||With PRESUMED INNOCENT, Scott Turow jettisoned his career, and demonstrating its potential, he elevated the status of the legal thriller, masterfully weaving together a suspenseful mystery story with deep characterization. Looking down the road to his fortieth birthday, Rusty Sabich outwardly seems successful: a job as the chief deputy prosecutor is not bad and his marriage is still in tact. But dig just below the surface and it becomes obvious that his career hasn't progressed in years and his marriage is dysfunctionally unhappy. An affair with a colleague, Carolyn Polhernus, spiced things up, until she abruptly cut things off. His ego is still slightly bruised when shocking news arrives--Carolyn has been raped and murdered. Unaware of Rusty and Carolyn's connection, his boss, Raymond Horgan, who is in the midst of a brutal reelection campaign, assigns Rusty to quickly resolve this politically disastrous situation. At first Rusty plods along with his investigation, allowing himself to indulge fantasies and memories of his affair with Carolyn. But when Horgan loses the election, things take a sudden turn and Rusty gets fingered for Carolyn's murder. As Rusty seeks to prove his innocence, Turow leads readers through a wholly compelling story that, without ever losing its plot-line tension, reveals with heated courtroom drama the ins and outs of the legal profession and much about the complexity of human motivation.