Review: The Appeal by John Grisham

John Grisham

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The Appeal
The Appeal by John Grisham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I have been reading the books of John Grisham since his debut novel “A Time To Kill” in 1989 and I found his style of writing quite refreshing, and then came his second book “The Firm” well I was flabbergasted it was even better than his first story and I was not the only one to think so.
Since then I have tried to read all offerings from this master weaver of the legal thriller, some I have and some slipped through the net and ended up on my to read list, which I have now started to get to grips with (I Think).

Well let’s get to this story “The Appeal”; In a crowded courtroom in Mississippi, a jury returns a shocking verdict against a chemical company accused of dumping toxic waste into a small town’s water supply, causing the worst “cancer cluster” in history. The company appeals to the Mississippi Supreme Court, whose nine justices will one day either approve the verdict or reverse it.
Who are the nine? How will they vote? Can one be replaced before the case is ultimately decided?
The chemical company is owned by a Wall Street predator named Carl Trudeau, and Mr. Trudeau is convinced the Court is not friendly enough. With judicial elections looming, he decides to try to purchase himself a seat on the Court. The cost is a few million dollars, a drop in the bucket for a billionaire like Mr. Trudeau. Through an intricate web of conspiracy and deceit, his political operatives recruit a young, unsuspecting candidate. They finance him, manipulate him, market him, and mould him into a potential Supreme Court justice. Their Supreme Court justice.

As always with John Grisham, the technicalities of working out the intrigues are crucial to his story, and I found that this story was able to keep me fully occupied, John Grisham has given us a first-class Legal Thriller in which he is quite vocal in his opposition to the election of officials and judiciary within the law.

A great deal of the story assumes the appearance of a campaign, and how a judicial election is determined by social apprehension about suspected threats to the traditions and way of life of many who live in Mississippi.
I found that this story did not give me a sense of who the main character was as the story is mainly about the intrigue and therefore it does not have a hero, so to speak as each character is as important as the other.

This narrative left me with a feeling of thankfulness that I reside in a country where our judges and magistrates are appointed and not elected, where our police officers are selected and not elected.
For all that I found it a good read a little slow in parts, but with some quite nice surprises, I didn’t like the ending but then again I don’t like endings were the baddies seems to triumph over his/her victims.

A fine 3 stars then for this well told story, it could have got a 4 if the conclusion was a little more even-handed.

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One response to “Review: The Appeal by John Grisham

  1. Great review! It’s pretty sad that there are times that “justice” can be bought…I didn’t particularly like the ending either, but I suppose it’s more true to life that way…sad to say.