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The Burden of Proof

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Turow's acclaimed second novel, which topped international bestseller lists, is now available in trade paperback. Sandy Stern, the brilliant defense attorney from Presumed Innocent, faces an event so emotionally shattering that no part of his life is left untouched. It reveals a family caught in a maelstrom of hidden crimes, shocking secrets, and warring passions. Turow's acclaimed second novel, which topped international bestseller lists, is now available in trade paperback. Sandy Stern, the brilliant defense attorney from Presumed Innocent, faces an event so emotionally shattering that no part of his life is left untouched. It reveals a family caught in a maelstrom of hidden crimes, shocking secrets, and warring passions.


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Turow's acclaimed second novel, which topped international bestseller lists, is now available in trade paperback. Sandy Stern, the brilliant defense attorney from Presumed Innocent, faces an event so emotionally shattering that no part of his life is left untouched. It reveals a family caught in a maelstrom of hidden crimes, shocking secrets, and warring passions. Turow's acclaimed second novel, which topped international bestseller lists, is now available in trade paperback. Sandy Stern, the brilliant defense attorney from Presumed Innocent, faces an event so emotionally shattering that no part of his life is left untouched. It reveals a family caught in a maelstrom of hidden crimes, shocking secrets, and warring passions.

30 review for The Burden of Proof

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Putnam

    For me Presumed Innocent and The Burden of Proof are the two top legal thrillers in the genre The Burden of Proof runs a second to Presumed Innocent. Both of these books have great depth of character and voice, the big Kahuna of writing, which is what carries the books and what makes so them great. The craft level in these novels if used in other genre works would work just as well. I highly recommend both of these novels. David Putnam author of the Bruno Johnson Series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Erin (from Long Island, NY)

    I didn’t know how this could possibly live up to Presumed Innocent (the 1st in the series,) but i was wrong! I now totally understand (& agree) with the statements that these books are the standard for legal thrillers to aspire to. I have seen in reviews that some people feel this 1 was slower than the first.. & while I think that may be true, I was never bored. It’s a true character driven story.. If you’re looking for an edge of your seat page-turning thriller, this may not be it. But if you l I didn’t know how this could possibly live up to Presumed Innocent (the 1st in the series,) but i was wrong! I now totally understand (& agree) with the statements that these books are the standard for legal thrillers to aspire to. I have seen in reviews that some people feel this 1 was slower than the first.. & while I think that may be true, I was never bored. It’s a true character driven story.. If you’re looking for an edge of your seat page-turning thriller, this may not be it. But if you like to relax & be immersed in the story, you’re in for a treat. Oh & to that point, the audio was excellent! The narrator was spot-on & I just couldn’t turn it off.. & then as the revelations unfolded- oh man, the icing on top! So good! I will genuinely miss Sandy Stern..❤️

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    Book 2 in the Kindle County series published 1990. A strong 4 star read. Although this book would be categorised as a legal thriller it is so much more than that. It is more to do with human relationships than the law. A family who on the surface seem to be living the good life is in fact dysfunctional at its core. Sandy Stern, a lawyer of some note, arrives home from work to find that his wife has committed suicide. How could Sandy live in the same house as his wife and have no idea that she was so Book 2 in the Kindle County series published 1990. A strong 4 star read. Although this book would be categorised as a legal thriller it is so much more than that. It is more to do with human relationships than the law. A family who on the surface seem to be living the good life is in fact dysfunctional at its core. Sandy Stern, a lawyer of some note, arrives home from work to find that his wife has committed suicide. How could Sandy live in the same house as his wife and have no idea that she was so unhappy that she took her own life. How, Sandy thought, could this happen on his watch? When Sandy’s bother in law, Dixon, comes to Sandy with a massive legal problem hanging over his head neither men knew the Pandora’s box that was about to be opened. When Sandy looked into the box what he saw was a family out of touch with each other and harbouring lots of resentment. Sandy needed answers but the more questions he asked the darker the answers became. So Sandy’s safe secure life is turned upside down as he tries to fix his family and tries to keep Dixon, his brother in law, out of gaol. A story on a grand scale with a cast of strongly crafted characters many flawed but all so very believable.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Oklahomadave

