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

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  25,907 Ratings  ·  180 Reviews
Late one spring afternoon, Alejandro Stern, the brilliant defense lawyer from Presumed Innocent, comes home from a business trip to find that Clara, his wife of thirty years, has committed suicide. In this book, Turow probes the character of this fascinating and complex man as Stern tries to uncover the truth about his wife's life.
Hardcover, 515 pages
Published June 5th 1990 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux (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
Larry Bassett
Dec 09, 2012 Larry Bassett rated it really liked it
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
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
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.
Dec 03, 2015 David rated it really liked it
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.
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
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
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
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
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...
Antonia Jackson
Nov 14, 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
Jul 02, 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
Jun 08, 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,
Jul 21, 2015 Marley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5, rounded up to 4 because I finished it. The reviewer who said this could be shortened by 200 pages, NAILED IT. Pet Peeves: all the woman had "reddish" or fox-colored hair? Really? No blondes? No brunettes? But my BIGGEST PET PEEVE was the repeated references to this short, fat man in his 50's, who appeared to be irresistible to all woman! Even a young mystery woman in a public place rubbing her rear against his front in an elevator??!! Please! I kept thinking, "This is a fantasy of Scott Tur ...more
Jan 29, 2015 Frank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[library audiobook, plot details elsewhere]

I noticed that this was the second in the Kindle County series, so I hold back the 5th star, even though I was listening raptly to the end, because the plot tied up too neatly. I liked the Stern character and especially the reader's voicing of him. I enjoyed the sex scenes. I found the apparent charisma of the Dixon Hartnall character, the other plot driver, hard to give credit. I found the devotion of Stern to Hartnall's innocence hard to credit. Also,
Dec 17, 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
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
Mar 30, 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
Aug 08, 2011 Carin rated it liked it
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
Jun 15, 2015 Herzog rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, mystery
This book is remarkably well written. I'm a huge fan of Saul Bellow and I might easily have mistaken it for a Bellow what with the Tri-Cities standing in for Chicago, the legal profession standing in for academia and all of the inter-family and inter-personal drama as well as the womanizing. Though there is a legal backdrop to the story, this is really a big interpersonal novel with many delightful twists and turns. The language is superb, not overwrought in anyway.
May 14, 2013 Marilyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 25, 2014 Lauriero rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible-book
I like the way the book relate to the first in a tangential way, and the one line that tells us what happened to the protagonist in the first book. The author is a very good writer, and I think that quality sure kept me interested. The story itself was a little bit convoluted, and not super believable, but maybe that's because the characters are of a different, much older, generation. The big shocking secret is very much something of an earlier generation.
Donna Beckley
Sep 24, 2015 Donna Beckley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-general
This is Scott Turow's 2nd book. It is still a mystery novel but rather than set in the courtroom as his previous book was, the mystery is solved by the interactions between the main character, Sandy Stern (the lawyer in the previous book) and his family and principle client, his brother-in-law. The story opens with the suicide of his wife. The plot follows him as he seeks out the reasons for this and how the rest of his family is involved. Sometimes, I feel that the story rambles a bit and heads ...more
Mr Stewart
Disappointingly dull. I have come to understand that i have no patience for mystery involving white collar crime, corporate finance, politics. That's not the only theme of this book but it is thick enough that i lose interest very quickly. I need to care in some way about the goings on. I didnt care about any of this.

Perhaps i need to more carefully screen the legal drama books i select in future.

Too bad. Presumed Innocent was so good.
Prem Nair
Dec 18, 2015 Prem Nair rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Let me save you the trouble, pick another book.

I find it hard to believe this was from the same guy who wrote Laws of Our Fathers. That one was a really well crafted. This one, was most generously, meh.

No worthwhile plot. No zeal in the writing. You can actually sense the author giving up on the book midway.
Jan 24, 2016 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Scott Turow's books, but this one didn't seem as compelling to me. I liked it mainly because I was interested in the character of Sandy Stern, but the actual story was pretty fantastic. The family dynamics were disturbing. Not one of my favorites, although I will read others by Scott Turow.
Ken Wyne
This is book #2 in the "Kindle County" series. Also a good book. I enjoyed reading it. I think it is something about his pacing that keeps it from being a great book, as the stories are really good. But, sometimes I find his books to be a little difficult to stay on task reading, and I almost never have that problem. But, this book I do recommend.
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  • Prime Witness (Paul Madriani, #2)
  • Degree of Guilt (Christopher Paget, #2)
  • The 13th Juror (Dismas Hardy, #4)
  • Reversible Error (Butch Karp, #4)
  • The Juror
  • After Dark
  • Total Control
  • The Tenth Justice
  • The Inner Sanctum
Scott F. Turow is an American author and a practicing lawyer. Turow has written eight fiction and two nonfiction books, which have been translated into over 20 languages and have sold over 25 million copies. Movies have been based on several of his books.

* Kindle County Legal Thriller
More about Scott Turow...

Other Books in the Series

Kindle County Legal Thriller (9 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, #7)
  • Innocent (Kindle County Legal Thriller, #8)
  • Identical (Kindle County Legal Thriller, #9)

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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.” 1 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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