Grisham's intricate, spellbinding sixth novel differs from his last few--it's his only book with first-person narration and his first since his debut to be set in a courtroom--but the trademark Grisham touches are in place. Rookie attorney Rudy Baylor is the customary David fighting a legal Goliath (here a multibillion-dollar insurance company), and the suspense builds with impeccable pacing despite workaday prose. When the modestly sized law firm that contracted for his future services unexpectedly merges with a tony Ivy League firm, Rudy finds himself without a job and bankrupt. Filing a $10 million lawsuit takes away some of the sting, as does a lonely elderly woman's offer of low rent on a small apartment in exchange for rewriting her will. To make a living, Rudy finds himself chasing ambulances for a racketeering shyster, leading to his becoming enthralled with a beautiful young woman hospitalized by her husband's murderous attack. When Rudy agrees to represent the parents of a dying 22-year-old denied insurance coverage for a bone-marrow transplant, he finds that he is up against the firm that broke contract with him. Melding the courtroom savvy of A Time to Kill with the psychological nuance of The Chamber, imbued with wry humor and rich characters, this bittersweet tale, the author's quietest and most thoughtful, shows that Grisham's imagination can hold its own in a courtroom as well as on the violent streets outside. Major ad/promo; large-print edition, ISBN 0-385-47512-8; audio rights to BDD Audio. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995 Release date: 04/01/1995 Genre: Fiction
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