Saturday, July 24, 2004

Reversible Errors - Scott Turow

Reversible Errors is the first of Scott Turow's novels I have read. The blurb proclaimed this book to be even better than John Grisham's, so I picked it up with a little bit of skepticism.

First, the story. Arthur Raven, a former public prosecutor and now in private practice is appointed by the court as the legal representative of Rommy "Squirrel" Gandolph, a death row inmate. Gandolph had been tried and found guilty of a triple murder committed ten years earlier. The dead include a Greek Immigrant restaurant owner, an airline ticketing agent and a bystander at the restaurant. The motive is said to be robbery. Now counting his days in the death row, he says he is not guilty. He is of unstable mind and had confessed to murder clearly during his earlier trial. So Arthur views it as a routine case, but his interest is piqued when the Judge who had written the death sentence turns up with new evidence. The Judge, Gillian Sullivan herself landed up in prison for corruption charges and has just been released. She is not interested to be in the public eye again, but wants to help Arthur.

The Deputy Public Prosecutor Muriel Wynn and the original detective of the case Larry Starczek are on the other side with each not wanting to be proven wrong. The new evidence is the testimony of the airline supervisor stating that he committed the murder. This person is now dying of cancer so wants to get it off his chest. But his testimony is torn apart and proven to be full of holes by the Public prosecutor.

The murderer and the sequences were clearly visible to me halfway through the story. In that sense it is not a great thriller, it is more like a crossword puzzle. But where Turow scores is in fleshing out his characters. Each of them have their own flaws and prove to be as human as the accused. They are not super heroes, just ordinary folks trying to make sense out of their lives.

A good read, if you are looking for nothing taxing.

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