The Laws of Our Fathers

Published by Grand Central Publishing, April 2011
Paperback, 752 pages, ISBN: 9780446574945

THE LAWS OF OUR FATHERS, Scott Turow's most powerful novel to date, opens with a spectacular drive-by shooting in one of Kindle County's most notorious drug-plagued housing projects. The victim is an aging white woman who has never been seen there before; within days her son, Nile Eddgar, a probation officer, is charged in connection with the crime—and the reader falls gratefully once more under the hypnotic spell that only Scott Turow can cast.

Nile's trial is presided over—and narrated by—judge Sonia "Sonny" Klonsky, whom Turow's fans will remember from his second novel, THE BURDEN OF PROOF. It brings together a vivid cast of characters from Sonny's student years during the turbulent sixties, among them Nile's father, Loyell Eddgar, once a leading campus revolutionary, and Sonny's old boyfriend Seth Weissman, who is now a renowned journalist. All have been permanently marked by the heady iconoclasm of their youth; some carry terrible secrets that come to bear on the case at hand in unforeseeable and explosive ways.

With its riveting suspense and indelibly drawn characters, THE LAWS OF OUR FATHERS shows once again why Scott Turow is not only the master of the modern legal thriller but also one of America's most gifted and satisfying novelists. Turow reveals as no other writer can how the law and its mysterious rituals intersect with real life. In the process he also raises endlessly provocative questions about the meanings of the past and the long shadows it casts on the present.

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Reviews and Praise

Splendid… every bit as gripping and profound as its predecessors… Turow is in a category of his own.

San Francisco Chronicle

THE LAWS OF OUR FATHERS tackles an ambitious theme: How do children break free of their elders to live meaningful, whole lives?

The New York Times Book Review

No other novel this year is likely to be as thoughtful, as timely and richly detailed, and as satisfying to read… a tour de force.

Detroit News-Free Press

The Bonfire of the Vanities meets The Big Chill… moving compelling… wonderfully colorful.

New York Times

Enthralling… several cuts above the popular competition.


Powerful… a big, ambitious novel… two superb mystery stories and one of the most thoughtful and satisfying novels this year… Turow's best book.

Philadelphia Inquirer

Absorbing… an ambitious novel and, happily, the author's firm grasp is more than equal to his reach.

Wall Street Journal

From the evocative opening paragraph, Turow reaffirms all that separates him from most of his contemporaries… There are so many reasons to savor this book. The language is breathtaking… it's the real deal.

Miami Herald

His dialogue is superb, and his scenes move with pace and authority. The opening is a tour de force of beautifully orchestrated action writing.