    Following the simultaneous written and cinematic success of its predecessor, "Presumed Innocent," Scott Turow again returns to Kindle County for another dramatic exploration of the emotional vagaries of lives wrapped in the curious legal subculture of American society. In Turow's "Burden of Proof," we find ourselves three years following the events of "Presumed Innocent" as a spectator in the life of Sandy Stern, the attorney who famously defended Rusty Sabich in the murder trial from the prior Following the simultaneous written and cinematic success of its predecessor, "Presumed Innocent," Scott Turow again returns to Kindle County for another dramatic exploration of the emotional vagaries of lives wrapped in the curious legal subculture of American society. In Turow's "Burden of Proof," we find ourselves three years following the events of "Presumed Innocent" as a spectator in the life of Sandy Stern, the attorney who famously defended Rusty Sabich in the murder trial from the prior story. This time, there is no murder, but there is a death; the suicide of Sandy's wife, Clara, mated to a seemingly inexplicable withdrawal from her personal trust fund just days before her death. Her death and the unexplained financial transaction leave Stern with more questions than answers, holding fast only to the too-vivid memory of his having discovered the deceased Clara in their garage. Amid Stern's personal tragedy unfolds the increasing encroachment of the legal issues surrounding one of his more problematic clients, Dixon Hartnell, a man of decidely questionable ethics, owner of a large investment corporation, and married to Silvia, one of Stern's sisters. His employment of Stern's son-in-law John, married to daughter Kate, as a floor trader at the Kindle exchange doesn't make things any simpler. Amid the ever tightening circle of influence that an unfolding scandal around Hartnell reveals is the introspection that Clara's death forces on Stern, one wherein he tries to assess his distance as a husband and father, and how his skill at matters of law institutionalized that distance to the point of distraction, creating flawed relationships, incomplete perspectives of his own family, and, ultimately, a troubling picture of himself. He sees himself idealized too much by his other sister, Marta, and fundamentally alienated from his son, Peter, a successful physician. Turow orchestrates an articulately choreographed dance among Stern's family, his neighbors, and the professional peers into a narrative that deviates from its tightly defined story in only a few places. There is little wasted motion, and correspondingly few wasted characters. From the representatives of the US attorney's office that involve themselves in Hartnell's issues, to the office flunkies that manage his company's trading operations, to the neighbors more involved with Sandy following Clara's death, each is woven with a credible and important role in "Burden of Proof." Turow draws his characters with sculptor-like precision and insight, with the cognitive depth of a high-resolution mental camera. As one might contrast his writing style with that of John Grisham's typically brisk pacing, Turow's is methodical, deliberate, and purposeful, articulating the finest detail from the subtlest nuance. If Grisham is the quick pacing of a staccato offering, Turow's is the legato counterpart. Even ancillary characters are richly conceived, even if they are nothing more than secondary to the plot, and the richness strengthens the novel's reality with each page. For all of Turow's literary excellence, however, comes a distasteful tempering. Turow holds nothing back in the narrative in describing (among others) Stern's personal exploits as a newly single man among multiple female encounters. The description, in the abstract, is understandable as character exposition, but the lurid depths to which Turow sinks in his narrative grossly tarnishes the broader epic with details better left to magazines rightly delivered in plain brown wrappers. The vulgarity and crassness with which Turow communicates these wholly unnecessary details belies his obvious skill with and mastery of the written word. Where "Burden of Proof" was my first Turow novel, this issue alone serves as a primary reason it may well be my last. While the narrative of "Burden of Proof" is efficient, it isn't without flaw. Midway through the text, Stern's younger-days courtship of Clara and his edgy relationship with her father are interwoven in flashback. As the latter third of the novel unfolds, these flashbacks become intrusive and needlessly break the narrative momentum as the story progresses to its conclusion. Moreover, Turow waits almost too long to move the story into a higher gear, as Stern's sexual escapades and neighborly intrusions push "Proof" perilously close to the border of soap opera, right down to the details of discussions had over privet-hedge trimming. "Burden of Proof" is, at times, a masterfully woven story of personal insight, of a man arriving too late to his own midlife crisis, forced to construct for himself a new future and a new reality beset by unfathomable circumstances and a confluence of malevolence from his own family. Exceedingly raw sexual content, too much early lethargy, and a frustrating mixture of backstory told in retrospect amid the advancing narrative darkens and diminishes the mastery. And that's nothing less than a shame.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Katherine "Kj" Joslin

