Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham

Though I enjoyed the new John Grisham novel very much, it wasn’t one of my favorites from Grisham and not his finest work, in my personal opinion. My favorite was Gray Mountain, which was released last year.

This story reminded me quite a bit of Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly. The book doesn’t read like a typical legal narrative suspense thriller. Each section focuses on a different case being handled by the main character, Sebastian Rudd. Rudd takes cases which other lawyers would not dream of handling, and he does a great job for his clients. He’s been thrown in jail, threatened by past clients, and even setup by the police department. He believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial, even if he has to pull some strings or bribe the right people to get one. He works out of a customized bulletproof van, driven by his one and only friend and bodyguard type, named Partner. Partner isn’t a big talker, but he is there for Rudd at all times, supporting him through all the crazy trials and murder threats. Some of the cases that Rudd handles are unbelievable, which make this book hard to put down. Rudd distrusts the government, and despises the corruption within the police department and judicial system. He’s not a very happy character, and his love life, or lack thereof is evidence of this fact. However, during the course of the story, Rudd happens to meet a girl while dealing with some trouble with his young son, a second grader. Along with drinking bourbon and playing pool, Rudd’s favorite past time is watching and betting on cage fighting. Oh, and he doesn’t enjoy it too much; but he spends a lot of time fighting his ex-wife Judith, also a lawyer, who keeps trying to take away his parental rights to their son, Starcher. Rudd sponsors a young, talented cage fighter and serves as his corner in the ring. When the cage fighter snaps after a match and kills the referee, Rudd must defend him. This case could proof to be the toughest case he has dealt with yet, and may be his last. This is a great book for fans of suspense, legal thrillers, or fiction in general. Not too much romance, and not too much language or graphic violence. Just enough to keep things interesting.


Gray Mountain – by John Grisham

Gray Mountain by John Grisham

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.