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05 September 2013

Scott Turow: Identical (first 4 chapters preview)

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Presumed Innocence Again?
This is a brief review of the 4 chapter preview of "Identical". I am not really sure if such previews help that much because the reader is only allowed to see the foundations of the story.

Cass and Paul Giannis are identical twins, and in 1982 one is a police cadet and the other a budding lawyer. They attend a party at the house of their father's greatest rival, Zeus Kronon, who is the father of Dita, Cass's girlfriend. That night Dita is murdered and the crime scene is compromised by the Kronons' actions and poor police procedures. Blood of a different type to Dita's is at the scene because someone broke a window but in 1982 there is only blood typing, no DNA matching. After a poor police and FBI investigation, Cass comes forward and confesses and hopes to get a plea bargain for 10 years in a low security prison. Zeus agrees to the latter but argues for and gets a 20 year sentence.

Roll on 20 years and Cass is coming up for parole after being an almost perfect prisoner. Paul's career has blossomed into the State Senate and he is in the middle of a campaign for Mayor. By that time Hal Kronon, Dita's brother has become mega-rich and has never forgiven the twins for what he believes is their perceived complicity in the crime. Hal unsuccessfully appeals against parole and publicly accuses Paul of aiding in the murder which tarnishes Paul's election hopes. Hal also hires an ex FBI agent and a PI to reopen the murder case on their own.

The first 4 chapters set the scene for a family feud, a political bun-fight and a re-examination of the crime using modern technology to see if the correct person was convicted of the murder. Once again this seems to follow the theme used so successfully in Turow's previous books - can we always believe in presumed innocence and has the wrong person been convicted.

As a teaser this was an interesting introduction but was not enough to really judge the merits of the full book. I have read and enjoyed most of Turow's works and look forward to see if the book stands up to the promise of the first few chapters. 3.5 stars rounded to 4 stars in anticipation of a better rating for the full book.


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