Presumed Innocent is one of those landmark books that really demonstrated to readers what a legal story, a "law novel" was actually capable of doing. Turow's work in this debut novel is so far above John Grisham's or Steve Martini's popular entertainments of legal "thrillers." In this first novel, Turow really demonstrates the full reach and complexity of the human soul under duress. I admire the hell out of Turow for creating this complex story as his first breakthrough novel, and I so wish that his other novels had been just as profound and startling revelations in their revelations. Instead his other books -- although very, very good -- seem to dwell too much on the surface fabric of the legal world without getting into the warp and weave of what makes human beings love and learn, hate, and long for each other. I love Presumed Innocent not only because of its language but because of the brilliant storytelling. Turow withholds just the right amount, and tells the story in a bold breathtaking first person flashback (a therapist is only a slight frame on this device). My first novel Coeur d'Alene Waters owes quite a bit to Turow's deft moves in Presumed Innocent.