    Ugh, the last 1/4 of the book was ok/ interesting but I BARELY made it to that point....the first 3/4 of the book were painfully long and drawn out.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    This is another great and fantastic legal thriller. This one deals with Sandy Stern. This one deals with tons of surprises and some trips down to Memory Lane with flashback, right after his wife commits suicide. But from there, he deals with an emotional load of stuff with his children and his client/brother-in-law in an embittered battle. But with every twist and turns, he discovers some family secrets behind the scenes. We really see the emotions he goes through from grieving to outraged throu This is another great and fantastic legal thriller. This one deals with Sandy Stern. This one deals with tons of surprises and some trips down to Memory Lane with flashback, right after his wife commits suicide. But from there, he deals with an emotional load of stuff with his children and his client/brother-in-law in an embittered battle. But with every twist and turns, he discovers some family secrets behind the scenes. We really see the emotions he goes through from grieving to outraged through the end. We do see a different side of him than before. This one will really grab you on the first page and shock you. Not bad for the 2nd Kindle County installment in the series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Sworen

    I shall try to be as brief and succinct in my review as possible. I found myself to be strangely indifferent to the characters, the story, the plot, for I was probably too enchanted with the beautiful and mesmerizing writing style present in this... distinct legal thriller.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    This book took me forever to read and after all was said and done, nothing really happened. It's supposed to be a legal thriller but there's very little to do with the law in it and it's definitely not very thrilling. It's the story of Sandy Stern, after learning his wife has committed suicide, tries to deal with his new life and a legal issue his brother in law is having. The majority of the book is spent with Sandy throwing himself at lots of different women, now that he's "free" I guess, and This book took me forever to read and after all was said and done, nothing really happened. It's supposed to be a legal thriller but there's very little to do with the law in it and it's definitely not very thrilling. It's the story of Sandy Stern, after learning his wife has committed suicide, tries to deal with his new life and a legal issue his brother in law is having. The majority of the book is spent with Sandy throwing himself at lots of different women, now that he's "free" I guess, and working on his relationships with his kids. We spend several pages simply watching him pick strawberries. The best two words that sum up this book: nothing happens.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Deb Jones

    This is a character-driven story that is equal parts family and legal drama. Alejandro Stern is in some ways as much a mystery to himself as he is to the reader; the two learn about Stern and what makes him tick through the storyline. Stern, an attorney, is both embroiled in the defense of his brother-in-law against the United States government, and dealing with his grief and that of his family's in the aftermath of Stern's wife's death. This is a character-driven story that is equal parts family and legal drama. Alejandro Stern is in some ways as much a mystery to himself as he is to the reader; the two learn about Stern and what makes him tick through the storyline. Stern, an attorney, is both embroiled in the defense of his brother-in-law against the United States government, and dealing with his grief and that of his family's in the aftermath of Stern's wife's death.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Larry Bassett

