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John Ford once identified himself as a man who made Westerns. In the same sense of remarkable understatement, Scott Turow might say that he writes about lawyers. Arguably, no one has ever done so quite as well as he. “This is a lawyer’s story, the kind attorneys like to hear and tell,” Turow’s new novel aptly begins.

But Personal Injuries is also a story for lawyers, less a cocktail-hour anecdote than an allegory — a professional parable in which a lawyer, acting as counsel for another lawyer, prompts us to remember what the lawyer’s concerns were always meant to be. These days, we need the reminder.

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