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Publisher's Summary

Two formidable men collide in this "first-class legal thriller" and New York Times best seller about a celebrated criminal defense lawyer and the prosecution of his lifelong friend - a doctor accused of murder (David Baldacci).

At 85 years old, Alejandro "Sandy" Stern, a brilliant defense lawyer with his health failing but spirit intact, is on the brink of retirement. But when his old friend Dr. Kiril Pafko, a former Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, is faced with charges of insider trading, fraud, and murder, his entire life's work is put in jeopardy, and Stern decides to take on one last trial.

In a case that will be the defining coda to both men's accomplished lives, Stern probes beneath the surface of his friend's dazzling veneer as a distinguished cancer researcher. As the trial progresses, he will question everything he thought he knew about his friend. Despite Pafko's many failings, is he innocent of the terrible charges laid against him? How far will Stern go to save his friend, and - no matter the trial's outcome - will he ever know the truth?

Stern's duty to defend his client and his belief in the power of the judicial system both face a final, terrible test in the courtroom, where the evidence and reality are sometimes worlds apart.

Full of the deep insights into the spaces where the fragility of human nature and the justice system collide, Scott Turow's The Last Trial is a masterful legal thriller that unfolds in pause-resisting suspense - and questions how we measure a life.

©2020 Scott Turow (P)2020 Grand Central Publishing

Critic Reviews

"Narrator John Bedford Lloyd previously portrayed attorney Alejandro 'Sandy' Stern in Scott Turow's Burden of Proof. This time around, the brilliant defense lawyer is about to defend his last client. Lloyd adds a weariness and a touch of confusion to Stern's voice as he struggles to defend the 75-year old doctor who saved his life with a controversial cancer drug.... Filled with bittersweet reflections on aging and family, this audiobook still manages to pull the rug out from the listener once again." (AudioFile Magazine)

"America's very best creator of legal thrillers." (Chicago Tribune

"Serious readers should be reading Turow, because he is not just one of our best crime novelists; he is also one of our better novelists...What Turow has done, in book after book, is to give us page turners that are also pleasing literary artifacts, mysteries that are also investigations into complicated social questions and complex human emotions." (New York Times

"The master of the courtroom drama." (Daniel Silva, number-one New York Times best-selling author) 

What listeners say about The Last Trial

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Last Trial

This is a s legal suspense novel, read by an able narrator. I'd especially recommend this for lawyers who require legal fiction with authenticity. Turow's fluent writing renders a seamless and engaging blend of legal issues, and characters--both admirable and devious into a really engaging experience. This book unquestionably deserves a full 5 stars.

29 people found this helpful

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A very long way to nowhere

I suppose if this is a fatalistic essay on the meaninglessness of existence, it could well have been said in a few sentences rather than 15 friggin’ hours. These editors should be put up against a wall and shot, along with Turow and anyone else involved in this creepy production.
There is no philosophy herein, no realistic portrayal of Law (my wife is a Superior Court Judge) as witnessed by her daily reports on the criminal mind, no romance other than a clusterfuck of simplistic, entitled arrogance. So what then is the point?
I suppose near-death ripples of boredom reiterated ad nauseam.
The niece character, Binky (sic), might have been a pivot point around which all this other repetitive, redundant nonsense may have spiraled into the realm of cogent thought. But even she is shunted at the (grateful) conclusion.
The Law is quirky, no doubt, but it is NEVER this boring.
The narrator should lay off the quaaludes, as well.

17 people found this helpful

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textbook for jury trial lawyers.

no story, just lawyerize. It goes on forever and ever about the law and skirmishes of the lawyer, client and judge

15 people found this helpful

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Terrific, Authentic Courtroom Drama

As a lawyer for many years, I'm always happy when I come across a courtroom thriller that gets the law right. But I'm truly thrilled when authenticity is combined with great writing and wonderful character development, as this book does. I have listened to many hundreds of audio books, and just about all the courtroom dramas worth listening to, and this one is surely in the top three. Did I mention the narration is great too? It is!

14 people found this helpful

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Brilliant!

Scott Turow never quite gets his due, but he is one of the very best American novelists of the last 50 years. This story combines all the very best elements of character and plot development, as well as true reflections on human nature and behavior......Please take the time to truly enjoy someone who knows how to write for both the heart and the mind.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Turow tells it like it is.

The book opens with a courtroom scene. Sandy Stern, an attorney is having a heart attack. The scene is chaos with his associate/daughter alternating mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while his client, a physician, gives him CPR. We don't know if he survives. The next scene is the opening day of a trial, to be Sandy's last as he plans to retire. His client, Dr. Kiril Pavko, the creative genius behind a new cancer treatment drug is stood accused of murder for the deaths of people who had participated in the drug's trials and a variety of white collar crimes for the cover-up of these deaths and insider trading.

he trial story is told as if one attorney was explaining it to a layperson. Turow's brilliance is in developing characters that are true to life and explaining the intricacies of federal white collar crime clearly. The courtroom procedure is realistic. And the reasonable doubt explanation in closing argument, something lawyers struggle with, was one of the most easily understood that I've heard. I know this for sure.

11 people found this helpful

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The Last Phase

Turow knows what it is like to age, gracefully. As a “health provider” now 92, I had the distinct impression that Scott has read some of my journals in which I deal with the issue of when to retire. As a widower, like Sandy, Turow has impressed me with his deep insights, his empathy and compassion, especially as it relates to long term intimate relationships. His powerful love for one particular Grandaughter rings so true, that it hurts. This on top of the his bringing to our awareness the problems of bringing a drug to market makes this one of the best reads of the year. Scott, as one old man to another, you got it right.

9 people found this helpful

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Great Narration, but Such a Disappointment

Something made me think this was going to be a return to the real Scott Turow--full characters, engrossing story, intriguing development. This book might have gotten there if some editor had slashed and burned it. Not only is it 30% too long, it needs to be rearranged. Argh!

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent story and narration

I really enjoyed this new book by Scott Turow, a terrific writer. Adding to the page-turning story was a really good performance by the narrator. Many times the two don't go together, so it's wonderful when they do. Highly recommend.

6 people found this helpful

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Turow hits it out of the park

Scott Turow tells a masterful story to tell the final chapter of Sandy Stern. No one is better than with a courtroom drama.

4 people found this helpful