    I thought I would try to read some quick mystery books to shorten my TBR pile. This book has 515 pages so it appears that winnowing effort will have to wait a while longer. This book could be 300 pages instead of 500. But it would be missing many of the human interactions that make this book so enjoyable and memorable. The legal territory we enter by reading this book includes The Grand Jury. For me, that is an education. I have, of course, heard about Grand Juries many times but, with the help o I thought I would try to read some quick mystery books to shorten my TBR pile. This book has 515 pages so it appears that winnowing effort will have to wait a while longer. This book could be 300 pages instead of 500. But it would be missing many of the human interactions that make this book so enjoyable and memorable. The legal territory we enter by reading this book includes The Grand Jury. For me, that is an education. I have, of course, heard about Grand Juries many times but, with the help of Scott Turow, I have painlessly expanded my knowledge of the process. I like that this book is more in depth than some mystery/crime books that can at times be skimming the surface with most characters. You have an experience of terrific character development without a lot of extraneous information. Everything matters in this book. The words are well chosen and enjoyable to read. I sometimes found it hard to follow the trail of the crime or the events as they zigged and zagged along. As I often say, too much detail and twisting and turning for my brain. But I can work up a good deal of acceptance of the proofs or assumed proofs even if I do not fully follow them. That means I can keep up with the story and enjoy it without burning out on details. There is plenty of material and missing a bit does no lasting damage to the reading. Stern is not young. I am not young. I like that. Heroes do not always have to be young and handsome and trim. And people who are no longer young in years still have all the same feelings as those who are. It is interesting and encouraging to find Stern sexually attracted to a number of women after his wife dies. And to see that he can have a positive interaction with a five year old even as he has doubts about how well he did with his own children. In his own imperfections and doubts I find a likeable character. As I experienced it, the age of this book (published 22 years ago) did not have a detrimental effect on the story. The absence of cell phones and computers did not distract with dust and cobwebs. I lived in a time without these technologies so it is not hard for me to adjust. I wonder if it is the same for readers who have never known life without electronics. Maybe those people do not read books that are 22 years old! This is an easy four star book for me. I have other Turow books on my shelf to look forward to reading when he comes up again on my cycle of authors and series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sagheer Afzal

    This book was such a huge disappointment. I was hooked by it's predecessor (Presumed Innocent) but here I think Scott Turrow simply got carried away and tried to write an epic in the manner of Gone With The Wind or Buddenbrooks, nothing wrong with that, but if you're attempting to write a thriller then your book needs to thrill. Burden of Proof does not do that. The central character cogitates at every available opportunity and stultifies the story. Lots and lots of introspective passages with w This book was such a huge disappointment. I was hooked by it's predecessor (Presumed Innocent) but here I think Scott Turrow simply got carried away and tried to write an epic in the manner of Gone With The Wind or Buddenbrooks, nothing wrong with that, but if you're attempting to write a thriller then your book needs to thrill. Burden of Proof does not do that. The central character cogitates at every available opportunity and stultifies the story. Lots and lots of introspective passages with well-constructed sentences do not add to the book. I think the author was trying to produce the effect of a long running Spanish telenova, replete with lots of flashbacks between the protagonist and his wife. Alejandro Stern is just too ponderous to be of much interest. His grandiloquent manner of speaking begins to grate after a while. The scene in which he discovers his dead wife had herpes is unintentionally funny and the scene in which his son Peter inspects him for herpes would have been funny were it not so laden with formality. This is a very self-indulgent novel. I think Scott Turrow, after the success of Presumed Innocent, decided to impress his fans with his literary prowess and ultimately failed to deliver. This book is worth reading for aspiring writers because it gives you some guideline of what not to do if you are writing thrillers. 1) Don't be politically correct with dialogue. There is a passage where the protagonist's brother-in-law remonstrates with two FBI agents because they want him to come down town whilst getting ready to go to his sister's funeral. In his exasperation he calls them: 'You crummy so and so's!"... Really 2) If your characters ruminate at every possible opportunity you ruin the story. 3) Lengthy characters with well-constructed sentences do not add to the quality of a thriller. Maybe, an epic, but not a thriller. All in all, this is a book where the author simply let himself go. I feel he should have had more respect for the money paying reader.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Pribus

    I'm sure I read this before, but many years ago. I had to rate it 5 stars when compared to what I've been giving 4 stars recently. Complex and authentic novel centering around Sandy, the Argentinian attorney in Kindle County (Chicago) whose wife takes her life (right at the start of the book. This is really not a spoiler.) Goes on to the intricacies of cheating various commodity exchanges. His brother-in-law (whom he really doesn't like or respect) has been accused of this and Sandy is defending h I'm sure I read this before, but many years ago. I had to rate it 5 stars when compared to what I've been giving 4 stars recently. Complex and authentic novel centering around Sandy, the Argentinian attorney in Kindle County (Chicago) whose wife takes her life (right at the start of the book. This is really not a spoiler.) Goes on to the intricacies of cheating various commodity exchanges. His brother-in-law (whom he really doesn't like or respect) has been accused of this and Sandy is defending him while dealing with the FBI, grand juries, etc etc etc. and more and more family members become embroiled with it all. To his surprise, he has also become sexually involved with a divorced neighbor woman and fallen in unrequited lust with a married, pregnant legal opponent which adds to his general struggle to cope with his wife's death. A long, very well-crafted novel. I might even go back and read the first, although once you know the "trick" in that one......

