A judge gets rattled

2008-02-01 00:00

IN his early years as a writer Scott Turow turned out some great legal thrillers; Presumed Innocent and The Burden of Proof are classics of their kind - legally sound, cleverly and imaginatively plotted, fast-paced and strong on character, action and suspense.

It's a slight tale, not uninteresting but scarcely a breathless page-turner. And as it ambles along and the likeable but fairly colourless Mason works things out and comes to terms, etc., one suddenly discovers it's petered out; the book is a mere 197 pages. The remaining 40-plus pages, inserted to fatten up the trade paperback (which costs R140), are given over to three whole chapters of that previous dud, Ordinary Heroes. It may sound harsh, but I think the author's a chancer and his publisher's a cheat.

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