the author was just trying to show some kind of support for the relationship issues such couples experience. While we don’t mind complications and intrigue, we just found this latest Turow novel too lackluster to get excited about it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Melinda Elizabeth

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. My biggest gripe with this is the presumption that money can buy you anything. Hal wants answers, and his troops get cashed up, ask no questions and behave in some questionable and certainly morally corrupt dealings. It doesn't make you want to root for the truth, by the end I was hoping that the twins had some completely dirty outrageous secret just to tick off Hal and co. I think the story fell down with Evon and Heather, I don't see the point of that little vignette. Neither were interesting n My biggest gripe with this is the presumption that money can buy you anything. Hal wants answers, and his troops get cashed up, ask no questions and behave in some questionable and certainly morally corrupt dealings. It doesn't make you want to root for the truth, by the end I was hoping that the twins had some completely dirty outrageous secret just to tick off Hal and co. I think the story fell down with Evon and Heather, I don't see the point of that little vignette. Neither were interesting nor did they do much to further the story. I'm disappointed in the ending. After the misery that some of these characters went through on Hal's witch hunt, I wanted his reality to come crashing through but it didn't, and for all the shrines he had built for Dita, in the end all she got was a shrug and "we will never really understand" and on he goes.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mahoghani 23

    The Twists throughout this book was more perplexing than needed. The story was over analyzed but showed how the author attempted to interlace the plot to the characters. Identical twins, where the majority of the people could not tell them apart, schemed & succeeded in deceiving everyone for over 25 years. Paul & Cassian Gianis are accused by a longtime family friend for a crime neither committed are now required to prove their innocence. Each character plays a substantial role in getting to the The Twists throughout this book was more perplexing than needed. The story was over analyzed but showed how the author attempted to interlace the plot to the characters. Identical twins, where the majority of the people could not tell them apart, schemed & succeeded in deceiving everyone for over 25 years. Paul & Cassian Gianis are accused by a longtime family friend for a crime neither committed are now required to prove their innocence. Each character plays a substantial role in getting to the truth but some of the subplots were distracting & irrelevant to the story. Overall, it was an okay read but nothing I'd wish to read again.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin baschinsky

    Not worth going into . Not my taste .

  23. 5 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    Thank you to the publisher for the review copy. Two families entangled in a long and complex history of love and deceit . . Twenty five years ago, after a society picnic held by businessman and politician Zeus Kronon, Zeus’ headstrong daughter Dita was found murdered. Her boyfriend, Cass Gianis, confessed to the crime.Now Cass has been released from prison into the care of his twin, Mayoral candidate Paul Gianis, who is in the middle of a high profile political campaign. But Dita’s brother Hal is Thank you to the publisher for the review copy. Two families entangled in a long and complex history of love and deceit . . Twenty five years ago, after a society picnic held by businessman and politician Zeus Kronon, Zeus’ headstrong daughter Dita was found murdered. Her boyfriend, Cass Gianis, confessed to the crime.Now Cass has been released from prison into the care of his twin, Mayoral candidate Paul Gianis, who is in the middle of a high profile political campaign. But Dita’s brother Hal is convinced there is information surrounding his sister’s death that remains buried – and he won’t rest until he’s discovered the truth. I’ve long been a fan of Scott Turow’s novels since many years ago I read the brilliant “Presumed Innocent” He does write the most terrific legal mystery novels and this one was no exception to the rule. Mr Turow always writes with great depth when it comes to relationships and the emotional resonance of how events affect us, weaving a tale around people and places that is always compelling, clever and thrilling to read – here he explores the ties that bind identical twins. Cass and Paul are so alike and yet so very different – when Cass is released after serving a 25 year sentence for murder, they hope to rediscover their relationship and get on with life. They reckon without Hal, who is absolutely certain that the whole truth has yet to be revealed. I was immersed in this one immediately – I found both Cass and Paul to be extremely fascinating, their relationship being a naturally close one – and as the themes of family, betrayal, love and loss are explored here, the picture starts to become clearer…or does it.. As we follow along with the investigation undertaken by Hal’s employee’s and watch the legal battle unfold, it is captivating, highly entertaining and often emotional. Just what did happen on that fateful night all those years ago ? Cass may have confessed but Hal has no doubt that there is more to it – he is tenacious, difficult, unable to let go and often aggravating but he, also, is a completely fascinating character. Excellent storytelling and absolutely addictive. All in all another terrific read for me – I am one happy reviewer at the moment. Enjoy! Happy Reading Folks!

