Scott Turow is the author of nine best-selling works of fiction includingInnocent, Presumed Innocent and The Burden of Proof, and two non-fiction books including One L, about his experience as a law student. His books have been translated into more than 25 languages, sold more than 25 million copies worldwide, and have been adapted into film and television projects. He frequently contributes essays and op-ed pieces to publications such as theNew York Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Playboy, and The Atlantic.
Over twenty years ago, Turow wrote Presumed Innocent – the #1 bestseller that revolutionized publishing and invented the legal thriller. The novel remained on The New York Times bestseller list for 45 weeks, selling over 650,000 copies in hardcover and 6 million copies in paperback! That book not only launched Scott’s career, it also marked the beginning of one of the most successful categories in the suspense genre. As John Grisham said, “WhenPresumed Innocent was published in 1987, I was struggling to finish my first novel. Scott Turow re-energized the legal suspense genre with that book, and it inspired me to keep plugging along. Scott is still the best lawyer-novelist.”
Identical is loosely based on the myth of Castor and Pollux, the twin sons (one mortal and one immortal) of Zeus. As the story goes, when Castor was killed, Pollux begged Zeus to share his immortality with his brother so that the twins could remain together – Zeus allowed it, and they were transformed into the constellation Gemini. Identical tells the story of Paul and Cass Giannis, identical twins, whose future was bright until one fateful day in 1983 when Athena “Dita” Kronon—then-girlfriend of Cass Giannis—was murdered after her family’s summer party.
Identical opens in 2008 as Paul Giannis is mid-way through what looks to be a successful run for mayor of Kindle County, and Cass is about to be released from prison after serving 25 years for Dita’s murder. Dita’s brother, Hal Kronon, is willing to do whatever he can to insure that Cass stays in prison and, using his vast resources, he gets a legal team and an ex-FBI agent—who is the head of security for the Kronon family business —to convince a judge to re-open the investigation into Dita’s murder. The private investigator on retainer for the Kronons is a former homicide detective who headed the initial investigation. Tim Brodie, now 81, has his doubts about the way the case unfolded all those years ago. By the time he was brought in, the crime scene had been compromised several times over by Dita’s family and local police, and then Cass Giannis confessed before everything was fully investigated. Now that the case is being reexamined, Tim feels personally motivated to get to the bottom of the complex web of murder, sex, and betrayal.
We hosted Scott Turow in conversation with Dustin Hoffman in the first season of Live Talks Los Angeles. Here’s the video.
Veteran actor Brian Dennehy has received countless honors over his storied career on stage and screen: a Golden Globe, two Tonys, Emmy nominations, and the adoration of generations of fans. His role in the 1997 film adapation of Presumed Innocent is what inspired Live Talks to invite him to lead this conversation. This winter, Mr. Denehy will be in residence in Los Angeles as he appears at the Mark Taper Forum in as Thomas in the “Steward of Christendom.”
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