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The Burden of Proof (Kindle County Legal Thriller #2)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  28,962 Ratings  ·  206 Reviews
Turow's acclaimed second novel, which topped international bestseller lists, is now available in trade paperback. Sandy Stern, the brilliant defense attorney from Presumed Innocent, faces an event so emotionally shattering that no part of his life is left untouched. It reveals a family caught in a maelstrom of hidden crimes, shocking secrets, and warring passions.
Paperback, 564 pages
Published June 1st 1991 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 1990)
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Following the simultaneous written and cinematic success of its predecessor, "Presumed Innocent," Scott Turow again returns to Kindle County for another dramatic exploration of the emotional vagaries of lives wrapped in the curious legal subculture of American society. In Turow's "Burden of Proof," we find ourselves three years following the events of "Presumed Innocent" as a spectator in the life of Sandy Stern, the attorney who famously defended Rusty Sabich in the murder trial from the prior ...more
This is another great and fantastic legal thriller. This one deals with Sandy Stern. This one deals with tons of surprises and some trips down to Memory Lane with flashback, right after his wife commits suicide. But from there, he deals with an emotional load of stuff with his children and his client/brother-in-law in an embittered battle. But with every twist and turns, he discovers some family secrets behind the scenes. We really see the emotions he goes through from grieving to outraged throu ...more
Larry Bassett
Mar 19, 2012 Larry Bassett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I thought I would try to read some quick mystery books to shorten my TBR pile. This book has 515 pages so it appears that winnowing effort will have to wait a while longer. This book could be 300 pages instead of 500. But it would be missing many of the human interactions that make this book so enjoyable and memorable.

The legal territory we enter by reading this book includes The Grand Jury. For me, that is an education. I have, of course, heard about Grand Juries many times but, with the help o
Sep 01, 2014 Remo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novela, derecho, 1995
Scott Turow tiene un estilo completamente distinto al de John Grisham, a pesar de que escriben sobre lo mismo. Grisham es más aventurero. Turow es totalmente denso: nos bombardea con miles de datos sobre leyes fiscales, inversiones en bolsa y códigos financieros. La trama está sólidamente tejida y los personajes bien construidos. Pero aún así la cantidad de información es demasiada para una novela que, se supone, debe mantener la atención del lector en todo momento. No me ha entusiasmado.
Paul Lima
A middling legal story. Combines the main character's domestic problems with the legal tangle he is trying to work out for his main client, his brother-in-law -- so the legal and domestic are intertwined. I wasn't really enamored with any of the characters or their issues. I didn't buy who did what, and why. If you don't buy the characters' motivations, it's difficult to enjoy the plot. I'm sure others feel differently about it, but there you go...
Dec 02, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I don't often rate a book a five, nor will I in this book, but close. Very well written story presented with many side stories. A work of fiction that the reader feels he has "solved" the crime, but finds that he is wrong, not once but several times.
Steve Shilstone
For a lot of pages, lawyer Sandy Stern stumbles hither to yon dealing with his brother-in-law's financial hi jinx and his own personal and family issues.
Mar 13, 2017 Erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took a little time to get into it, but then I enjoyed it. Interesting character study and some unexpected twists.
Feb 04, 2017 Margaret rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Meh-got halfway through and am punting.
A tour de force! This is the brilliantly told and epic tale of a complex family, condensed into a tense 6 months or so. It contains wonderful characters, many well wrought plot twists (and a few clumsy ones), nuanced insights of many sorts, and information on the working of commodities exchanges and the related law too. Very long and well worth it. Perfectly read on the audio.
Dick Edwards
For some reason, I found this book difficult to read. Mr. Turow has a peculiar way of wording sentences (some of them, not all of them), such that some sentences I find myself reading 2 or 3 times, and still not understanding what he is saying. As in PRESUMED INNOCENT, there is much insight into interpersonal relationships, and he will frequently (when introducing a new character) go back into a somewhat detailed description of past history with that character. His introspection into Sandy’s rel ...more
Jan 19, 2013 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, scott-turow
Sandy Stern, the lawyer for Rusty Sabich in the previous two Turrow books, tries to unravel the why's of his wifes suicide. His son-and seemingly well intentioned foe--or real foe, the neighbor the Dr., his daughterKates husband John, andhis lawyer daughter, all figure into the mystery. The plot is moved along by another plot, Sandy's sister Sylvia, whose husband is a huge trader of commodities, a gambler, and the suspect in many wall street insider trading violatio s. The twists put the enthusi ...more
Jan 19, 2008 Carin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: legal, thriller
I read Presumed Innocent more than 10 years ago and it saved my opinion of legal thrillers, which I thought had been irreparably damaged by John Grisham. Ever since then, if I hear of a Grisham fan, I always tell him/her, "well if you like Grisham, you really need to try Scott Turow, because he can actually write." While that does remain true with The Burden of Proof, I do understand why it isn't as popular as his other books.

