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Grisham continues to impress with his daring, venturing out of legal thrillers entirely for A Painted House and Skipping Christmas (the re-release of which this past fall was itself a bold move) and, within the genre, working major variations. Here's his most unusual legal thriller yet--a story whose hero and villain are the same, a young man with the tragic flaw of greed; a story whose suspense arises not from physical threat but moral turmoil, and one that launches a devastating assault on a group of the author's colleagues within the law. Mass tort lawyers are Grisham's target, the men (they're all men here, at least) who win billion-dollar class-action settlements from corporations selling bad products, then rake fantastic fees off the top, with far smaller payouts going to the people harmed by the products. Clay Carter is a burning-out lawyer at the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) in Washington, D.C., when he catches the case of a teen who, for no apparent reason, has gunned down an acquaintance. Clay is approached by a mysterious stranger, the enigmatic Max Pace, who says he represents a megacorporation whose bad drug caused the teen--and others--to kill. The corporation will pay Clay $10 million to settle with all the murder victims at $5 million per, if all is accomplished on the hush-hush; that way, the corporation avoids trial and possibly much higher jury awards. After briefly examining his conscience, Clay bites. He quits the OPD, sets up his own firm and settles the cases. In reward, Pace gives him a present--a mass tort case based on stolen evidence but worth tens of millions in fees. Clay lunges again, eventually winning over a hundred million in fees. He is crowned by the press the new King of Torts, with enough money to hobnob with the other, venal-hearted tort royalty, to buy a Porsche, a Georgetown townhouse and a private jet, but not enough to forget his heartache over the woman he loves, who dumped him as a loser right before his career took off. Clay's financial/legal hubris knows few bounds, and soon he's overextended, his future hanging on the results of one product liability trial. The tension is considerable throughout, and readers will like the gentle ending, but Grisham's aim here clearly is to educate as he entertains. He can be didactic (" `Nobody earns ten million dollars in six months, Clay,' " a friend warns. " `You might win it, steal it, or have it drop out of the sky, but nobody earns money like that. It's ridiculous and obscene' "), but readers will applaud Grisham's fierce moral stance (while perhaps wondering what sort of advance he got for this book) as they cling to his words every step along the way of this powerful and gripping morality tale.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Rousing . . . Another pedal-to-the-metal crowd-pleaser.”—People
“Offers everything one expects from Grisham . . . delivers with a vengeance.”—The Seattle Times
“Satisfying . . . a lot of fun . . . When you finish it, you’re ready to dash on to the next Grisham.”—Entertainment Weekly
“A thrill ride of twists and turns.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
Grisham is a good read. A simple plot, but the author developed some suspense that kept me reading. The protagonist is a character that is not so simple, he is good or bad and... Read morePublished 11 months ago by MS
This was my very first Grisham novel to actually read all the way through. I really enjoyed it! I was drawn in right from the beginning. Read morePublished on April 13 2007 by LisaM
I'm a fan of John Grisham and I've read almost all his books.
This 'King of Torts' was absolutely crap! Read more
AWESOME...his best book to date!! I read some of the negative reviews here (one about the temperature accuracy in Flagstaff- give me a break! Read morePublished on July 15 2004 by dave c
I thought this was one of Grisham's best. I read "The Brethren" before this book, but didn't become quite as attached to the characters as I did in this book. Read morePublished on July 14 2004 by C. Davidson
If this novel had not captured my interest from the beginning, I would be giving it a one star. The plot was very interesting, the there was a ton of suspense. Read morePublished on July 7 2004 by Andrew
This was an enjoyable book. I liked the humor. My favorite scene was the wedding reception. It's not really a thriller; it's a morality play about selling your soul. Read morePublished on June 15 2004 by A. Cardona