Scott Turow's Pleading Guilty takes us back to Kindle County, where skies are generally gray and the truth is seldom simple, in an edge-of-the-chair story rife with indelible characters and riveting suspense.
The star litigator from a top-notch law firm has gone missing, along with 5.6 million dollars from a class-action settlement, and "Mack" Malloy, a foul-mouthed ex-cop and partner-on-the-wane must find both. Immediately.
Murder, embezzlement, bookmaking, offshore banking, and the politics of a high-powered law firm supply varying shades of corruption as Turow ( Presumed Innocent ; The Burden of Proof ) returns to Kindle County in this wise, surefooted legal thriller. World-weary attorney Mack Malloy, 50-ish ex-cop and recovering alcoholic, is the protagonist and narrator. Despite humiliating annual pay cuts, Mack plods on at Gage & Griswell, nearing the end of his usefulness. When another partner in the firm disappears, along with several million dollars, Mack is assigned the difficult and potentially dangerous job of discreetly discovering his whereabouts. During a one-month time span, Mack dictates his account onto six tapes corresponding to the book's chapters. It is an engaging, street-wise narrative full of plain talk and homespun philosophy, as well as a candid account of the behind-the-scenes workings of a powerful law firm. Though every element of the novel is polished and professional, the charisma of Mack's narration is its triumph. Add that to a taut, twist-filled plot, expert pacing, colorful and well-rendered supporting characters, and an appealing whiff of larceny, and Turow surpasses Grisham hands down. 875,000 first printing; Franklin Library First Edition; BOMC and QPB main selection; paperback to Warner; author tour.