Sunday 3 May 2020


A couple this week from John Grisham.

While I spend a lot of time reading Indie and small press crime fiction, I'm not immune to the pleasure to be taken from reading a heavyweight mainstream author off the best seller lists. I just don't want to read those books all the time.

John Grisham fits that bill. I do enjoy a legal thriller when I actually get around to reading one and it's been many a year since I read one of his. In fact I reckon I have probably seen more film adaptations of his books than I have read them.

The last one I read from him was back in 2011, The Last Juror and I can remember jack about it. Nine years is a long time to be away from something you enjoy.

The Street Lawyer (1998)

Michael was in a hurry. He was scrambling up the ladder at Drake and Sweeney, a giant Washington law firm. He was a rising str, with no time to waste, no time to toss a few coins into the cups of panhandlers, no time for a conscience.

But a violent encounter with a homeless man stopped him cold. Michael survived, his assailant did not. Who was this man? Michael did some digging and found a dirty secret and the secret involved Drake and Sweeney.

The Summons (2002)

Ray Atlee is a professor of law at the university of Virginia who is forty-three and newly single. He has a father, a very sick old man who lives alone in the ancestral home in Clanton, Mississippi; a beloved and powerful official who has towered over local law and politics for many years and is now a recluse.

With the end in sight, Judge Atlee issues a summons to Ray to return home to Clanton, to discuss the details of his estate.

Ray reluctantly heads south. But the meeting does not take place. The Judge dies too soon, and in doing so leaves behind a shocking secret knwon only to Ray.

And perhaps someone else.


  1. Grisham really does write a great legal thriller, Col. And I remember liking The Street Lawyer. You make an interesting point, too, about smaller publishing houses, indie authors, and so on. Sometimes, theirs is the most interesting work.

    1. Margot, maybe less formulaic output from the smaller houses etc. I'm glad that The Street Lawyer has your seal of approval. I'll have to pick that one up first.

  2. I've read several Grishams, I know I enjoyed them but don't remember much about them. I'm sure I could happily read more of them. Bill Selnes likes them I think, and another lawyer's recommendation is always worthwhile!

    1. Agreed. My memory is dim on which ones I may have enjoyed - all pre-blogging days. I kind of feel I disappoint Bill by not reading more legal mysteries!