For those who enjoy mystery and excitement, a good legal novel is the perfect pick. Here is a list of the top ten legal thrillers that should be on your reading list.
To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee (1960)
This famous novel features lawyer Atticus Finch defending an African-American man accused of the rape of a white woman in the Deep South.
The Trial, Franz Kafka (1925)
This novel tells the story of an ordinary man who one day finds himself accused of a crime he did not commit. Rather than finding Justice, Joseph K. confronts a never-ending bureaucratic entanglement and never discovers the nature of the crime for which he was accused and sentenced.
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky (1866)
Russian author Dostoevsky tells a story of the guilt and mental anguish that follows his protagonist, Rodion Raskolnikov, after he murders and robs an elderly pawnbroker.
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston (1937)
Set in early 20th century rural Florida, this groundbreaking novel centers on a young African-American woman charged with murdering her husband.
The Stranger, Albert Camus (1942)
A man known only as Meursault is accused of murder in this philosophical work of literary fiction by French author Albert Camus. The book is renowned as a compelling and challenging period masterpiece.
Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)
In this gripping tale, Turow spins a story about a prosecutor named Rusty Sabich who is accused of murdering his colleague. Turow shows readers that upholding the law isn’t always about finding justice.
The Ox-Bow Incident, Walter Van Tilburg Clark (1940)
Revolving around the lynching of three innocent men by two drifters, this Western novel is recognized as a classic work taking an uncompromising stance on mob justice.
Native Son, Richard Wright (1940)
Wright’s protagonist is Bigger Thomas, an African-American living in a poverty-stricken neighborhood in Chicago. After taking a job with a wealthy white family, Bigger finds his life spiraling beyond his control and leading to his conviction in two murders.
Anatomy of a Murder, Robert Traver (1958)
Using real-life courtroom details, Traver spins an exciting tale about a former district attorney beginning his defense practice who takes on an ill-tempered client accused of murder.
The Firm, John Grisham (1991)
This legal thriller follows the story of attorney Mitch McDeere who is recruited for a prestigious job. The plot takes a turn when he learns he’s working for a crime syndicate whose previous attorneys all “accidentally” died.
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