Sebastian Rudd, attorney at law, hates injustice (and the legal system by proxy). He believes that everyone is entitled to a fair trial regardless of the crimes they are charged with and whether or not they have committed them. He represents clients no other lawyer would want to get anywhere near. He lives on the fringes of society and has made many enemies, but he doesn’t care. He has a precarious relationship with the law (and his ex-wife) and he will stop at nothing to ensure his clients get their day in court.
My debut as a John Grisham reader has come up to an unimpressive 3.5/5 star rating. I enjoyed the book, I can’t say I didn’t. It was well written, it was entertaining, it had the right amount of dry humor and bitter realism. However, based on this novel I don’t understand John Grisham’s phenomenal success.
I think I went into this book with very high expectations due to the author’s popularity and that reflects in the mediocre rating. Because I really did enjoy this book. I devoured it in a couple of days. It was a welcome diversion from the abundance of fantasy and sci-fi I normally read. I really liked Sebastian as a character and I could relate to him. He was flawed, he was an outcast, but he was comfortable with who he was, and he was honest. I truly enjoyed his voice. The writing is skillful as well. Just enough legal jargon to make it believable, but not enough to bore you to death.
It’s major flaw was that it lacked a plot to speak of. It felt more like a series of anecdotes from the life of Sebastian Rudd, lawyer extraordinaire, rather than a unitary novel with a plot. The different parts of the book are loosely linked together, as events in one’s life often are, but it didn’t really feel like there was something in particular that the author wanted to convey. And as a thriller… it wasn’t very thrilling. I was expecting something of the nail-chewing variety, which wasn’t the case.
All in all, it was a good book. It may not be his best work, but I will definitely try some more of Grisham’s novels now that I have read this one and I would readily recommend him to anyone interested in legal thrillers.