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sari

    Honestly, I believe my expectations were way high after the first book of this series. Therefore, I was easily let down. I really was a little impatient with the main character and his discovery of a libido. I never criticize a narration but his Spanish accent reminded me of an imitation of Bella Lagosi. I usually finish all of the books which I purchase, however, life is too short to not enjoy a read. I hope I will be more impressed with Mr. Turrow's next one. Honestly, I believe my expectations were way high after the first book of this series. Therefore, I was easily let down. I really was a little impatient with the main character and his discovery of a libido. I never criticize a narration but his Spanish accent reminded me of an imitation of Bella Lagosi. I usually finish all of the books which I purchase, however, life is too short to not enjoy a read. I hope I will be more impressed with Mr. Turrow's next one.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    This follow-up to Turow's popular Presumed Innocent was a disappointment for me. I thought INNOCENT was a riveting read, and I even viewed the movie, which I thought was quite good before starting this book. I could find no connection to the previous book other than location. The legal case seemed secondary to Sandy Stern's sexual life following his wife's suicide. Toward the end of the book, I began to get more involved in it. I have the next in the series available, but not sure I will try it. This follow-up to Turow's popular Presumed Innocent was a disappointment for me. I thought INNOCENT was a riveting read, and I even viewed the movie, which I thought was quite good before starting this book. I could find no connection to the previous book other than location. The legal case seemed secondary to Sandy Stern's sexual life following his wife's suicide. Toward the end of the book, I began to get more involved in it. I have the next in the series available, but not sure I will try it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Huston

    A very good novel, and probably my favourite of all of Scott Turow's books. A tale of marriage, family and suicide not to mention a fairly decent thriller. Sandy Stern (first seen in presumed innocent) comes home to find his wife has committed suicide -- and we follow his life in the months that follow as he tries to keep his life together and understand why his wife would do something like that. For a longer review, please go here: http://www.epinions.com/content_29816... A very good novel, and probably my favourite of all of Scott Turow's books. A tale of marriage, family and suicide not to mention a fairly decent thriller. Sandy Stern (first seen in presumed innocent) comes home to find his wife has committed suicide -- and we follow his life in the months that follow as he tries to keep his life together and understand why his wife would do something like that. For a longer review, please go here: http://www.epinions.com/content_29816...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Paul Lima

    A middling legal story. Combines the main character's domestic problems with the legal tangle he is trying to work out for his main client, his brother-in-law -- so the legal and domestic are intertwined. I wasn't really enamored with any of the characters or their issues. I didn't buy who did what, and why. If you don't buy the characters' motivations, it's difficult to enjoy the plot. I'm sure others feel differently about it, but there you go... A middling legal story. Combines the main character's domestic problems with the legal tangle he is trying to work out for his main client, his brother-in-law -- so the legal and domestic are intertwined. I wasn't really enamored with any of the characters or their issues. I didn't buy who did what, and why. If you don't buy the characters' motivations, it's difficult to enjoy the plot. I'm sure others feel differently about it, but there you go...

  17. 4 out of 5

    PhobicPrerogative

    What makes a book? The story or the characters? All I know with this one is that Sandy Stern was a disgusting man.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mariella Deliyannis

    An excellent read and a book that I enjoyed more for the psychological aspect than the legal thriller (that was intrinsic to the psychological part of the book). I expected a John Grisham and I encountered an amalgam of a psychological autopsy combined with the blow by blow description of the legal case. The story is two fold: a distibuished criminal attorney returns form a business trip and finds his wife of 30 years dead by suicide and at the same time he is embroiled in the defense of his bro An excellent read and a book that I enjoyed more for the psychological aspect than the legal thriller (that was intrinsic to the psychological part of the book). I expected a John Grisham and I encountered an amalgam of a psychological autopsy combined with the blow by blow description of the legal case. The story is two fold: a distibuished criminal attorney returns form a business trip and finds his wife of 30 years dead by suicide and at the same time he is embroiled in the defense of his brother-in-law that is targeted by the government for stock exhange fraud. The story unfolds backwards and forward and Sandy Stern (the lawyer) tries to understand the why's of his wife's suicide and at the same time considers and remebers his family life trying to see where he has gone wrong. The legal thriller is very interesting too but the human side was for me was the best!

