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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 »

The Racketeer by John Grisham

The RacketeerReviewed by Allen Hott

A very well thought out plot as usual by Mr. Grisham. This one, although it does somewhat involve the courts, is really more of a mystery as to how The Racketeer pulled off the caper and how is he going to get away with it. Or is he?

Malcolm Bannister is in fact that person. As the book opens he is in a Federal Prison camp in Maryland. Bannister is a lawyer who has served five years so far of a ten year sentence that he believes was handed down by a judge and district attorney who were looking to nail a true racketeer for money laundering. That guy set Bannister up by sending a fee payment of 4.5 million dollars instead of 450,000. When Bannister tried to return the overpayment the group with the racketeer and their bank refused the repayment. Then when they were quickly busted for money laundering they easily implicated Bannister. The DA and judge decided they were all guilty so away to prison Bannister went.

Sometimes bad things turn out good and perhaps that is what happens to Bannister. He is known as a jailhouse lawyer and makes many new friends or business acquaintances through his background. One of them turns out to be Quinn Rucker who, like Bannister, is a black man, serving time for distributing drugs. The two become quite friendly and learn a lot about each other. Read the rest of this entry »

The Litigators: A Novel by John Grisham

The LitigatorsReviewed by Allen Hott

No doubt this guy can write. If he cannot hold your interest with his descriptions, legal terminology, great characters, and tremendous story lines I am afraid you are not truly a reader.

As usual Grisham has written about lawyers, their trials and tribulations. In this case it begins with an attorney quitting his job with a high powered, multi-lawyered law firm. Exactly how he quits his job and how he leaves is one of the best introductions to a novel. The reason he left was because of the hours and pressure. Making good money but working himself to death and ignoring his wife and hoped for family.

That attorney, David Zinc, managed to spot a billboard sign for a law firm named Finley & Figg. Owned by Oscar Finley and Wally Figg, the firm basically was an ambulance chasing small time firm with basically no staff, no major clients, and no foreseeable improvement in business in the future. David quickly works his way in and becomes a third man to the team of Oscar and Wally. He has a pretty good sized nest egg saved up and convinces his wife that he just wants to give a shot to this idea of working and perhaps becoming a partner in a smaller law firm. He is fed up with the big firms and their wearing out junior staff partners. Read the rest of this entry »

The Confession by John Grisham

The Confession Reviewed by Allen Hott

A fast moving story involving the abduction, rape, and strangling of a high school cheerleader in a small town in Texas. As is his custom Grisham takes the reader through all the legal steps and courtroom drama and makes that reader feel that he is deeply involved in the whole procedure.

All in all The Confession is kind of a sad story. Keith Schroeder, the minister of a small church in Kansas, receives a visit from a distraught man who claims to be suffering from a cancerous brain tumor. The man is extremely nervous and depressed. He also claims to have committed a murder in Texas nine years ago for which a young boy is now being prosecuted. Listening to Travis Boyette’s story and then doing some checking via the internet Schroeder discovers that there is in fact a case in Texas at that moment.

Donte Drumm, a black high school football star in Slone, Texas was arrested for the murder of Nicole Yarber, a popular high school cheerleader. Donte due to the antics of an overzealous cop and prosecutor was not only sentenced to prison but he was also given the death sentence. Read the rest of this entry »

The Broker by John Grisham

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The Broker by John GrishamReviewed by Allen Hott

A very interesting tale of Washington, big time politics, and international intrigue as John Grisham so aptly tells. This time it involves Joel Bachman also known as The Broker because of all the major deals he has pulled off in the Capital over the years.

Bachman is in prison and is scheduled to be there for fourteen more years. He was put there because of a deal that proved to be not only shady but also illegal. Prior to his fall from power he headed up one of Washington’s largest law firms that then had to go into bankruptcy due to his problems.

However just before his arrest he and one of his partners had been negotiating a major sale to one of several foreign countries. Bachman’s clients had perfected a super sophisticated satellite spying system that was superior to any in the world. The three inventors had all been killed off for various reasons but someone had the system on discs that the foreign countries and the U.S. wanted. That someone was thought to be Bachman. Read the rest of this entry »