After watching the FX Network’s excellent limited-run TV series based on The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin, I realized there was a lot about the “so-called trial of the century” that I didn’t know. There’s a good reason for this: shortly after the trial began, I received orders to transfer with my family from Georgia to Naples, Italy. Moving overseas with two small kids is a pretty involved evolution so we paid scant attention to the trial, and were in a Transient Lodging hotel just up the coast from Naples when the verdict was delivered.
Knowing TV tends to merge events and characters, I sought out the source book to get a more accurate review of the trial. Many years ago I read Vincent Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter, which is probably the benchmark for books of this type. Toobin doesn’t match the scary intensity of the earlier book about the Manson Family killings, but in all fairness long before the first witness was called the Simpson trial stopped being about the violent, bloody deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Instead, the defense played the “race card” very effectively.
Toobin doesn’t hold back his opinions, and is at times quite critical of the lawyers for both prosecution and defense. Regardless of your view on Simpson’s innocence, this is a fascinating account of the trial. If you approved of the verdict delivered, you’ll see how it was engineered. If you disapprove of the acquittal, you’ll see how a case with copious amounts of physical evidence was lost, probably from Day 1.
NOTE: I don’t spend as much time on reviews of traditionally published books as I do for Indie authors.