Author of the week
Scott Turow is finally enjoying the upside of being a walking suggestion box, said Bill Zwecker in the Chicago Sun-Times. In the 30 years since Presumed Innocent launched his second career as a writer of acclaimed legal thrillers, the Chicagobased former prosecutor has been pummeled with the plot ideas of wellmeaning fans. “People tell me all the time they’ve got an unbelievable story,” he says. “Ninety percent of the time, it turns out to be about their divorce.” But one night 17 years ago, Turow found himself at a party in The Hague talking with a group of lawyers from the international criminal tribunal that was investigating war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. “They told me, ‘You’ve got to write a book about this place. You won’t believe what goes on here!’” For once, Turow agreed.
Turow had to do more research than usual for Testimony, his 11th novel, said Peter Larsen in the Orange County, Calif., Register. “I really did not know as much as I should have about what happened in Bosnia, given the magnitude of what happened there,” Turow says. But as he learned more, he realized the setting offered him a chance to also write about the Roma, or Gypsies, an often maligned ethnic minority who have long fascinated him. His hero, a middle-aged lawyer from suburban Chicago, moves to the Netherlands and takes up a case involving a massacre of Roma civilians. But though Testimony touches on dark episodes, the international intrigue—some reaching back to the U.S.—made the work engaging. “It was fun,” he says, “if you can call writing about war crimes fun.”