The Appeal, by John Grisham

A plucky husband-and-wife legal team win the case they've brought against a massive company who are found responsible for dumping toxic chemicals and causing death and illness in a small country town - their client is awarded a multi-million dollar settlement, and it's anticipated that many more suits will follow. But the company concerned lodges an appeal, and will go to any lengths to ensure that the appeal court rules in their favour.

Unfortunately, this was definitely not one of the good Grisham books. The plot is a re-hash of other stories - like The Runaway Jury there's a nasty company in the dock, who make use of a clandestine but well-financed team to corrupt the legal process; like The Pelican Brief there's tension based on the balance of power and personality in an appeal court.

But it felt by-the-numbers and lacked any real tension. The copy I had was from the charity shop and it had a half-torn off sticker which said "His First Legal Thriller...". So although book has a copyright date of 2008, I thought perhaps this was a very early work which had only recently been published. In fact, from looking on Wikipedia, I guess the torn off bit of the sticker probably continued "for three years" or something, but there was nothing in the book which made me think it couldn't have been a very early attempt by a writer looking for a form.

Straight back to the charity shop with this one; not recommended.

Completed : 25-Sep-2009

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