  24. 5 out of 5

    JoAnne Pulcino

    IDENTICAL Scott Turow Identical is as close to a Greek tragedy as you can get in modern day fiction. Mr. Turow is an excellent writer of legal fiction beginning with PRESUMED INNOCENCE, and here he attempts to call upon the legend of the ancient Greek myth of Castor and Pollux. They are the twin sons of Zeus, one of whom is immortal and the other mortal. IDENTICAL begins when one of the twin brothers, Cass Gianni is being released from prison 25 years after pleading guilty to killing his girlfriend, IDENTICAL Scott Turow Identical is as close to a Greek tragedy as you can get in modern day fiction. Mr. Turow is an excellent writer of legal fiction beginning with PRESUMED INNOCENCE, and here he attempts to call upon the legend of the ancient Greek myth of Castor and Pollux. They are the twin sons of Zeus, one of whom is immortal and the other mortal. IDENTICAL begins when one of the twin brothers, Cass Gianni is being released from prison 25 years after pleading guilty to killing his girlfriend, Dita Kronon in 1982. The other twin, Paul Gianni is a state senator running for governor is anxious to have his brother released. The two families, the Gianni’s and the Kronons have been arch enemies for many years; the Kronons had wanted to prevent Cass from marrying Dita. At the hearing for Cass’s release in 2008, Ditas wealthy brother, Hal Kronen does not want Cass released even though he doesn’t believe he is the murderer. He begins a campaign against the brothers and will spend anything to discover the truth of who murdered his sister. His campaign has a huge negative impact on the Giannia family. The forensics about the twins was very interesting, but the manipulation of taking advantage of the identicalness of the twins toward the ending became tiresome and very confusing. Mr. Turow usually draws much more fleshed our characters and I missed that in this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Connie D

    This is another character-driven, twisty mystery by Scott Turow. At the base of it is a pair of twins, one of whom goes to prison for murdering his then girlfriend. Twenty-five years later, when the indicted, Cass, is about to get out of prison, the victim's brother, Hal, accuses the other brother, Paul, of also being involved in the murder. Hal's attempt to destroy Paul's campaign for mayor results in a slander lawsuit and private detectives digging deeper into the case than ever before. This b This is another character-driven, twisty mystery by Scott Turow. At the base of it is a pair of twins, one of whom goes to prison for murdering his then girlfriend. Twenty-five years later, when the indicted, Cass, is about to get out of prison, the victim's brother, Hal, accuses the other brother, Paul, of also being involved in the murder. Hal's attempt to destroy Paul's campaign for mayor results in a slander lawsuit and private detectives digging deeper into the case than ever before. This book is somewhat slow starting, partly because there are quite a few people involved (two opposing Greek families), but it was intriguing. I was able to figure out many of the mysteries, but it was satisfying to get the details of the whos, whys, hows, etc. I had to suspend disbelief on one aspect of the mysteries, but otherwise it fell together well. P.S. I listened to the CD version and the reader was good. I'm not sure if it's better, worse, or the same than reading it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sue Shipley

