Author- John Grisham
Genre- Thriller, Fiction
The main characters are
David Zinc, a corporate lawyer and a Harvard law graduate, who, after getting disillusioned from working for the most prestigious firm in Chicago, joins forces with a boutique firm—Finley and Figg—a second-rate law firm of questionable reputation.
Wally Figg, a minor league lawyer, a colorful character, and a recovering alcoholic who doesn’t let morals or ethics intercept his single-minded devotion to money.
A partner at Finley and Figg, Oscar Finley is a former cop desperate to divorce his controlling wife.
The crux of the story is how a shabby small-time firm at the bottom rung of the ladder, practically surviving on ambulance-chasing and funeral homes, battles against a multinational pharma giant, Varrick Labs, over its cholesterol drug Krayoxx. Wally embroils the firm, and consequently, Oscar and David, in a mass tort lawsuit against the company with a substantial budget and top-notch lawyers to deal with legal battles.
What follows is conspiracies, deception, and dubious schemes by all parties involved to outdo each other.
Grisham’s signature-style legal thriller, this time, plays more out of the courtroom than inside it. The book spotlights the loose principles, malicious tactics, skullduggery that have found their way into the mainstream of modern-day law practice. There is no dearth of villains. In fact, they form the backbone of the story, over which Grisham lays out mayhem, chaos, and conflict. In a bid to outsmart each other and make a quick buck, the characters reveal their true self.
Grisham’s dark humor and a sly, clever tongue-in-cheek delivery make the book a good read.
Having said that, I still wouldn’t put this legal thriller anywhere close to Grisham’s earlier works. If you are somebody who follows legal dramas like ‘Suits,’ ‘Law and Order,’ or ‘How to Get Away from Murder,’ you half expect things to unfold the way they do. That doesn’t leave you with a lot of surprise and thrill elements to savor.
Wally’s and Oscar’s petty unending squabbles, Wally’s antics form some of the chuckle-worthy portions of the book. These guys are nasty and a lot more fun than the righteous David.
Grisham is a master of his craft. Though not his best, this book is still better than most legal thrillers available these days. If you’re looking forward to sinking your teeth in some courtroom conspiracies, then this might just satisfy your craving.