Sandy Stern, the defense attorney in Presumed Innocent, arrives home
Kim Tong Lim
Feb 13, 2013 Kim Tong Lim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scott Turow had written an award-winning novel Presumed Innocent in 1987. In 1990, he released this second fiction The Burden of Proof that I picked up to read only recently. Scott Turow is a trained and practising lawyer. I was drawn to reading his other books because of Presumed Innocent where the plot, the twists and turns, and the cut and thrust in a court-room setting were so clearly written for a non-lawyer like me to follow the story-line.

The Burden of Proof revolves around the family of
Mark Soone
I would call this a 3 star or OK/good read. Having just reread Presumed innocent as a prep for this my hopes were quite high. While this was an OK/good read, it did not live up to my expectations that the first book developed.

Jonas/Sandy Stern is quite a likeable character, and his further development in likely the only reason that I continued to read this and/or might lightly recommend it. It started with a terrible tragedy, that I wrongly assumed would be a devious investigation and trial of a
Jun 11, 2015 Edgar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book promised much and I expected an exciting climax but its flaccid finish let me -as well as others - down. It was too long. Despite this, some of the characters remained an enigma to me to the end. Instead of a rousing finale, the plot just became a bit more convoluted. Its seems as if the author has a compilation of incidents, characters and quotes from real life that he wants to insert jiggsawlike in the book. (When the ‘Observer’ refers to the plot ‘ tied up so tightly that you’re hol ...more
May 02, 2015 Amanda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I feel that the best way to describe this book is to recount my thought process during one scene:

Is this a sexual scene with a pregnant person? No it can't be Amanda, you're only thinking that because every interaction that Stern has had with a female non-family member has been sexual in nature. That's probably why Turow made her pregnant, as a non-sexual interest for Stern. Okay now they're both naked in the hot tub. This is weird. Oh God it is sexual in nature, this is disgusting! Okay Amanda,
I have a great fondness for mystery novels written by lawyers — even when, as in this case, they are not really too mysterious. The legal mind seems to present the story in a more logical fashion than most mystery writers, and the results seem to be more into my way of thinking. This is not in any way a slash-dash adventure story, but it presents its own form of excitement as the plot unfolds — about, again, to keep me up late reading, and how can I ask for any more?

Even though it is told in the
Andy Miller
Sep 13, 2014 Andy Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the second in the Kindle County series by Scott Turow, immediately after his most famous, and best, work, Presumed Innocent. The plot here has less courtroom drama than Presumed Innocent, in fact there are no real trial scenes, but it is about the best writing on grand jury processes and intrigues that I have read. But there is more of the personal than in Presumed Innocent.

The novel starts with Sandy Stern, Rusty Sabich's defense lawyer in Presumed Innocence, discovering that his wife
Dec 02, 2015 Eduardo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wonder how it is possible for a writer to debut on the scene with a book so good as Presumed Innocent, and then produce such a bad and crappy novel as this one.
There is some unexciting court drama here, yes, but then ST strove more towards writing a ‘normal’ novel and inserted a lot of sex, a bunch of dull dialogues, plus deceit, a highly dysfunctional family, infidelities left and right, some drugs and alcohol, intergenerational conflict... and the result is just a very mediocre soap opera, a
Janet Hartman
This was the first Turow book I tried to read and I don't plan to read another. Maybe if I had read Presumed Innocent and learned about the characters when they were younger, I would have cared more about them. I didn't know about the connection between the two books until after I started reading The Burden of Proof.

