Saturday, February 13, 2010

Limitations - Book Review

I picked up Scott Turow's Limitations at the Waldenbooks closing at Crossroads Mall. Marked down to three bucks, it was further discounted another 60%. Heck, I couldn't afford not to buy the book.

I was like everyone else in the 80s and read and enjoyed immensely Turow's books but he didn't write very many, it seemed, and I drifted away from him. I'm glad the cheap price of his book brought me back though I'm not sure I found a reason to stick around again. Commissioned and published by The New York Times Magazine, Limitations is only 200 pages long and doesn't amount to much of a legal, or any other kind of, thriller. It's just a rumination on justice, with a minor mystery at its heart of who's threatening a judge who is hearing a controversial case. Of course, the judge has a personal stake in the case - not a direct one, mind you, which would disqualify him, but something far in his past that comes to the forefront because of this case. Which, when you think about it, might be reason enough to recuse yourself or provide a plaintiff further grounds for appeal if the knowledge became known. But I'm no lawyer so what do I know?

The pace is slow and seems padded even with its short length, intended to fulfill a contract rather than some other organic sense of plot. The legal question is resolved satisfactorily and the source of the threat is discovered and all ends well. There was a spark or two of the Turow I remembered but it's not enough to want to read his new one coming out in a few months or even go back and pick up the ones I missed. Looks like both he and I have been getting along quite all right without each other and, with this book, there's no reason to change things.

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