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Posts Tagged ‘john grisham’

The Reckoning: A Novel by John Grisham

Another very great story written I would say perfectly by the master himself. Grisham is very good at building stories, often moving back and forward in the time frame of the hero’s life, but never losing the main thread of the story. Perfect dialogue and always enough descriptive plotting to keep the reader alert and anxious for more.

 In The Reckoning the story is about a southern family and is pretty much centered on Pete Banning, the head of that family. Pete is the owner of his family’s cotton farm which has been in his family for many, many years. It all begins with Pete getting up one day and walking down to the family church where he walks in and with one bullet to the chest area kills the family minister.

Pete’s wife, Liza, had been put into a mental institution some time previously and was pretty much non-responsive to anyone or anything around her. So the only people close to Pete to rally for him in his defense were his sister, his children, and his friends. No one however could stand up to the pressure of the state’s judicial system and the feelings of the entire local residents.

 What all happens in the next portion of the book is how Pete is put on trial, convicted, and electrocuted in an electric chair that is set up in the county courthouse! Pete had done the deed for what he believed in his mind was the right thing to do.

The next part of the story actually moves backward and follows Pete’s life before all of this. He had been a very gallant soldier and not only fought hard in the Pacific in World War II but he actually had also been taken prisoner and had ended upmaking it through the famous Bataan Death March. That forced march instituted by the Japanese had killed many U.S. and Filipino soldiers.

However Pete had managed to live through the march.  Later he and another prison managed to escape from the huge prison camp that they were placed in. While hiding in the woods he was rescued by a band of guerillas who were fighting the Japanese from their various hideouts all over the Bataan woods. Pete and his buddy joined the guerillas and were eventually rescued and sent back to the states.

Pete had first been declared a prisoner and then later declared dead by the military so the folks at home had no knowledge of his escapades or that he was even alive until he returned.

 There is so much more of this great book as the Bannings have to fight to try to keep their property from the wife of the slain pastor. It becomes a real part of any Grisham as it gets very involved with the legal system and how it works for and against folks.

But then there is even more as the winding down of the story contains some very important facts that come out from the death lips of one of the Banning family.  And as they always say……And that is the rest of the story!!

The Brethren by John Grisham

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The BrethrenThis is a really interesting story that basically has several stories going on at the same time. The Brethren are a group of three ex-judges who are currently serving time in a minimum federal security prison or camp which is meant for criminals who have committed nonviolent crimes basically against society. They have to be guarded and watched but it is a very low security atmosphere. One of the three had been convicted for tax evasion, one was a justice of the peace who was jailed for embezzling bingo profits, and one had killed two hikers in Yellowstone while he was driving drunk. They basically had jurisdiction over the other inmates in the prison camp as long as it was a crime dealing only with other prisoners.

But there status did allow them to have privileges such as mail in and out without anyone checking it. They were also allowed visits unhampered by their attorney who in fact became their errand boy as they used him in the scheme which they put together. He was happy with the overall arrangement because one of the three judges was a knowledgeable sports gambler and he was always giving the errand boy tips on games to bet with very good odds of winning. Read the rest of this entry »

The Rooster Bar by John Grisham

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The Rooster BarWriting about young law students or those just recently admitted to the bar has always been a good stomping ground for Grisham. And The Rooster Bar really fills the bill!

A group of law students attending Foggy Bottom Law School basically get together on several evening meetings and begin discussing the Foggy Bottom Law School. One of them especially has been looking into some strange things about the school as far as placement of graduates and also failure rates etc. He is determined that something is not right so he tells his two buddies and his girlfriend that he is putting together a study to either prove or disprove his theory.

Basically he finds in his studies that the bulk of the lower rated law schools, such as Foggy Bottom, not only produce fewer top graduates. But also strangely enough many of these lower rated schools appear to be owned by a group of industrialists who would not appear to have any interest particularly in further education and definitely not in law degrees. No one takes his findings too seriously but he continues with his theories. Read the rest of this entry »

The Whistler by John Grisham

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The WhistlerI would say this is Grisham’s best but I believe I say that after each of his books that I read. But truthfully this is a tremendous read. He always does a great job writing about the courts and trials but this one like some others goes into a lot of detail about the happenings outside the courthouse.

Lacy Stoltz, a lawyer working as an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, is sent on a possible case by her boss. She and Hugo, her partner, meet up with a guy who is definitely hiding as he uses aliases and lives on a boat. Greg Myers, the man they meet, is asking them to file a claim under the Florida Whistleblower Statue for a client of his. Myers is very close mouthed and doesn’t give up the names of his client or his client’s “mole”. However he truly believes that there is a mob known as the Catfish Mafia that is committing crimes across a huge part of the Gulf coastal area and that they also control a female judge of high ranking in the area.

They report back to their boss with the information and he tells them as long as Myers signs a valid complaint they will take on the case. They both feel that the FBI or someone should be involved since it appears the entire situation includes a casino on Indian tribal property which is basically “hands-off” from local police enforcement.

