Sunday, October 18, 2015


25387351Sebastian Rudd is inconceivably poles apart from the other central characters in John Grisham’s novels. He is impatient, contemptuous and dangerous but he’s also smart and resolute – someone you’ll easily root for. Or for that matter, he's someone you’ll instantly find repulsive. He’s divorced, with negligible parenting concerns for his young son, except that occasional visits. Yet, he has strong concerns veering toward madness for the cause of justice, and most of his clients are people with cases the average lawyers would hesitate to touch. With a bodyguard who bundles up as his driver, bodyguard and all-in-one, Sebastian Rudd, the rogue lawyer in Grisham’s latest thriller is unlike anything you have read before.

Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham follows Sebastian Rudd’s legal battles as he works out of a van after his office was bombed. Our legal ace has a lot on his hands as he battles for others as well as himself. One of the cases involved the molestation and drowning of two little girls. The accused Gardy was once a member of a satanic cult with a history of sexual perversion. With this fact known to the prosecution, Sebastian has much work to do. There’s also a case involving a crime lord who killed a judge and is facing death row, and a retired homeowner who opens fire on a SWAT team. Sebastian is also confronted with the daunting prospect of losing his visitation rights with his young son as his ex-wife is mounting a legal challenge to cancel it.

When John Grisham spins his brand of fascinating legal thriller which is a cocktail of a swiftly paced thriller, twisted tales and legal rudiments, you are in for an exciting ride. There’s the excitement and the huge anticipation. But Rogue Lawyer fails to meet my expectation. Though a huge, huge fan of the author, and someone who really wanted a massive blockbuster of read, this is more like Sycamore Row and a notch of an improvement upon Gray Mountain. Having said that, let me make it clear my appetite for Grisham’s legal thrillers will never wane. I largely enjoyed the book but it is nowhere near the intensity and appeal of A Time to Kill. The character development, pointedly that of Sebastian Rudd, was polished and finely done. And I really enjoyed the first-person narrative. Though the different stories, or rather the different cases, were all tied in together at the end, the climax was a bit flat and rather disappointing. Yet, I’d try out a John Grisham thriller any day than any other book for the simple fact that he's the best out there.


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