Testimonyby Scott Turow
At the age of fifty, former prosecutor Bill ten Boom has walked out on everything he thought was important to/strong>/i>
Scott Turow, #1 New York Times bestselling author and "one of the major writers in America" (NPR), returns with a page-turning legal thriller about an American prosecutor's investigation of a refugee camp's mystifying disappearance.
At the age of fifty, former prosecutor Bill ten Boom has walked out on everything he thought was important to him: his law career, his wife, Kindle County, even his country. Still, when he is tapped by the International Criminal Court--an organization charged with prosecuting crimes against humanity--he feels drawn to what will become the most elusive case of his career. Over ten years ago, in the apocalyptic chaos following the Bosnian war, an entire Roma refugee camp vanished. Now for the first time, a witness has stepped forward: Ferko Rincic claims that armed men marched the camp's Gypsy residents to a cave in the middle of the night--and then with a hand grenade set off an avalanche, burying 400 people alive. Only Ferko survived.
Boom's task is to examine Ferko's claims and determinine who might have massacred the Roma. His investigation takes him from the International Criminal Court's base in Holland to the cities and villages of Bosnia and secret meetings in Washington, DC, as Boom sorts through a host of suspects, ranging from Serb paramilitaries, to organized crime gangs, to the US government itself, while also maneuvering among the alliances and treacheries of those connected to the case: Layton Merriwell, a disgraced US major general desperate to salvage his reputation; Sergeant Major Atilla Doby,a vital cog in American military operations near the camp at the time of the Roma's disappearance; Laza Kajevic, the brutal former leader of the Bosnian Serbs; Esma Czarni, Ferko's alluring barrister; and of course, Ferko himself, on whose testimony the entire case rests-and who may know more than he's telling.
A master of the legal thriller, Scott Turow has returned with his most irresistibly confounding and satisfying novel yet.
Bestseller Turow (Identical) movingly evokes the horrors of the Balkan wars in this gripping thriller that nonetheless falls short of his best work. Bill Ten Boom, the former U.S. Attorney for Illinois’s Kindle County, leaves his white-collar defense practice to take a position with the International Criminal Court in The Hague investigating a 2004 war crime. Ferko Rincic has stated that he survived an attack on his Roma community in Barupra, Bosnia, which ended with 400 men, women, and children herded into a cave that subsequently collapsed due to an explosion. Ten Boom agrees to try to verify Rincic’s account and identify those responsible for the massacre. His work brings him into contact with a femme fatale barrister from the European Roma Alliance, who located the crucial witness to the case, and a disgraced American general who commanded NATO troops in Bosnia. Yet another Turow lead suffering a midlife crisis, Ten Boom comes across more as a variation on a theme than as an original character. Author tour. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman. (May)
With little to go on other than the disturbing testimony of the lone survivor of an alleged massacre of 400 Roma, or "Gypsies," in a Bosnia refugee camp in 2004, Bill Ten Boom, a former Kindle County, IL, attorney now working for the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands, determines to learn the truth about the night of April 27. His investigation of the cold case takes him from Holland to a Bosnian village where the Roma may have been buried alive. One thing is certain: no one has ever heard from them again. Suspicion about possible U.S. Army involvement leads Bill to Washington, DC, to meet with a former general who had been in charge during the 2004 peacekeeping maneuvers in Bosnia. When he searches for clues a little too close to the hiding place of the former leader of the Bosnian Serbs, another possible suspect in the massacre, Bill ends up in a seemingly inescapable situation. VERDICT Inspired by "real world events," Turow (Presumed Innocent; Identical) crafts a complex and haunting tale of war crimes that will not only satisfy his courtroom drama devotees but also readers of international thrillers. [See Prepub Alert, 11/7/16.]—Wendy W. Paige, Shelby Cty. P.L., Morristown, IN
An Illinois prosecutor seeks to learn who annihilated a group of refugee gypsies in Bosnia.Mega-selling author Turow turns from familiar, fictional Kindle County (read, Chicago) to treacherous Bosnia for this latest, uneven thriller. Here, in 2004, about 20 armed men herded into a cave a group of 400 Roma, or gypsies. From atop an overhang to the cave's entrance, the abductors set off explosives, causing landslides that buried the gypsies alive. Who were the perpetrators, and what were their motives? Were Serb paramilitaries behind it? Were jihadis defending Bosnian Muslims from the Serbs? Or did the American military carry out the massacre in an act more heinous than My Lai? Eleven years later, the International Criminal Court at the Hague, which tries mass atrocities, pursues the case. The ICC wants an American lawyer to prosecute, and Bill ten Boom seems the perfect choice. He has friends on "both sides of the aisle" in D.C. and a reputation that's "bulletproof." Alas, Bill, though worth millions, is going through a male midlife crisis, which leaves a too-familiar, not very fascinating character to carry the tale. It doesn't help when Bill predictably becomes attracted to defense attorney Esma Czarni, an English barrister who is also a Roma. As they combust, Turow's prose turns purple. An "earthquake of pleasure" turns the bed they share "into a delicious, soupy mess." Just as clichéd is Turow's sense of place. En route to the gypsy campsite, Bill sees "little whitewashed houses that could have been home to Hansel and Gretel." Bill's journey to find the culprits initially moves by fits and starts, frequently interrupted by subplots only tenuously connected to his quest. A tightly written action set piece at midpoint, in which Bill and an associate narrowly escape execution, snaps readers to attention, and Turow largely keeps them there as he moves on to a complicated, trenchant, and pertinent finish. Worth staying the course.
