Presumed Innocent Sequel Prevails

In the late 1980’s Scott Turow’s first novel “Presumed Innocent” set the publishing world aflame with its sexual explicitness and its dense, riveting mystery. It was a number one best-seller and was turned into a classic thriller film with Harrison Ford. Twenty years later, Turow came out with a sequel called “Innocent” which is not sexually explicit but does have just as riveting a mystery. Why does it work so well?

At the end of “Presumed Innocent,” the protagonist Rusty Sabich is acquitted of murder charges. At the beginning of “Innocent,” he gets implicated in a woman’s death again-this time, his wife’s. He ends up on trial again and even his loving son Nat wonders if he is guilty or not. Further complicating matters is Anna, Nat’s girlfriend, who used to be lovers with Rusty and may have some involvement with the wife’s death. As the trial goes on, the twists and turns continue.

“Innocent” is a spellbinding thriller because it keeps you guessing till the end. The guessing is not so much who killed whom as it is what twist and turn in the trial is coming up next. The novel is told from the point of view of several different characters, which actually helps build suspense about what’s going to happen. Several characters, such as Rusty and the prosecutor Tommy Molto, have complicated character arcs and many good and bad character traits. That sort of complexity is a breath of fresh air in an age of writing for dummies. I was spellbound through 400+ pages of this book, and by the end I felt I had been put through the literary ringer. In short, if you’re looking for a great thriller, try “Innocent”!

Book Review: Saint Odd is Bloody Good

whiskey 012“Saint Odd,” Dean Koontz’s final installment in his best-selling Odd Thomas series, is the perfect book for those of us who hate bloodthirsty Satanists. Odd Thomas, a fry cook with supernatural powers, is a refreshingly homespun protagonist who maintains an aw-shucks demeanor even as he blows away bad guys. Koontz used to be a Stephen King imitator, but in this series he has found a fresh voice and gives us a likeable albeit very bloody tale. I have not been keeping up with his recent books, but clearly I underestimated him and he is a better writer than I thought. I recommend¬†this book¬†to all horror fans. Also it was weird that the actor who played him in the film version of this recently died that bizarre accident where his own car pinned him to the wall. That’s weird since he is psychic in this series and has a somewhat bad fate in the book as well. -CoolAC