Tag Archives: john grisham

Gray Mountain by John Grisham

Gray Mountain

Reviewed 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.

The Last Juror by John Grisham

The Last Juror

Reviewed by Allen Hott

One fantastic story about the south and more clearly its residents as can only be told by John Grisham. He writes about courtrooms well but when those courtrooms are located in the south it is just that much better.

The Last Juror tells about a young man Joyner William Traynor who moved from Syracuse after not quite finishing his journalistic degree to the town of Clanton Alabama. This occurs in 1970 when integration was still in its infancy and blacks were not generally accepted in small southern towns.

Shortly after his arrival he gets the opportunity to purchase the small local newspaper that he works for. With help from BeeBee, his aunt, he buys The Ford County Times and begins to make changes from the previous owner’s style (mostly lengthy obituaries).

Sycamore Row (Jake Brigance) by John Grisham

Sycamore Row

Reviewed 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.

The Associate by John Grisham

The Associate

Reviewed 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.

A Painted House by John Grisham

A Painted House

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Lots of applause and kudos to John Grisham for writing a very interesting, heart-warming story about something other than lawyers and courtrooms. For those of us who are Grisham fans however we do know he has done this more than once. Bleachers, Calico Joe, and Playing for Pizza are more examples of his straying from the legal entities. And he does a great job regardless of the arena that he chooses.

This story is witnessed and told by a seven year old country boy living in rural Arkansas.
Luke Chandler lives in a small unpainted wooden farm house with his mother, father, and his father’s parents. All of the happenings occur during the end of the growing season in 1952 as Luke learns more and more about life besides farming. Luke’s grandfather had farmed basically all of his life except for service in World War I which left him with an injury that took away a promising baseball career.

The Partner by John Grisham

The Partner

Reviewed 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.

The Confession by John Grisham

The Confession

Reviewed 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.

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.

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.

Calico Joe by John Grisham

Calico Joe by John Grisham,Reviewed by Allen Hott

John Grisham can write about anything. He is excellent on courtroom drama, legal battles, and various sports. Yes, sports! Not long ago he wrote Playing for Pizza, a neat story about a pro football player going to Italy to play in the leagues over there. And now he has written a really well told story of a young boy who is the son of a major league pitcher.

Sadly the father isn’t a great father and even more sadly he is not anywhere near a great father. Not only is he a poor example of a father he pretty well fails at marriage as well as after leaving the boy’s mother he moves on and through five other marriages. Oh yes he is at best a mediocre major league pitcher.

The son who was really into baseball gets completely discouraged with the sport and all because of what his father tries to teach him. His father always professes to “live up to the code” which at least in his mind means not only knocking a hitter down in certain circumstances but knocking him down with such a vengeance that severe injuries can occur.

About the same time Warren Tracey, the father, was leaving his family for good there appeared in the big leagues a true phenom. Joe Castle, called up by the Cubs, is a rookie who breaks into big league baseball like a ninety nine mile an hour fastball. He is setting records of all types with his hitting as he and the Cubs are on a real tear. Joe hits three homers in his first game and that really is just the beginning of the hitting spree that he goes on. The baseball world loves him and since he comes from the little town of Calico Rock, Arkansas the sports writers dub this flash to be Calico Joe.