"The real pleasure of the new novel lies not so much in solving the mystery of the massacre as in watching Turow knock down assumption after assumption made by Boom--and the reader. In fact, I can't think of another novel in which so many givens end up being exposed as either honest mistakes or outright lies. TESTIMONY is a tour de force of collapsing perceptions."Washington Post
"The master of the courtroom drama, Scott Turow's latest legal thriller goes international and is a page turner not to be missed!"Daniel Silva, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Black Widow
"TESTIMONY is Scott Turow's most ambitious and complex work-which takes us from the gritty familiarity of his beloved Kindle County into a mysterious world of international intrigue. It's the best kind of thriller, which stimulates the mind as well as thrilling the heart."Jeffrey Toobin, New York Times bestselling author of American Heiress
"A compelling story, told with Turow's usual ease, authority and understated humor."Chicago Tribune
"Turow's lively prose and terrific cast of supporting characters make TESTIMONY one for the beach bag...This is a guy who knows what he's doing: Turow has been crafting intricate, best-selling legal thrillers dating back to his blockbuster wifedunit, Presumed Innocent (30 years ago!)."USA Today
"Scott Turow writes with zest and authority about the inner workings of the law...TESTIMONY unfolds in highly descriptive prose and is sprinkled with colorful characters."Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Turow applies the same storytelling magic to the ICC that has drawn scores of readers into his Kindle County courtrooms, weaving fascinating details about the challenges of prosecuting war crimes into a suspenseful story of redemption and the complexities of justice."
"Follows twists and turns, shifting alliances, and a near-fatal confrontation... [TESTIMONY] is exciting and consistent with Turow's prior novels."The Missourian
"A complex and haunting tale of war crimes that will not only satisfy his courtroom drama devotees but also readers of international thrillers."
"Bestseller Turow (Identical) movingly evokes the horrors of the Balkan wars in this gripping thriller."Publishers Weekly
"TESTIMONY is an absolutely crackerjack read, and again leaves us wishing that Turow would haul out his typewriter a tad more often."Winnipeg Free Press
"A thriller yarn with many twists and turns."Chicago Sun-Times
"Raises important questions of responsibility, patriotism, corruption and the role of military power. And even as it confronts these weighty issues, it keeps the reader engaged in a page-turning thriller...Turow is back on his game in TESTIMONY."Illinois Times
"TESTIMONY shows the great human toll when an entire section of the world descends into chaos...this novel is a legal thriller on a grand stage...Turow's descriptions of the causes and aftermath of the Bosnian war are both substantive and compassionate...sheds an unwavering light on the devastating human toll and the still-reverberating political aftershocks."The ARTery, WBUR
"Scott Turow's new novel is the dedicated fiction-reader's version of El Dorado: a driving, unputdownable courtroom drama/murder mystery that is also a literary treasure, written in language that sparkles with clarity and resonates with honest character insight. I came away feeling amazed and fulfilled, as we only do when we read novelists at the height of their powers. Put this one on your don't-miss list." (Praise for Innocent)Stephen King
- Grand Central Publishing
- Publication date:
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.30(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.70(d)
Meet the Author
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 frequently contributed essays and op-ed pieces to publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic.
- Chicago, Illinois
- Date of Birth:
- April 12, 1949
- Place of Birth:
- Chicago, Illinois
- B.A. in English, Amherst College, 1970; M.A., Stanford University, 1974; J.D., Harvard University, 1978
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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As with every Turow book, I put aside sleep, chores and even meals, just to keep reading.
I eagerly awaited this book by Turow. It's a departure from presumed innocent but a welcome surprise. I'm not sure why certain reviewer found the writing flat but it isn't. I liked the locale as well and its a nice change for once to bring on some serious issues about some forgotten people. The world is not a nice place anymore and sometimes books remind us of just that while taking us on the ride.
That's the sign of a very good book when my husband talks about nothing else! I found it difficult to follow in the earlier chapters. He has repeatedly assured me that if I stick with it, I will enjoy it. Unfortunately it's not a PRESUMED INNOCENT. It opens our eyes to what lengths people will go to for power. Everyone will be able to relate to this if following the news about our administration
The story line was not extraordinary. There was a lot of repetition on the main plot. I felt the author was forcing the story to get to 350 pages. But there were riveting occasions.
A great read
International court and a mass genocide set the stage for this tense legal thriller. 400 Roma refugees disappear in the area of Barupra, Bosnia that was under US control in 2004. Now over a decade later a witness is stepping forward with claims of mass genocide. Ferko Ricnic -- the remaining sole survivor -- attests that masked soldiers gathered all of the gypsy residents into a cave before setting off an avalanche via grenade, burying the people alive. The International Criminal Court at the Hague, in charge of prosecuting mass atrocities, wants an American lawyer to prosecute in which Bill ten Boom seems the perfect fit. Early fifties, newly divorced and recently retired from his law career -- Boom sees this case as an opportunity of a lifetime. Boom's tasked with investigating Ferko's claims across different continents but the only thing certain is nothing is quite as it seems. Following the real life case of 400 missing Roma, Turow has expertly researched those events to bring forth this compelling legal drama. Amassed with multiple entertaining characters, beautifully descriptive locations, shocking deception and a surprise double twist, TESTIMONY will appeal to longtime Turow fans. ~ Kris Miller, certified TopShelf Reviewer. TopShelf Magazine does not offer 'paid review services’ and TopShelf Reviewers are not compensated for their reviews.