The Last Trial, as the title indicates, is the end of the line for lawyer Alejandro (Sandy) Stern. This is the eleventh and final book in a long series, Kindle County books, featuring modern courtroom legal thrillers. Interesting to have the protagonist as an eighty-five year old in this instance, demonstrating the wisdom and frailties of an octogenarian for a change.
Turow is a master of this genre. The details inside the courtroom, the protocol, language and legal aspects are fascinating insights. This story is about the aged lawyer who is persuaded to defend an old friend against accusations of fraud, racketeering and murder. He has to consider friendship as well as justice and truth in what is obviously a challenging situation, made even worse by the fact that his friend and his son have developed a new cancer treatment drug. They have allegedly covered up data and profited from the suffering of others.
The case and the relationships (some are family as well) are complex throughout. The themes cover identity and morality, and as the lawyer reflects on his life he also reflects on the process of justice. Clever, technical (a bit too much in places and a little too long), this is a fitting swansong to the series. If you enjoy courtroom drama, there is nothing better.
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