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

(Kindle County Legal Thriller #2)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  32,841 ratings  ·  312 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, 608 pages
Published December 1st 2000 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1990)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  32,841 ratings  ·  312 reviews

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Feb 14, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Katherine "Kj" Joslin
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own, 2018rrnovember
Ugh, the last 1/4 of the book was ok/ interesting but I BARELY made it to that point....the first 3/4 of the book were painfully long and drawn out.
Larry Bassett
Mar 19, 2012 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, wit
Aug 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Honestly, I believe my expectations were way high after the first book of this series.
Therefore, I was easily let down.
I really was a little impatient with the main character and his discovery of a libido. I never criticize a narration but his Spanish accent reminded me of an imitation of Bella Lagosi.
I usually finish all of the books which I purchase, however, life is too short to not enjoy a read.
I hope I will be more impressed with Mr. Turrow's next one.
Lynn Pribus
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm sure I read this before, but many years ago. I had to rate it 5 stars when compared to what I've been giving 4 stars recently.

Complex and authentic novel centering around Sandy, the Argentinian attorney in Kindle County (Chicago) whose wife takes her life (right at the start of the book. This is really not a spoiler.)

Goes on to the intricacies of cheating various commodity exchanges. His brother-in-law (whom he really doesn't like or respect) has been accused of this
Apr 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This follow-up to Turow's popular Presumed Innocent was a disappointment for me. I thought INNOCENT was a riveting read, and I even viewed the movie, which I thought was quite good before starting this book. I could find no connection to the previous book other than location. The legal case seemed secondary to Sandy Stern's sexual life following his wife's suicide. Toward the end of the book, I began to get more involved in it. I have the next in the series available, but not sure I will try it.
Rebecca Huston
Sep 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20th-century, fiction
A very good novel, and probably my favourite of all of Scott Turow's books. A tale of marriage, family and suicide not to mention a fairly decent thriller. Sandy Stern (first seen in presumed innocent) comes home to find his wife has committed suicide -- and we follow his life in the months that follow as he tries to keep his life together and understand why his wife would do something like that.

For a longer review, please go here:
A very good novel, and probably my favourite of all of Scott Turow's books. A tale of marriage, family and suicide not to mention a fairly decent thriller. Sandy Stern (first seen in presumed innocent) comes home to find his wife has committed suicide -- and we follow his life in the months that follow as he tries to keep his life together and understand why his wife would do something like that.

