Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to the future

I recently caught up with a character from my past.

Rusty Sabich.

He's the attorney at the heart of Scott Turow's "Presumed Innocent" and now "Innocent."

PI was the book to read the summer it came out. I lived in Chicago then and still dreamed of writing my own novel someday when Turow's work was published. Much was made of the fact that he wrote parts of the book while commuting to work on the train. Like lots of other would-be novelists, I thought, I could do that.

Fast-forward twenty-some years and I still haven't done that. But Turow has continued, and I was excited to catch up with his cast of characters again.

One of the things that set PI and Innocent apart for me is that I don't like the lead character.

I am not rooting for Sabich to come out on top. I am pulled through the plot by supporting characters and their actions.

Once again Turow has drawn me into the story. His work is fast-paced without making me feel like I'm reading a movie script outline (the way I sometimes feel reading John Grisham.)

This sequel didn't seem forced. I believed that this is where these characters would be and I was surprised at how much of the original novel I remembered decades later.

So if you were a fan of PI, and even if you never read it, this is an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.

It has sparked a renewed interest in checking out some mystery/detective novels ... any suggestions?

- Tricia Ambrose

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