From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Former Boston Globe reporter and Mississippian Wilkie charts the meteoric career of lawyer Richard "Dickie" Scruggs in this riveting if labyrinthine account that in Wilkie's telling, involves treachery, professional jealousy, and zealous prosecution. Known as the "King of Torts," Scruggs had made a fortune with class action lawsuits involving asbestos claims in Pascagoula, Miss., and then tobacco lawsuits in the mid-1990s. But with fame and fortune came enemies in the small Mississippi world of law and politics, and also contact with what Scruggs once dubbed "the dark side of the Force," people who carried out business best done behind the scenes. In 2007, while handling a Katrina victims' class action suit against insurers, Scruggs and his associates asked someone to approach a judge in a case filed against Scruggs by a disgruntled former colleague. The intermediary offered the judge money. Scruggs himself was eventually indicted on bribery charges and after a contentious federal investigation pleaded guilty; he's serving a five-year sentence. Wilkie (Dixie) carefully tracks the maneuverings of Scruggs and his associates and enemies in a remarkable illustration of how far the mighty can fall.
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“Reads like a John Grisham novel….An epic tale of backbiting, shady deal-making and greed ….Masterful.”—Wall Street Journal
"In telling a great legal story about a great legal story teller, Wilkie has produced a page-turning masterpiece that explores power, greed, hubris and the human condition. The Fall of the House of Zeus
is a Greek Tragedy set in the modern south. Lawyers, clients, and anyone interested in seeing how the sausages of justice get made will love this book."--Alan Dershowitz
"The legal machinations in The Fall of the House of Zeus
read like a real-life John Grisham novel."--St. Louis Post-Dispatch
(Chosen as one of the Best Books of 2010)
"Not since Willie Morris has anyone written so poignantly about the South."--John Evans, proprietor of Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS in Missippians
Fascinating, breath-holding action…The undisputed accuracy of recorded dialogue will fan embers that will keep this story alive for decades—not only in Mississippi…but anywhere obscene wealth, arrogance, and narrow-mindedness grant us human beings a look into the darkest rooms of our hearts."—Clyde Edgerton, Garden & Gun
"Every bit as engaging as a Grisham thriller..."--Delta
"Equal parts biography and legal thriller."--Roll Call
Wilkie's book is well-researched and well-written, and also completely engaging."--Biloxi Sun Herald
"The Fall of the House of Zeus
is a riveting American saga of ambition, cunning, greed, corruption, high life and low life in the land of Faulkner and Grisham. These are good ol' boys gone bad with flair, private jets, and lots of cash to carry. Curtis Wilkie, a child of the South and a reporter's reporter, is the perfect match for this wild ride."—Tom Brokaw
"Addictive reading for anyone interested in greed, ...