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Grisham continues to impress with his daring, venturing out of legal thrillers entirely for A Painted House and Skipping Christmas (the re-release of which this past fall was itself a bold move) and, within the genre, working major variations. Here's his most unusual legal thriller yet--a story whose hero and villain are the same, a young man with the tragic flaw of greed; a story whose suspense arises not from physical threat but moral turmoil, and one that launches a devastating assault on a group of the author's colleagues within the law. Mass tort lawyers are Grisham's target, the men (they're all men here, at least) who win billion-dollar class-action settlements from corporations selling bad products, then rake fantastic fees off the top, with far smaller payouts going to the people harmed by the products. Clay Carter is a burning-out lawyer at the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) in Washington, D.C., when he catches the case of a teen who, for no apparent reason, has gunned down an acquaintance. Clay is approached by a mysterious stranger, the enigmatic Max Pace, who says he represents a megacorporation whose bad drug caused the teen--and others--to kill. The corporation will pay Clay $10 million to settle with all the murder victims at $5 million per, if all is accomplished on the hush-hush; that way, the corporation avoids trial and possibly much higher jury awards. After briefly examining his conscience, Clay bites. He quits the OPD, sets up his own firm and settles the cases. In reward, Pace gives him a present--a mass tort case based on stolen evidence but worth tens of millions in fees. Clay lunges again, eventually winning over a hundred million in fees. He is crowned by the press the new King of Torts, with enough money to hobnob with the other, venal-hearted tort royalty, to buy a Porsche, a Georgetown townhouse and a private jet, but not enough to forget his heartache over the woman he loves, who dumped him as a loser right before his career took off. Clay's financial/legal hubris knows few bounds, and soon he's overextended, his future hanging on the results of one product liability trial. The tension is considerable throughout, and readers will like the gentle ending, but Grisham's aim here clearly is to educate as he entertains. He can be didactic (" `Nobody earns ten million dollars in six months, Clay,' " a friend warns. " `You might win it, steal it, or have it drop out of the sky, but nobody earns money like that. It's ridiculous and obscene' "), but readers will applaud Grisham's fierce moral stance (while perhaps wondering what sort of advance he got for this book) as they cling to his words every step along the way of this powerful and gripping morality tale.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Rousing . . . Another pedal-to-the-metal crowd-pleaser.”—People
“Offers everything one expects from Grisham . . . delivers with a vengeance.”—The Seattle Times
“Satisfying . . . a lot of fun . . . When you finish it, you’re ready to dash on to the next Grisham.”—Entertainment Weekly
“A thrill ride of twists and turns.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
This is my favorite Grisham book. I had read it years ago and had lost my copy so I reordered one.
It really makes you think.
Too many characters to be able to follow the flow of the story without referring back to identify who were the characters involved in several situations in the throughout the plot. Read morePublished 19 days ago by James H. Dickey, Jr.
Not one of the best from John Grisham, but a good read , neverthelessPublished 24 days ago by David Shutan
Loved it but need to have new books more often! Can't get enough!Published 1 month ago by sandra sciulli
I like all of Gresham's book and even reread some of them. I am working on reading the whole list. Marge StellPublished 1 month ago by margestell
not his best. too much detail on the king of torts and not very suspensefulPublished 1 month ago by Walker H. Bateman IV
too complex, rambling, undeveloped, too many plots/characters ... legal process not accurate or realisticPublished 1 month ago by korman