We`ve written it before, it`s a novel, not a thriller in the strict sense, but it`s a close relative of the legal thriller for themes and narrative development. In a small town in the deep south of the United States, a “” is accused of raping a young white girl in the sixties. The defense was taken over by the respected lawyer Atticus Finch, who managed to acquit the man. Society, however, initially completely directed against the accused, turns against the lawyer, one of the most famous and so far most popular members. Everything is told to us by Scout, the intelligent and irreverent daughter of Atticus, who, with her curious and incredulous child`s eyes, exposes all the paradoxes and injustices of a closed society based on its own prejudices. This novel was also adapted into a famous film. Well thought out and with a final twist, this novel, like most good legal thrillers, lands on screen, in the hands of Alan J. Pakula, who directs Harrison Ford and Raul Julia in the roles of the accused and defense attorney, respectively. There are those who would trace the origins of the legal thriller back to recent times, namely to 1987, the year Scott Turow`s novel The Presumption of Innocence was published. Although this thriller should certainly be one of the cornerstones of the genre, the birth of the legal thriller from this date would leave out other essential examples for those who want to deepen their knowledge: What can I say, to name only illustrious names, about the lawyer Perry Mason, created by Stanley Gardner in the thirties? The style is dry, the plot quite convincing, and Detective Charitos is always ready to slip into political incorrectness. We probably lack the investigative linearity that other writers have become accustomed to, and it`s always very enjoyable. Especially if you love Greece and have no problem with unpronounceable names of places and people.

So far, we`ve tried to explain what it is, when and where the legal thriller comes from. Now it`s time to make a list of essential legal thrillers that those who want to delve deeper into this particular subgenre of the thriller can`t overlook. This is clearly an incomplete list, as there would be many titles that should be included, even more than one for each author, but we will try to include as many titles and authors as possible. As always, we invite you to include the list in the comments to recommend other readings that you found enjoyable and exemplary for the genre to be analyzed. Having made the necessary clarifications, we can only move on to this arduous task. We will specify the titles strictly in the order of publication. At the center of any legal thriller are lawyers, judges, prosecutors, who very often act as narrators of criminal events, as well as real leaders in the winding meanders of the trial. Codes, court procedures, strategies and investigations, whether conducted by defence counsel or requested by the prosecutor, are therefore important. As a rule, the defendant plays a role here, if not really marginally, at least secondarily, in the development of the story, although there are exceptions of great value, in which it is up to the defendant himself to tell the legal story in the first person, with a wealth of detail and a great nostalgia for his own unfavorable fate.

as well as the length of the process and for the dynamics often bizarre and difficult to understand. So no guns, chases and flat feet, but benches, gowns and togati. In our selection of John Grisham`s best books, we have included novels that have become not only international bestsellers, but also great film successes. Another aspect to consider is the geography of the legal thriller: a murder can be committed in a thousand ways, but once the mode is chosen, the “result” is the same in Italy and America and Sweden. This does not apply to the results of a trial or its stages: each country has its own legal system, what is a crime in one place may not be a crime in another, the penalty to be applied will be different, but above all, the procedure to be applied varies from place to place. The process, wherever it takes place, is a ritual: it has different formulas, moments, actors. An example? The popular juries so popular in the United States exist only in the Court of Assizes and Assizes of Appeal, they are never totally autonomous and independent because the composition is mixed (professional and non-professional judges); Moreover, the trials that take place there concern specific and very serious crimes (massacre, intentional homicide, enslavement), they are certainly not in the majority.