At 564 pages, the book would benefit from serious editing. Things moved way too slowly for my taste. For example, I figured out who wrote Clara's prescription and the rest that went
St Fu
Apr 19, 2016 St Fu rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathleen O'Nan
While I was disappointed that this so-called "sequel" had very little in common with Turow's first book, I found it very enjoyable. I liked the development of the main character, Sandy Stern, from a suave, sophisticated man to one whose flaws made him much more real and human. I hope we see him in future books.
Antonia Jackson
Nov 13, 2015 Antonia Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read. Some great explanations of how we operate on an every day level eg, the 'ah hah' moment when we make a connection between events. Loved how he explained it. Accepted the Jewish background from Argentina to eastern USA as poor but very bright immigrant getting into best universities for a legal career that led to marrying his rich boss's daughter ( with a past that he accepted and moved on from) in order to become accepted in higher circles of society. Enjoyed the sexual situations th ...more
May 14, 2013 Marilyn rated it really liked it
This is really a very excellent book. The only reason I'm not giving it a 10 is because I found it a bit hard to follow at times. Turow has done an amazing job though of bringing us into the mind of a man who is a defense attorney. We often read books of courtroom scenes, and how a prosecutor thinks, but not very often of how a defense attorney thinks. Stern is from Argentina, so his patriotism to America is immense, he still has a bit of an accent (which he allows to intimidate him), his wife h ...more
Mike Rinaldi
Read "Presumed Innocent" and "Innocent"; liked both. Perhaps I grew weary of Kindle County, but I found Turow's descriptions of the fictional area tedious, boring, and, worst of all, unnecessary. I think that he feels that all of that BS is necessary to illustrate each scene in which he advances the plot a bit, but it is what adds considerable unnecessary length to this novel. Underneath that, there are some deep themes that are important, well thought-out, and meaningful. I also think that Ster ...more
Sep 10, 2016 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow but good
Dec 09, 2016 Raffaela rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I made it halfway through this book but just could not get into the story:-/
Feb 18, 2016 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved Presumed Innocent when I read it years ago. When I saw the movie, I particularly loved the character of Sandy Stern, played by Raul Julia. He was deliberate and elegant and had such a cool way of speaking. I am always looking for a new series to listen to while I walk/run, and came across the sequels to Presumed Innocent. Actually, they are not sequels at all, but apparently stand-alone books about Kindle County. This one is about Sandy Stern, after Presumed Innocent. The story was good, ...more
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  • Degree of Guilt (Christopher Paget, #2)
  • Prime Witness (Paul Madriani, #2)
  • The 13th Juror (Dismas Hardy, #4)
  • The Juror
  • Total Control
  • Reversible Error (Butch Karp, #4)
  • After Dark
  • The Tenth Justice
  • The Inner Sanctum
Scott Turow is the author of worldwide bestselling novels including Presumed Innocent, Innocent, Ordinary Heroes, The Burden of Proof, Reversible Errors and Limitations. His works of nonfiction include One L, his journal from his first year at law school, and Ultimate Punishment, which he wrote after serving on the Illinois commission that investigated the administration of the death penalty and i ...more
More about Scott Turow...

Other Books in the Series

Kindle County Legal Thriller (10 books)
  • Presumed Innocent (Kindle County Legal Thriller, #1)
  • Pleading Guilty (Kindle County Legal Thriller, #3)
  • The Laws Of Our Fathers (Kindle County, #4)
  • Personal Injuries (Kindle County Legal Thriller, #5)
  • Reversible Errors (Kindle County Legal Thriller, #6)
  • Limitations (Kindle County Legal Thriller, #7)
  • Innocent (Kindle County Legal Thriller, #8)
  • Identical (Kindle County Legal Thriller, #9)
  • Testimony

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“Accept dear God the soul of Dixon Hartnell, who made his own amends and who travelled his own way. He failed as we all fail, and perhaps more often than some. Yet he recognized fundamental things. Not that we are evil; for we are not. But that, by whatever name--self interest, impulse, anger, lust, or greed--we are inclined that way; and that it is our tragedy to know this can never change, our duty to try at every moment to overcome it; and our glory occasionally to succeed.” 2 likes
“But Dixon had once been a soldier. He knew that courage was not the absence of fear but the ability to carry on with dignity in spite of it.” 0 likes
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