  19. 4 out of 5

    b e a c h g o t h

    **SPOILERS** I got almost half way through this book and got fed up with the legal “thriller” side of this book. Illegal stock exchange? F**king yawn. However, provided the other side of this story held up - family crime drama - I kept going. Mistake. His wife kills herself. He discovers she had herpes so he gets himself checked... he gets his son who’s a doctor to inspect him? Why would you not just save your son the trauma of inspecting your d*ck and go to a regular doctor. Weirdest part of th **SPOILERS** I got almost half way through this book and got fed up with the legal “thriller” side of this book. Illegal stock exchange? F**king yawn. However, provided the other side of this story held up - family crime drama - I kept going. Mistake. His wife kills herself. He discovers she had herpes so he gets himself checked... he gets his son who’s a doctor to inspect him? Why would you not just save your son the trauma of inspecting your d*ck and go to a regular doctor. Weirdest part of the book for me. And then TO SOOTHE HIS GRIEF of losing his wife of 30 something years... he sleeps with everything with a heartbeat. Sorry no. I got to a point in this book that I wanted to abandon it so badly that I read other people’s reviews and when I found out it doesn’t get any better than that? Onto the did-not-finish shelf you go.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Garth Slater

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The story line is a five star hands down. I loved the deceit and strategies behind selling short and the cover up of the family members and the mystery behind The Who done it. Excellently written and applaud the masterful writing here. Now the bad part. REALLY? why do you have a middle age, overweight man, who just lost his wife, banging all these women all of a sudden. And why did the author need to write in three different love triangles. Ya I know a triangle has three sides but this was like The story line is a five star hands down. I loved the deceit and strategies behind selling short and the cover up of the family members and the mystery behind The Who done it. Excellently written and applaud the masterful writing here. Now the bad part. REALLY? why do you have a middle age, overweight man, who just lost his wife, banging all these women all of a sudden. And why did the author need to write in three different love triangles. Ya I know a triangle has three sides but this was like nine sided. Totally disrupted the excellent story. Was this a romance novel? And oh cumon, what lawyer would load a body into his trunk and move it? Geez.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sherrie

    The poorest effort I've read by Turow. The book should have been sub-titled "The Sexual Reawakening of Sandy Stern", because a large portion read like a middle aged widower's dreams come true. The part of the book that didn't deal with Stern and his love objects was a frankly quite boring story of financial malfeasance and family dysfunction. Since the book got good Goodreads reviews, I am clearly in the minority, but I completely vacillated betweenboredom and eye rolling while reading this.. Fi The poorest effort I've read by Turow. The book should have been sub-titled "The Sexual Reawakening of Sandy Stern", because a large portion read like a middle aged widower's dreams come true. The part of the book that didn't deal with Stern and his love objects was a frankly quite boring story of financial malfeasance and family dysfunction. Since the book got good Goodreads reviews, I am clearly in the minority, but I completely vacillated betweenboredom and eye rolling while reading this.. Find a better book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robert Grant

    This one was a struggle for me to get through. Just found it highly unbelievable and quite frankly-a big disappointment after Presumed Innocent. Sandy Stern was unforgettable in Presumed Innocent-in this one-he is just an old horn dog lusting after everything that moves. He doesn't seem to be the same character at all-ridiculous. Hopefully the next book by this author will be better. Originally read in 1991. This one was a struggle for me to get through. Just found it highly unbelievable and quite frankly-a big disappointment after Presumed Innocent. Sandy Stern was unforgettable in Presumed Innocent-in this one-he is just an old horn dog lusting after everything that moves. He doesn't seem to be the same character at all-ridiculous. Hopefully the next book by this author will be better. Originally read in 1991.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Prem Nair

    Let me save you the trouble, pick another book. I find it hard to believe this was from the same guy who wrote Laws of Our Fathers. That one was a really well crafted. This one, was most generously, meh. No worthwhile plot. No zeal in the writing. You can actually sense the author giving up on the book midway.

