The Burden of Proof Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Burden of Proof

Alejandro “Sandy” Stern is devastated by the loss of his wife of 31 years to suicide. As he prepares for the funeral, his brother-in-law Dixon Hartnell is served with a federal subpoena investigating unscrupulous business practices surrounding his brokerage firm. Stern will act as counsel for Dixon and suspects someone on the inside is blowing the whistle on him.
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Inexplicably, Clara's estate is missing roughly $850,000. Little by little, mysterious pieces of his wife's secret life comes to Stern's attention. He consoles his neighbor Fiona as her marriage to philandering Dr. Nate Cawley, Clara's doctor, is crumbling. A police buddy named Radczyk digs up Clara's medical records only to find she had genital herpes. The only respite from the pain and sorrow of his shattered life is the upcoming case against Dixon. Dr. Cawley is lying about Clara's condition and Stern thinks Clara got the illness from Cawley.

Stern's son Peter, a doctor, gets involved and but Stern won't divulge why he is worried he may have herpes. Stern's not too bright son-in-law John works for Dixon and is now served a subpoena, but hires lawyer Mel Tooley, whom Stern despises. More incriminating evidence about Dixon and a Wunderkind Account surfaces and Stern tells Dixon he will go to prison. Stern confronts Cawley, but it is the doctor who believes that Stern has slept with his wife Fiona. Stern is actually in a relationship with Helen Dudak, a real tiger in the sack. Stern is served a subpoena for documents he knows Dixon has in a safe. Dixon hires his daughter Marta to represent him.
The review of this Book prepared by David Fletcher

Chapter Analysis of The Burden of Proof

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 Legal Thriller    -   Yes Legal Plotlets    -   finding out whether someone is really guilty Crime Thriller    -   Yes Crime plotlets:    -   white collar fraud or theft General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   a lawyer creature Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   Hispanic


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest City?    -   Yes Misc setting    -   resort/hotel

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   actual description of sex    -   descript. of breasts    -   descript. of other female areas    -   descript. of male nudity Unusual forms of death    -   rough sex Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Scott Turow Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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