At one time humanity’s attention was turned to an area of the world called Bosnia, Srebrenica, and Kosovo. These words became synonymous with war crimes, mass murder, and genocide. Sadly, it is amazing how easily such crimes are forgotten. Yet, perhaps it is not that human memory is so short, but that if we wait for a mere few years, new atrocities will capture the world’s obsession.
Enter the people that work at the International Criminal Court. They remember the victims of genocide every day. They are the voice for those no longer able to speak for themselves.
The ICC was established to prosecute crimes against humanity. This is the setting for Scott Turow’s latest legal thriller, Testimony. It takes the reader behind the scenes to understand, and helps us realize, just what justice is up against.
Enter former prosecutor, multi-millionaire law firm partner, mid-life crisis aficionado, Bill Ten Boom. Asked to take over the investigation into a possible massacre of Roma during the Bosnian Civil war he decides it’s the change he had been looking to make. So he moves from Kindle County, a pleasant little suburb of Chicago, to the Netherlands. His search for answers takes him from the Hague, to the battlefields of a forgotten war, to the political machination of the beltway. Along with our antihero, the reader is reminded that human depravity truly knows no bounds.
Yet all is truly not what it seems. Between the hunt for answers, the legal wrangling, the capture of a wanted war criminal, and the churnings of romantic liaisons, we are taken on a journey through the Inferno. There are crosses, double crosses and triple crosses. The complicity of a church is revealed, the cruelty of criminal organizations masquerading as military personnel is fully on display, and a government cover-up of massive proportions ends up leaving no one surprised.
We like to tell ourselves that we would never turn away from finding the truth no matter how horrendous and no matter how damaging to our way of life. But would you really? Would you betray everything you believed in? Would you fight to the end to retain that one little bit of human spark in your soul?
Scott Turow’s latest book asks the reader to enter a world very few know exist, and even fewer leave unscathed. These are stories found only in our own nightmares. It is the story of society unbound. It is the story of when humanity is at our worst, and also when humanity is at our best.
In the end it is all about the truth. But sometimes the truth is too terrible to even contemplate.
This book is available May 16.