Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Appeal: Book Review

John Grisham has long been one of my favourite authors. With his fine descriptive style, tense legal thrillers with cautionary moral tales, he takes the reader on journeys into US courtrooms and prisons. The Appeal, his twentieth fiction offering continues in the same style, with another compelling story.

After a huge verdict in favour of a widow whose husband died in a village whose water supply was poisoned (allegedly) by a chemical firm, the firm launch an appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court. The novel follows the experiences, ups and downs of the family lawyers who risked everything for the widow as they prepare for the appeal hearing. The twist is that before the case will come up, there's an election for a seat on the Supreme Court, and big business seeks to influence the election by promoting a candidate who will be much less sympathetic to huge plaintiff damage verdicts.

It seems that this book is written as a personal plea from Grisham, himself a former member of the House of Representatives in Mississippi to America at large to change the way Supreme Court Justices are appointed, thus preventing big business from 'buying' justice. An excellent read, with plenty of characteristic twists along the way.

1 comment :

  1. For those who believe that judges are above politics, John Grisham has written "The Appeal," a legal thriller that explores the ways in which powerful groups use dirty tricks and unlimited financial resources to pervert the law and manipulate elections. The book opens in the aftermath of a hotly contested seventy-one day trial followed by five days of deliberations. A jury has found Krane Chemical Corporation liable for illegally dumping toxic waste that contaminated the groundwater in Bowmore, Mississippi. The tainted water caused the cancer deaths of Pete and Chad Baker, the husband and son of the plaintiff, Jeannette Baker, who is awarded a staggering forty-one million dollars. The lawyers for Mrs. Baker, Mary Grace and Wes Payton, have made incredible sacrifices to win this case. They sold their home and most valued possessions and are four hundred thousand dollars in debt.