For a longer review, please go here:
Sagheer Afzal
Aug 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book was such a huge disappointment. I was hooked by it's predecessor (Presumed Innocent) but here I think Scott Turrow simply got carried away and tried to write an epic in the manner of Gone With The Wind or Buddenbrooks, nothing wrong with that, but if you're attempting to write a thriller then your book needs to thrill. Burden of Proof does not do that. The central character cogitates at every available opportunity and stultifies the story. Lots and lots of introspective passages with w ...more
Mariella Deliyannis
An excellent read and a book that I enjoyed more for the psychological aspect than the legal thriller (that was intrinsic to the psychological part of the book). I expected a John Grisham and I encountered an amalgam of a psychological autopsy combined with the blow by blow description of the legal case. The story is two fold: a distibuished criminal attorney returns form a business trip and finds his wife of 30 years dead by suicide and at the same time he is embroiled in the defense of his bro ...more
May 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book took me forever to read and after all was said and done, nothing really happened. It's supposed to be a legal thriller but there's very little to do with the law in it and it's definitely not very thrilling. It's the story of Sandy Stern, after learning his wife has committed suicide, tries to deal with his new life and a legal issue his brother in law is having. The majority of the book is spent with Sandy throwing himself at lots of different women, now that he's "free" I guess, and ...more
Paul Lima
Nov 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
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...
The Celtic Rebel (Richard)
A wonderful book that I have read through twice now. Even though it is not as popular as Presumed Innocent, I still love many things about this book. I love the legal part of the story but I highly enjoy the journey we go on uncovering the lies within Sandy Stern's marriage and family as well as seeing how he copes with life as a widower. Very well done.
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What makes a book? The story or the characters? All I know with this one is that Sandy Stern was a disgusting man.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
So I love these books. I have read them out of order however no matter as the players change and yet stay the same. This was a particularly family drawn and emotional book! I love Sandy! The main character and immigrant trying to live the American dream! Hard work and family aside is how that’s done but watch your family in the end blood? Is thicker than money and success.
Kim Tong Lim
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Vel Veeter
Dec 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 500-pages, cbr-9
So this is a second of the “Kindle County” series books that Turow has been publishing over the course of the last 30 years. I reviewed the first one a few months back. This a “legal thriller” and starts with Sandy Stern (of Argentine Jewish descent, which comes up, repeatedly) finding his wife dead in the garage of a possible suicide. There is a note but few clues as to what might have happened. Over the course of the subsequent days and weeks Sandy begins to piece together a hidden life that h ...more
May 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
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!
Dec 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
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, at b
Janet Hartman
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
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 res
Alexa Rose
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
**SPOILERS** I got almost half way through this book and got fed up with the legal “thriller” side of this book. Illegal stock exchange? F**king yawn. However, provided the other side of this story held up - family crime drama - I kept going. Mistake. His wife kills herself. He discovers she had herpes so he gets himself checked... he gets his son who’s a doctor to inspect him? Why would you not just save your son the trauma of inspecting your d*ck and go to a regular doctor. Weirdest part of th ...more
Kameron Raynor
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Garth Slater
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Might be the medium that this book was delivered to me (I listened to the very long audiobook), but it never grabbed me or intrigued me. Might be that legal thrillers just aren't for me. I should have stopped reading, another lesson in the sunk cost fallacy. The 90 to 95% part of this book was fine. The rest was forgettable - dull (I generally keep reading a book I find dull that also has a good rating on Goodreads, but this one never got exciting), ridiculous (this chubby guy is sleeping with a ...more
The poorest effort I've read by Turow. The book should have been sub-titled "The Sexual Reawakening of Sandy Stern", because a large portion read like a middle aged widower's dreams come true. The part of the book that didn't deal with Stern and his love objects was a frankly quite boring story of financial malfeasance and family dysfunction. Since the book got good Goodreads reviews, I am clearly in the minority, but I completely vacillated betweenboredom and eye rolling while reading this.. Fi ...more
Robert Grant
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
This one was a struggle for me to get through. Just found it highly unbelievable and quite frankly-a big disappointment after Presumed Innocent. Sandy Stern was unforgettable in Presumed Innocent-in this one-he is just an old horn dog lusting after everything that moves. He doesn't seem to be the same character at all-ridiculous.

Hopefully the next book by this author will be better.

Originally read in 1991.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
The Burden of Proof by Scott Turow is supposed to be about a family caught in a maelstrom of hidden crimes, shocking secrets, and warring passions. I found it quite different. It is a Soap Opera that never should have been. The characters in the book could have been interesting. In fact some of the sub plots would have made good books. I found The Burden of Proof to be just a burden to read. The book was a jumbled mess.
Prem Nair
Dec 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
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.
May 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
How this became a best seller I'm not sure. This is the tale of a male attorney whose wife commits suicide. This is a slow-moving and unfortunate novel that isn't bettered by the widow sleeping with everything in sight. Very disappointing read. Don't read this book expecting the quality of Turow's first novel or you will definitely be disappointed.
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Scott Turow is the author of ten bestselling works of fiction, including IDENTICAL, INNOCENT, PRESUMED INNOCENT, and THE BURDEN OF PROOF, and two nonfiction books, including ONE L, about his experience as a law student. His books have been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, and have been adapted into movies and television projects. He has fre ...more

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 Legal Thriller #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 (Kindle County Legal Thriller #10)
“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.” 3 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.” 1 likes
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