    Cass and Paul are identical twins. Cass is pleads guilty to killing his girlfriend and is sentenced to 25 years in prison. But did the right one go to prison? There is a great deal of info on fingerprints and DNA and how difficult it is to differentiate between the twins. This book was published in 2013, so I'm sure the technology has come a long way since then. Interesting though. I got bogged down in all the personal vendettas and drama among the characters. Almost quit reading but did get to t Cass and Paul are identical twins. Cass is pleads guilty to killing his girlfriend and is sentenced to 25 years in prison. But did the right one go to prison? There is a great deal of info on fingerprints and DNA and how difficult it is to differentiate between the twins. This book was published in 2013, so I'm sure the technology has come a long way since then. Interesting though. I got bogged down in all the personal vendettas and drama among the characters. Almost quit reading but did get to the end.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kerfe

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I won this on Goodreads. The story sounded interesting, but it was not a book I would have chosen to buy for myself. I've never read any Turow before. But you should always leave yourself open to things outside your usual line of sight or comfort zone. And I did enjoy this book. It was the perfect page turner. A great story. Fun, surprising. And yet...I do have to to state my reservations. I found the first section, which introduces the characters and their relationships, to be dreadful, badly writ I won this on Goodreads. The story sounded interesting, but it was not a book I would have chosen to buy for myself. I've never read any Turow before. But you should always leave yourself open to things outside your usual line of sight or comfort zone. And I did enjoy this book. It was the perfect page turner. A great story. Fun, surprising. And yet...I do have to to state my reservations. I found the first section, which introduces the characters and their relationships, to be dreadful, badly written and clunky. So it was not an auspicious start. Did the writing improve that much? Or did the story triumph, and gloss over those writing flaws so glaring to me in the first chapter? The writing ceased to bother me very soon into Chapter 2. Then there's the believablility factor, particulary evident during the wrapping up of the mystery. No one noticed, for 25 years, that the twins were switching places? And the fact that the candidate's identical twin brother was incarcerated for a brutal murder was not a campaign issue before the victim's bereaved and vengeful brother brought it up? In the 21st Century? Seriously. Hard. To. Believe. I also just couldn't warm up to any of the characters. Not one. Even "poor Hal", said to be the only one with integrity by one of the investigators. I didn't see that at all. He came across as a narrow-minded, pathetic and pompous fool to me, actually less likable than many of the others. I did start to wonder if Turow had planned it that way, to make the reader consider the kind of world we live in. Where even the best of us believe the ends justify the means, and can rationalize our questionable behavior and associations accordingly. Ah those good intentions... Am I giving author too much credit here? Perhaps. But it's hard to see how things "worked out" for anybody by either disguising, or discovering, the truth. Both paths were rocky and full of snares. Neither brought peace, illumination, or closure. Just the exchange of one questionable and always-shifting view of the past for another. Just the same uncertain future for all.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Andy Miller

    Scott Turow is my favorite "lawyer" novelist, in fact he is one of my favorite novelists period. I was disappointed in his last novel"Innocent" and am glad to see he is back to form with "Identical" Yes, I wish the plot, a twin brother is released from prison for killing his girlfriend 25 years earlier while his brother went on to become a successful prosecutor and then plaintiff's lawyer/politician and the victim's brother spends some of his fortune gaining revenge by running tv commercials tryi Scott Turow is my favorite "lawyer" novelist, in fact he is one of my favorite novelists period. I was disappointed in his last novel"Innocent" and am glad to see he is back to form with "Identical" Yes, I wish the plot, a twin brother is released from prison for killing his girlfriend 25 years earlier while his brother went on to become a successful prosecutor and then plaintiff's lawyer/politician and the victim's brother spends some of his fortune gaining revenge by running tv commercials trying to ruin the successful brother's mayor campaign by dredging up evidence of his complicity in the earlier murder. But Turow's talents are the subtle ones, his characters are complex with no true hero and no true villain, he resists the temptation to stereotype the victim's brother as a right wing vengeful businessman, it turns out he is the one with the truly happy marriage and is "comfortable in his own skin" and each brother, and the successful brother's surgeon wife expose character flaws. Turow is also the master of plot twists not so unexpected that they take away from a realistic story, but unexpected enough to keep the reader guessing The 81 year old Tim Brodie, a retired police detective who works occasionally as a PI is just a great guy; the victim's elderly aunt, Teri adds a cantankerous conscience to the story, the retired FBI agent, Evon Miller, who now works as head of the the Kronon security detail is interesting though I got tired of the amount of time spent on her relationship with her crazy beautiful girlfriend As usual, Turow's knows of what he writes--the key DNA evidence is explained as well in this novel as you'll find anywhere, the courtroom procedure is realistically described as only a successful lawyer could and the sections on the political campaign could be easily confused with New York Times or Washington Post political coverage A good read, despite the relatively weak plot

