Gray Mountain is mostly what I would expect from reading most of John Grisham’s previous novels. The main difference is that this is the first novel with a female in the lead character role. And, Samantha, the main character actually is perfect for this story.
Though it is considered a legal thriller, there is not too much legal jargon. The layperson shouldn’t be worried about getting lost in all the legalese and not following the story line. The story is very believable, centered around strip coal mining in Appalachia where small town folk with barely a dime are up against huge wealthy coal mining companies denying any benefits the miners and their families should be receiving. This is where the lawyers come in. Samantha, once a well-paid, overworked New York City lawyer that had never been in a courtroom is laid off and moved to rural Virginia to intern at a legal aid clinic. The story picks up and becomes fast paced once she arrives in Virginia. There are a few subtle hints of romance, but nothing mushy. Because we all know the laws and love do not usually mix, right?
It’s clear that Grisham researched the topic and the area of Appalachia well, which makes for a great novel. I would highly recommend checking this one out – if you can get your name on what will probably be a long hold list at your local library.