  24. 4 out of 5

    The Celtic Rebel (Richard)

    A wonderful book that I have read through twice now. Even though it is not as popular as Presumed Innocent, I still love many things about this book. I love the legal part of the story but I highly enjoy the journey we go on uncovering the lies within Sandy Stern's marriage and family as well as seeing how he copes with life as a widower. Very well done. A wonderful book that I have read through twice now. Even though it is not as popular as Presumed Innocent, I still love many things about this book. I love the legal part of the story but I highly enjoy the journey we go on uncovering the lies within Sandy Stern's marriage and family as well as seeing how he copes with life as a widower. Very well done.

  25. 5 out of 5

    David

    I don't often rate a book a five, nor will I in this book, but close. Very well written story presented with many side stories. A work of fiction that the reader feels he has "solved" the crime, but finds that he is wrong, not once but several times. I don't often rate a book a five, nor will I in this book, but close. Very well written story presented with many side stories. A work of fiction that the reader feels he has "solved" the crime, but finds that he is wrong, not once but several times.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tgordon

    So I love these books. I have read them out of order however no matter as the players change and yet stay the same. This was a particularly family drawn and emotional book! I love Sandy! The main character and immigrant trying to live the American dream! Hard work and family aside is how that’s done but watch your family in the end blood? Is thicker than money and success.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kim Tong Lim

    Scott Turow had written an award-winning novel Presumed Innocent in 1987. In 1990, he released this second fiction The Burden of Proof that I picked up to read only recently. Scott Turow is a trained and practising lawyer. I was drawn to reading his other books because of Presumed Innocent where the plot, the twists and turns, and the cut and thrust in a court-room setting were so clearly written for a non-lawyer like me to follow the story-line. The Burden of Proof revolves around the family of Scott Turow had written an award-winning novel Presumed Innocent in 1987. In 1990, he released this second fiction The Burden of Proof that I picked up to read only recently. Scott Turow is a trained and practising lawyer. I was drawn to reading his other books because of Presumed Innocent where the plot, the twists and turns, and the cut and thrust in a court-room setting were so clearly written for a non-lawyer like me to follow the story-line. The Burden of Proof revolves around the family of Sandy Stern, the defence lawyer who appeared in the earlier book - Presumed Innocent. Sandy had to face two major seemingly unrelated events. One was what appeared to be a suicide of his wife, Clara, when he returned home one late afternoon from an overseas trip on an assignment. The other was a subpoena for his brother-in-law Dixon Hartnell to appear before a United States grand jury to answer to charges of some illegal trades on commodities and futures exchanges. The story was not as simple. Sandy’s family of three grown-up children and a son-in-law had roles to play in this story. The writer, Scott Turow, had me believe the obvious as he wrote the pages. The guilty parties and motives of actions appeared clear as day. But the obvious is not what it is. The suspense as the plot thickened was kept throughout until Part Three of the book when Scott Turow slowly peeled off layer and layer of veil of obscuration. The guilty parties and real reasons for individual acts of deception and final actions were plainly revealed. There is no doubt in my mind as to why events happened the way they did. The twists were complete and I believe the readers were fooled as intended by the author. There was a closure for Sandy Stern who was in the centre of his family problem. He maintained his reputation as a honourable defence lawyer who will not do anything to circumvent the codes of professional ethics of his legal profession. It was a pleasure to read all 582 pages of this novel. I did not feel at all labored. One page leads to another and the story flow was easy to follow. There are not too many characters and Scott Turow wrote a tightly-knitted plot without superfluous passages.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I feel that the best way to describe this book is to recount my thought process during one scene: Is this a sexual scene with a pregnant person? No it can't be Amanda, you're only thinking that because every interaction that Stern has had with a female non-family member has been sexual in nature. That's probably why Turow made her pregnant, as a non-sexual interest for Stern. Okay now they're both naked in the hot tub. This is weird. Oh God it is sexual in nature, this is disgusting! Okay Amanda, I feel that the best way to describe this book is to recount my thought process during one scene: Is this a sexual scene with a pregnant person? No it can't be Amanda, you're only thinking that because every interaction that Stern has had with a female non-family member has been sexual in nature. That's probably why Turow made her pregnant, as a non-sexual interest for Stern. Okay now they're both naked in the hot tub. This is weird. Oh God it is sexual in nature, this is disgusting! Okay Amanda, Stern just went through a tough ordeal, he's just being weird right now. *Several hours of listening later* Dear God, she was into it too. This book is horrifying! Why anyone thinks this is a good book is an absolute mystery to me. It is the story of a man who has tried so hard to protect the women of his life (misogynistic attitude included) when in fact they were protecting him because he is such a LOSER! He finds himself in a world of strangers after his wife dies even though he has friends and children because he never took any time getting to know any of them. This book is at best eyeroll inducing because of the terrible awkwardness of the main character and at worst a soap opera that drips with unnecessary drama. And imagine my surprise when reading "1L," Turow's non-fiction tale of his time at law school, I find that he has given someone the pseudonym of Sandy Stern! So sorry to whomever is the real-life Sandy Stern, Scott Turow thinks you're a loser with weird sexual predilections.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Vel Veeter

