- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (March 29, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312607350
- ISBN-13: 978-0312607357
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 46 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,144,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Trial Hardcover – March 29, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
This clichéd legal thriller from Grisham wannabe Thompson (So Help Me God) opens with a prologue that undercuts rather than enhances suspense by revealing two major plot points: the bad news teenager Samantha Vaughn receives about her failing liver and the murder of a "young executive" in possession of some important computer disks. Samantha, the daughter of Luke Vaughn, a high-powered Houston lawyer who's relocated to the small town of San Marcos, Tex., becomes ill after participating in a trial for a new antibiotic. The drug is produced by an evil pharmaceutical magnate, Dr. Alfred Kingsbury, whose lust for obscene profits leads him to cartoonish acts of villainy. When Luke learns what caused his daughter's liver failure, he takes on Kingsbury's company in a product liability trial. Most readers will soon figure out the identity of the murder victim in the prologue, and find the improbable happy ending cloying. (Apr.)
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Sometimes a novel�s first five pages let you know where the remaining 300 are going, and sometimes you�re happy to hop on�as in this spirited thriller. The villain has a British accent and wears bespoke trousers; the hero is a so-so lawyer handed a chance for personal and professional redemption. The real monster is the pharmaceutical industry, which cares not a bit for our health. The fix is in: the Food and Drug Administration cuddles with the greedheads for Jamaican vacations and fat jobs. The corruption continues until the daughter of Texas lawyer Luke Vaughan volunteers to test a new drug. She sickens, and Vaughan must sue, if only to pay for her liver transplant. He uncovers�or occasions�money laundering and murder for hire. There are action scenes and a few surprise plot turns, which Thompson unfortunately defuses in a preface. The long trial scene is gripping, even when you guess how it ends. The prose is spare and gin-clear, but there�s a pulse underneath, and fans of legal thrillers will likely lose some sleep. --Don Crinklaw
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