Tag Archives: john grisham

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.

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.

The Broker by John Grisham

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.

Ford Country by John Grisham

fordReviewed by Allen Hott

A slightly different approach by Mr. Grisham but not any less enjoyable. This gentleman can write whether it be in a typical novel style or as in this case short story form.

Grisham has written seven short stories featuring characters in Ford County, Mississippi, which is where he has always considered his home. And the characters are true to Grisham format in that they are molded in the southern manner.

One story follows three good ol’ boys as they journey to give blood to a friend. However their trek takes them to places not normally encountered on a journey of this sort. Few folks get a lap dance in a strip joint on their way to donate blood.

“Fetching Raymond” tells of a mother and her two sons, both of whom have spent time in prison at least once, heading to the prison for the execution of another son. The idea is to witness the event and then bring him home to be laid to rest.