    So this is a second of the “Kindle County” series books that Turow has been publishing over the course of the last 30 years. I reviewed the first one a few months back. This a “legal thriller” and starts with Sandy Stern (of Argentine Jewish descent, which comes up, repeatedly) finding his wife dead in the garage of a possible suicide. There is a note but few clues as to what might have happened. Over the course of the subsequent days and weeks Sandy begins to piece together a hidden life that h So this is a second of the “Kindle County” series books that Turow has been publishing over the course of the last 30 years. I reviewed the first one a few months back. This a “legal thriller” and starts with Sandy Stern (of Argentine Jewish descent, which comes up, repeatedly) finding his wife dead in the garage of a possible suicide. There is a note but few clues as to what might have happened. Over the course of the subsequent days and weeks Sandy begins to piece together a hidden life that he never truly knew about his wife’s private life. In addition, he’s defending his brother-in-law in a money-laundering case. Guess what…it’s ALL connected. This is a weird book because a lot of it tries to stay pretty tight to the idea of professional ethics and legalese about the how the different cases involved are tied together and how as a lawyer he has to proceed. Then, there’s a LOT of description of middle-aged people doing it and doing it well. It’s weird. Like really weird Scott Turow is about 60ish now, and so he would have been in his early 30s when he wrote this book, but he is absolutely fascinated with middle-age sex. I mean it’s an important and interesting topic, but not one that seems to have much place in a legal thriller. I do appreciate that this book is trying to be more than its components, but it’s a weird concern. This series I think functions like the Tana French series where it Daisy Chains the subject matter by moving from one character in the first book to the next.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Janet Hartman

    This was the first Turow book I tried to read and I don't plan to read another. Maybe if I had read Presumed Innocent and learned about the characters when they were younger, I would have cared more about them. I didn't know about the connection between the two books until after I started reading The Burden of Proof. At 564 pages, the book would benefit from serious editing. Things moved way too slowly for my taste. For example, I figured out who wrote Clara's prescription and the rest that went This was the first Turow book I tried to read and I don't plan to read another. Maybe if I had read Presumed Innocent and learned about the characters when they were younger, I would have cared more about them. I didn't know about the connection between the two books until after I started reading The Burden of Proof. At 564 pages, the book would benefit from serious editing. Things moved way too slowly for my taste. For example, I figured out who wrote Clara's prescription and the rest that went with that way before the author confirmed it. I kept reading because I thought maybe I was taken in by a red herring and Turow had a strange twist in mind based on a clue I missed, but no such luck. Because of that, and because I didn't care what happened to the other characters and thought I could predict most of that as well, I stopped reading after page 289. I rarely abandon books. Although some of the sexual encounters were believable, the premise for others was thin. The scenes seemed sprinkled in per a formula. After awhile, when I came across another one I thought, yep, about time. The actual writing, the phraseology, in this book was good.

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