Monday, January 5, 2009


By John Grisham
New York, NY
ISBN: 9780385515047
Hardback, 358 pages, $27.95
Genre: Legal thriller

For years, Krane Chemical dumped chemical toxins into the water supply of Bowmore, Mississippi, causing major illnesses and deaths from cancer to rise significantly. Upon the filing of a lawsuit against Krane, the company closes down its facilities and moves to Mexico. When a jury in rural Mississippi returns a large verdict against Krane Chemical, its owner, billionaire Carl Trudeau, is not only angry but vengeful. Trudeau vows to himself not one cent will be paid to any defendant and instructs his company’s law firm to appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court. His reasoning is calculated: justices are elected to the Supreme Court in Mississippi and an election is looming. Trudeau and his minions begin a search for the perfect candidate to put into the Supreme Court; one that will hopefully reverse the verdict against Krane. Once that candidate is found, millions of dollars are expended in order to ensure his seat on the State Supreme Court.

Although genred a legal thriller, this is more along the lines of a political statement. There are no courtroom theatrics, which could have breathed a bit of life into a plodding storyline. There are no likeable characters in this book; even the altruistic attorneys for the plaintiff come across as superficial and too willing to just give up and go away. Although the ending is probably more realistic than not, it, nevertheless, is disappointing.

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