Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review of Identical

Book #22. Identical, by Scott Turow. Unabridged audio.

I have read nearly all of Turow's novels (including Innocent, reviewed here), and have enjoyed most of them.

Taking place again in the fictional Kindle County, this book involves a set of identical twins, one of whom is just out prison after a 25-year sentence, after confessing to the murder of a family friend.

A quarter-century later, the father of the murder victim believes (rightly as it turns out) that the story is not true, and that perhaps the wrong brother served the sentence. And as the novel unfolds, we learn that the crime may not have been committed in quite the way that anyone imagined. There are family and political dramas at work as subtext to the story, as well.

The advances in the science of detection serve as a nice backdrop to the story, as the changes from fingerprinting to DNA mean that the identical twins may not be as identical as was once thought.

There were some stereotypes among the mostly Greek-American cast of characters, but none of these traits seemed too out of line. In terms of what really happened, and who the real perpetrator of the crime was, I was in the dark until more than halfway through the book. At that point, the political aspects of the book (there is a race for Mayor taking place, and a gubernatorial election is part of the mystery's backstory) came to the forefront, and knowing Turow's affiliations, it was pretty clear who the murderer would end up being.

The characters are well-drawn, and the portrayal of the relationship between the twins was one of the strengths of the novel.

source: public library

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