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The Top 6 Legal Fiction Novels for Courtroom Drama Lovers

Even for many people who are not lawyers, or who have never had to go through the courtroom experience, novels about legal trials and the law provide some of the most intriguing and entertaining literature ever written.

From old school classics like To Kill a Mockingbird and Crime and Punishment, to a new generation of must-read thrillers, like, A Time To Kill and Presumed Innocent, courtroom/legal stories are a distinct and well-loved subgenre of drama, but which are the best?

Our list of The Top 6 Legal Fiction Novels for Courtroom Drama Lovers feature many of the most well-respected and enthralling works of all-time, perfect for any avid reader in need of a good mystery!

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#1 The Trial

The trials and tribulations contained within Franz Kafka's The Trial are more allegorical than literal, as, you, the reader, as well as the story's protagonist Josef K. never find out the crime for which he was arrested, or much information at all about the court which is holding him with which he cannot communicate. Josef can only ask questions, but receives no answers to make sense of the surreal world in which he is forced to wander.

#2 Presumed Innocent

One of the most renowned courtroom novels of the last 50 years, Scott Turow's modern masterpiece, Presumed Innocent, offers a captivating look into the life of Rusty Sabicch, a chief deputy prosecutor, who finds out that one of his staff members has been murdered during his boss's re-election campaign. Rusty is determined to find the killer, but after his boss loses his re-election bid, Rusty finds himself framed for the murder.

#3 A Time To Kill

When a black man in rural Mississippi takes revenge on the two remorseless white men who nearly beat his ten year old daughter to death, he finds himself facing the ire of the entire backwoods town and the death penalty for his crimes, and it's up to defense attorney Jake Brigance to try to save him from the gallows. 

#4 To Kill A Mockingbird

In the Post-Depression Deep South, compassionate lawyer Atticus Finch takes on the case of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman. While the town raises their pitchforks with racist fury, Atticus must not only try to prove Tom's innocence, but also teach his two young children about racism in the community. 

Perhaps the most well-known legal drama ever written, Harper Lee's masterpiece not only became a Pulitzer Prize winner, but remains a mainstay of English classes in both high schools and colleges. 

#5 Crime and Punishment

Another all-time classic often dissected in educational settings is Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, which focuses on protagonist, Rodion Raskolnikov, a down and out former college student in St. Petersburg, Russia, who devises a plan to murder a dishonest pawn shop owner for money. Rodion believes that he could use this money to make a fresh start for himself, but he begins to have second thoughts which complicate his plan. 

#6 The Caine Mutiny

The Caine Mutiny, another Pulitzer Prize winner on our list, written in 1951 by Herman Wouk, offers a tale based on Wouk's own experiences in The Pacific Theater during WWII, aboard a destroyer-minesweeper, and focuses on the ethical choices made by captains at sea. 

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Written by Josh Wagner