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dick Reynolds

    Paul and Cass Gianis are identical twins from a large Greek family. They are very close and even slept together when they were toddlers. In 1982, Cass’s girlfriend Dita Kronon (a nickname for Aphrodite), also a member of a Greek family, is murdered and Cass is strongly implicated in the crime. Paul, who is an attorney, defends Cass and cops a plea on his behalf for twenty-five years in a minimum security prison. Paul, however, has admitted verbally that Cass didn’t murder Dita. Fast forward now Paul and Cass Gianis are identical twins from a large Greek family. They are very close and even slept together when they were toddlers. In 1982, Cass’s girlfriend Dita Kronon (a nickname for Aphrodite), also a member of a Greek family, is murdered and Cass is strongly implicated in the crime. Paul, who is an attorney, defends Cass and cops a plea on his behalf for twenty-five years in a minimum security prison. Paul, however, has admitted verbally that Cass didn’t murder Dita. Fast forward now to the year 2008 when Paul is running for the city’s mayor and Cass is out of prison. Dita’s brother, Hal Kronon, now runs the family’s commercial enterprise called ZP Real Estate Investment Trust. He has no love for either Paul or Cass and wants to find out who actually murdered his sister. Hal tasks his VP of Security and retired FBI Agent, Evon Miller and retired cop, Tim Brodie, to investigate. During Miller’s and Brodie’s work, we learn an awful lot about DNA and fingerprints , and how this current medical technology applies to identical twins and other members of the Gianis and Kronon families. Author Scott Turow paces his novel well, interspersing chapters set in 1982 with present day 2008. This time shifting doesn’t slow us down but actually helps explain the events happening twenty-five years ago. The plot is complex and there are plenty of surprises along the way to keep you reading until the end. A note of caution; you’ll want to have a clear head for the last fifty pages to get a full understanding of what’s been going on since Dita’s murder.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jo Dervan

    Cass and Paul Gianis are identical twins. Their lives are intertwined and their closeness has disastrous results. The 2 boys are members of the tight knit Greek community in their Midwestern city. Their mother, Lidia, has kept dark secrets from the boys as they grew up. When one of the boys, Cass, becomes involved with the tempestuous Dita, the daughter of a very successful man, Zeus, Lidia is unhappy. There is a large cultural affair on the grounds on Zeus' home and that evening Dita is found d Cass and Paul Gianis are identical twins. Their lives are intertwined and their closeness has disastrous results. The 2 boys are members of the tight knit Greek community in their Midwestern city. Their mother, Lidia, has kept dark secrets from the boys as they grew up. When one of the boys, Cass, becomes involved with the tempestuous Dita, the daughter of a very successful man, Zeus, Lidia is unhappy. There is a large cultural affair on the grounds on Zeus' home and that evening Dita is found dead. Cass pled guilty to the murder and was sentenced to 25 years in a local minimum security prison. So Cass served his sentence and is back home. Paul is running for mayor and Hal, the brother of Dita, announces that Paul was also responsible for the murder of Dita. This accusation becomes an issue in the election when Hal, a billionaire developer, creates a series of TV commercials with interviews with Paul's embittered girlfriend implicating Paul. The story has many twists and turns and surprises. It is a page turner right to the very end.

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