Ordinary Heroes HC Scott Turow 2005 1st printing FSG


SKU: 17181 Category:


Ordinary Heroes: A Novel Hardcover
by Scott Turow (Author)

Stewart Dubinsky knew his father had served in World War II. And he’d been told how David Dubin (as his father had Americanized the name that Stewart later reclaimed) had rescued Stewart’s mother from the horror of the Balingen concentration camp. But when he discovers, after his father’s death, a packet of wartime letters to a former fiancée, and learns of his father’s court-martial and imprisonment, he is plunged into the mystery of his family’s secret history and driven to uncover the truth about this enigmatic, distant man who’d always refused to talk about his war.

As he pieces together his father’s past through military archives, letters, and, finally, notes from a memoir his father wrote while in prison, secretly preserved by the officer who defended him, Stewart starts to assemble a dramatic and baffling chain of events. He learns how Dubin, a JAG lawyer attached to Patton’s Third Army and desperate for combat experience, got more than he bargained for when he was ordered to arrest Robert Martin, a wayward OSS officer who, despite his spectacular bravery with the French Resistance, appeared to be acting on orders other than his commanders’. In pursuit of Martin, Dubin and his sergeant are parachuted into Bastogne just as the Battle of the Bulge reaches its apex. Pressed into the leadership of a desperately depleted rifle company, the men are forced to abandon their quest for Martin and his fiery, maddeningly elusive comrade, Gita, as they fight for their lives through carnage and chaos the likes of which Dubin could never have imagined.

In reconstructing the terrible events and agonizing choices his father faced on the battlefield, in the courtroom, and in love, Stewart gains a closer understanding of his past, of his father’s character, and of the brutal nature of war itself.

When retired newspaperman Stewart Dubinsky (last seen in 1987’s Presumed Innocent) discovers letters his deceased father wrote during his tour of duty in WWII, a host of family secrets come to light. In Turow’s ambitious, fascinating page-turner, a “ferocious curiosity” compels the divorced Dubinsky to study his “remote, circumspect” father’s papers, which include love letters written to a fiancée the family had never heard of, and a lengthy manuscript, which his father wrote in prison and which includes the shocking disclosure of his father’s court-martial for assisting in the escape of OSS officer Robert Martin, a suspected spy. The manuscript, hidden from everyone but the attorney defending him, tells of Capt. David Dubin’s investigation into Martin’s activities and of both men’s entanglements with fierce, secretive comrade Gita Lodz. From optimistic soldier to disenchanted veteran, Dubin—who, via the manuscript, becomes the book’s de facto narrator—describes the years of violence he endured and of a love triangle that exacted a heavy emotional toll. Dubinsky’s investigations prove revelatory at first, and life-altering at last. Turow makes the leap from courtroom to battlefield effortlessly.

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

This is not the classic page-turner of nonstop action, cliffhangers, and suspense. But it is classic Scott Turow: intelligent, intricately plotted, and superbly crafted, adding up to an extraordinary mystery that also can’t be put down.

Turow, a practicing lawyer best known for his legal drama, wraps the plot only loosely around the law as he treads new ground with this original novel of World War II. Stewart Dubinsky, a middle-aged reporter, knew is father served in Europe during WWII, but the War was a subject off-limits in the Dubinski household. Upon is father’s death, Dubinski discovers that his father had been court-martialed and imprisoned, and sets out to find the decades-old answers. What follows is a tale that is anything but ordinary; a deeply emotional and painfully realistic drama of the horrors of war in the European theater.

It is early 1944, and Dubinsky’s father, David Dubin, is a young lawyer assigned to the US Army’s JAG Corps headquartered in Nancy, France, recently re-occupied by the Allies. He is assigned to investigate the alleged insubordination of Robert Martin, a Major in the CIA-forerunner OSS. Martin is a shadowy figure; a living legend of unparalleled heroism and bravery behind Nazi lines, but perhaps also a spy the loosely allied Soviets. Turow, ever the perfectionist, can be counted on for a richly developed cast of characters. And rarely has there been a character more interesting than the enigmatic Gita Lodz, a Polish immigrant turned French resistance commando, a gritty and war-hardened warrior with as much similarity to Laura Croft as LeCarre’s George Smiley has to James Bond. She is also the inseparable companion of Martin, setting up the first two legs of the triangle that Dubin not surprisingly completes. In pursuing Martin – and Gita – through northern Europe, the lawyer Dubin finds himself pressed into service as a front-line infantry officer to replenish Allied troops decimated by the Nazis during the Battle of the Bulge. Told from foxhole-level perspective, Turow paints a horrific picture of the War as brutally vivid and gory as “Saving Private Ryan”, while capturing the passion and emotion of Leon Uris’ best works. As much a character study as it is a mystery, Turow takes us on his own campaign culminating in a morbidly riveting portrayal of a Nazi concentration camp and ending in an unexpected twist to Major Robert Martin’s story.

It is typically three years between Scott Turow’s novels, presumably due to the painstaking research he conducts. Delivered with the historical authority and authenticity usually associated with Alan Furst, Turow applies his trademarked plots, clever twists, and human struggles, adding up to a moving and educational drama that you’ll likely be recommending to your friends. Well done, Mr. Turow!

Book and dust jacket are in near mint condition. 0-374-18421-6.


Book and dust jacket are in near mint condition.