Review

Reversible Errors

by Scott Turow



In the past several years the American justice system has fallen
under heavy scrutiny, more often than not, in an unfavorable light.
Detractors point to tainted investigations, overburdened courts,
and the vagaries of the jury system. Supporters reiterate the
sentiment that, with its constitutional guarantees, it's still the
best possible form of justice relative to the rest of the world.
The fulcrum for both arguments should be obvious --- human beings
--- and human beings are, of course, fallible. In REVERSIBLE ERRORS
Scott Turow has applied his considerable talents to writing a
compelling story spun from an astute reflection of those fallible
humans that underly the fragile structure of the judicial
process.

In 1991, three people are brutally murdered in a late night diner.
Ten years and countless appeals later, convicted murderer Rommy
Gandolph is spending his final weeks on death row unless his
court-appointed attorney can pull one turow, convincing appeal out
of some magical briefcase. Attorney Arthur Raven views his
assignment to the case as just another unhappy stroke of fate to
add to the dismal résumé of his life. But when he
uncovers discrepancies in the case that lead him to believe his
client might actually be innocent, Raven becomes inspired to
ferret out the truth of what actually took place in that diner so
long ago.

The suspenseful storyline ebbs and flows between the past and
present, ushering in Turow's other key players --- an experienced
detective, an aspiring prosecutor, and a corrupted judge --- and
what has propelled them all to this final juncture. Detective Larry
Starczek and Prosecutor Muriel Wynn are star-crossed lovers who
allowed their professional ambitions and private desires to cloud
the original homicide investigation. Now the moral dilemma of their
shared responsibility in a mangled prosecution threatens to destroy
both their professional and personal lives. Gillian Sullivan, the
presiding judge on the original case, is drawn back into the
limelight after spending several years in prison for taking bribes.
Her reluctance to become involved with the case, and defense
attorney Raven, are overridden by her guilt that somehow she may
have played a role in convicting an innocent man. Despite her
fatalistic sense that her involvement with Raven will eventually
end badly for the both of them, even she isn't prepared for the
cataclysmic events that are about to unfold in The State Vs
Rommy Gandolph
.

REVERSIBLE ERRORS is a dual revelation in both juris prudence and
the human psyche that reflects our own personal struggles to
understand the moral issues that refract our lives. The frightening
possibilities are all too apparent, and timely, as revelations of
law enforcement misconduct and prosecutorial fiascoes continue to
fuel our rage and re-ignite the age-old controversy over capital
punishment. Yet Turow never succumbs to the temptation of fellow
authors by simply fictionalizing the sensational for his own
intent. On the contrary, he has crafted a magnificent exposé
that takes us deep into the souls of each character to examine
every watershed moment and the consequences they've wrought. And as
he finally brings each character to the edge of their own moral
abyss, we're haunted by one of life's essential truths. When one
human being crosses paths with another, both lives are dramatically
altered --- for better or worse --- forever.

Reviewed by Ann Bruns (BkPageWC@aol.com) on January 23, 2011

Reversible Errors
by Scott Turow

  • Publication Date: November 1, 2003
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense
  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 0446612626
  • ISBN-13: 9780446612623