Presumed Innocent Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Presumed Innocent

    In the novel Presumed Innocent, by Scott Turow, the main character Rusty Sabich, chief prosecutor of Kindle County, is helping his friend Raymond Horgan, run for re-election. During this time, Carolyn Polhemus, a colleague of Rusty's is brutually raped and murdered. With the case becoming an important issue, Rusty, who had a short affair with Carolyn, was assigned to it. The case goes no where due to the lack of evidence and no clues.
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    After Raymond loses the election, Rusty is accused of killing and raping Carolyn. The newly elected Nico Della Guardia and his right hand man, quickly bring up evidence against Rusty as he has to battle to prove his innocence. Rusty can only rely on the team of layers he assembled and a mysterious B file.
    This novel provides deep insight into the day to day struggle between the defense and prosecution.
The review of this Book prepared by Bo Morris

Rozat “Rusty” Sabich is chief deputy prosecutor for Kindle County, his boss Raymond Horgan is up for re-election, and his associate beautiful Carolyn Polhemus has been brutally raped and murdered in her apartment. Life for Rusty gets very complicated. Carolyn was a divorced, absentee mother with a very promiscuous lifestyle. The upcoming election will determine if Rusty will have a job; if Horgan wins he stays, if he loses he's done. Rusty's affair with Carolyn ended several months earlier when she dumped him.

Rusty is handling the investigation of the murder despite the conflict of interest no one else knows. Dan “Lip” Lipramzer is investigating the details and evidence for Rusty. Convicted sex offenders, those Carolyn helped to prosecute, are initially suspect. Rusty learns Horgan had a brief relationship with Carolyn. Meanwhile Rusty's marriage is in a shambles as his wife Barbara knows about the affair. As evidence surfaces that implicates Rusty he is indicted for the killing. For his defense, he hires lawyer Alejandro “Sandy” Stern an Argentinean who has been a frequent opponent over the years.

The prosecution is led by Nico Della “Delay” Guardia, who has now defeated Horgan for the position of Prosecuting Attorney (PA), and Tommy Molto. The evidence against Rusty is serious; calls made from his home to hers on the night of the murder, a bar glass with his fingerprints on it, carpet fibers found at her home, etc. The courtroom drama that ensues takes many turns for and against him. Expert forensic testimony is proven unreliable. Rusty learns the judge had a relationship with the deceased and that the judge, Carolyn, and Horgan all took bribes from suspects. A crucial piece of evidence for the prosecution goes missing. The judge dismisses the case on lack of evidence before it goes to the jury for deliberation. Rusty is able to piece together the facts and events after the trial and discovers the killer is someone very close to him.
The review of this Book prepared by David Fletcher

Chapter Analysis of Presumed Innocent

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Special suspect?    -   relative Murder of certain profession?    -   lawyer creatures Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   character killed during/after sexing    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect    -   Big focus on forensic evidence    -   Killer purposely leaves clues Kind of investigator    -   hard boiled/private eye Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   politics Legal Thriller    -   Yes Legal Plotlets    -   finding out whether someone is really guilty Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman    -   a lawyer creature Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest City?    -   Yes City:    -   Dirty, dangerous (like New York)    -   dangerous

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths    -   very gorey references to deaths/dead bodies and torture Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   licking    -   actual description of sex    -   descript. of breasts    -   descript. of other female areas    -   descript. of male nudity    -   rape (yeech!) A lot of techno jargon?    -   Yes Unusual forms of death    -   rough sex    -   drowned    -   blunt clubbing (like seals) Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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