Myers does sign the complaint and gives them more interesting information which gets them going rather quickly into checking out some of the claims that he has made. They quickly find a lot of evidence that this judge, Claudia McDover, has been involved in many, many cases for the Tappacola Reservation and the new casino. Much legal work had to be done, some somewhat sketchy and questionable, to get land rights waived and road construction performed whether or not it was really necessary for the entire area. And McDover seemed to steam roll the proceedings along in favor of the Indians. Both investigators still want Myers or their boss to agree to calling in the FBI because of the depth of the charges but until they get more evidence their boss says no. And Myers has staunchly said no all along until they get more deeply involved

That happens especially after they meet with one of the Tappacola tribe whose brother is in prison for a murder which appears to have been committed by someone else!

It isn’t too long after that a horrible “accident” occurs when Lacy and Hugo are on their way to meet what they believe to be another mole connected to the case based on the phone call they receive.

As usual with Grisham however he plays down the romantic side of any of his stories and goes for the guts which always are how the law works and also how the criminal side of the particular story also works.

The Whistler really does go into depth into both of these sides as the story moves along. The reader gets a good view of what these criminal minds know and how they work when confronted with law enforcement.

And on the other side Grisham shows all the many tools that the FBI use to pull together evidence and expand upon it to really nail their target.

This is a terrific read and one that the reader has an extremely hard time laying aside to do anything else. It holds your interest and has you racing along to see what all will end up happening. Almost like gambling at a casino!!!

Grisham at his best! Thank you once more, Mr. Grisham!

Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Sebastian Rudd who in fact is the Rogue Lawyer is a different sort of Rogue Lawyerand a completely different lawyer. He pretty much works as a public defender taking the cases that no other lawyer usually wants. He defends those that he believes are innocent or at least they have had their cases distorted by police and courts that are just looking for someone to take the blame in cases they have a hard time solving.

Click Here to Find More Information on Rogue Lawyer

The first case involves a young man who fits the bill of a down and out no- account who likely could have done the deed he is accused of. However Rudd, unlike the rest of the little town, really believes that the man is not guilty. To prove it he needs to get the blood of the man he truly believes did the crime. By using a cage-fighter that he backs in fights and bets on, Rudd is able to get the blood sample matched as he needs and also luckily one member of the jury attempts to talk with him when he is at one of the weekly cage fights that he attends. These two events comprise the necessary steps that Rudd needs for a not guilty verdict. Read the rest of this entry »

Gray Mountain by John Grisham

Gray MountainReviewed by Allen Hott

One of the most interesting books that I have read in some time. Many of us are familiar with Grisham’s writings which mostly focus on attorneys and courtroom drama. Gray Mountain is pretty much along those lines but with twists and turns that make it even more appealing than usual.

Samantha Korver works as an attorney of a huge law firm in New York City. She is far from the top and is working hard to get there. Billing up to 70 hours per week to clients she does in fact put in more hours than that usually. However she has settled in and loves being in the big city. Read the rest of this entry »

Sycamore Row (Jake Brigance) by John Grisham

Sycamore RowReviewed by Allen Hott

There is no doubt that John Grisham is one of the top novelists of today but believe me Sycamore Row is just one more piece of proof of his greatness. Grisham is most adept at writing courtroom stories but he is so special in that he travels away from that area at times and when he does he excels in whatever area he enters.

Sycamore Row is indeed a courtroom drama with pages of happenings in the courtroom but it is also a really fantastic story of a group of characters in their daily lives and even in the lives of those who preceded that group. The story is about a southern attorney and the happenings as he works to defend a handwritten, not witnessed, will that has been mailed to him. Read the rest of this entry »

The Associate by John Grisham

The AssociateReviewed by Allen Hott

An intriguing story of monster law firms and how they operate. Perhaps not always on the up and up but always with growth in mind. They have the finances, know-how and personnel to pull off some unbelievable feats.

The Associate tells of a young man who has been an excellent student his entire life and now looks to get into the legal profession. He has been somewhat pulled in that direction because his father has run a successful business in a small town for many years. Although his father is a very good lawyer he has never attempted to become one of the “big boys” in his profession as he favors working with and for the people in a small town. He is well known, well liked, and makes a better than decent living in this small town. Read the rest of this entry »

The Partner by John Grisham

The PartnerReviewed by Allen Hott

Once in a while it is good to go to an old book by one of your favorite authors. In this case The Partner really filled the bill. This is one of Grisham’s that I never read and I do not know why but I do know that I put off reading a really great story for too long. As usual with many of Grisham’s stories it is centered around the Mississippi Gulf Coast and especially the Biloxi area. And pretty much as Grisham’s style it is also about lawyers and the courts.

Danilo Silva was finally located in a small town in Brazil when the hunters made their catch. He had been living rather humbly in a small house and basically blending into the neighborhood. However his living conditions were about to change drastically when they, after watching him for quite a period to insure he was their man, finally grabbed him off the path during one of his daily runs. Read the rest of this entry »

The Confession by John Grisham

The ConfessionReviewed by Allen Hott

An extremely well told story of how deeply involved some people can quickly get into others’ lives. Grisham has written a story that is not only about good people and good happenings but he has tempered it with sadness and terrible events. As usual he has written in such a way that the reader cannot put the book down but has to continue moving toward an ending which I am not even sure Grisham had envisioned when he began writing The Confession.

It seems very innocent and not out of the ordinary when a gentleman enters the office of Keith Schroeder, pastor of St Mark’s Lutheran Church in Kansas. He wants to speak to the pastor and the pastor’s wife, Dana Schroeder, after a few basic questions, escorts him into the pastor’s study. Read the rest of this entry »