Late one spring afternoon, Alejandro “Sandy” Stem, the leading defense
attorney in the midsized Midwestern city where he lives, comes home from a
business trip to find that Clara, his wife of thirty years, has committed
suicide. Readers of Presumed Innocent will remember Stem as the
brilliant, elegant, and elusive lawyer who masterminded the defense of Rusty
Sabich. Scott Turow’s new novel probes the character of this fascinating and
complex man and his troubled private world.
Like many successful individuals, Stern has often seemed preoccupied
and remote even to those closest to him. He is overwhelmed by Clara’s death,
and as he tries to come to terms with it, he is forced to confront all he truly
does not know about his life, including his children. Even in his mourning,
Stern is drawn back to the law as the defender of Dixon Hartnell, who is the
target of an increasingly complex investigation by a federal grand jury. Stem’s
connections to Dixon, the immensely rich owner of a commodities futures
brokerage and a wily financial gamesman, are long and involved. Dixon, who both
fascinates and repels Stern, is the husband of Stem’s beloved sister, Silvia,
and he has employed Stem to keep him one step ahead of the law for decades.
As Sandy seeks to unravel both the painful mystery of Clara’s death and
the tangled web of Dixon’s financial wheeling and dealing, his marriage,
family, and career are brought under the intense scrutiny that only a lawyer as
persistent, perceptive, and honest as Stern can muster. The result is a novel
of enormous emotional resonance, riveting suspense, and pro- found and
devastating revelations. It confirms Scott Turow’s place as one of our most
compelling and convincing storytellers.
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