Now I am pretty sure everyone who reads has an opinion about Mr. Grisham. His novels were becoming a little too pat, predictable and not quite as exciting as the formidable Firm of many years ago. You have to admit that was a brilliant, nail biting, sleezy and fast paced novel. He kind of churned them out after the third or fourth epic and then came the Street Lawyer which I personally think was a reflection of how Mr. Grisham really felt about the business he had trained in many years before. I like how he writes. It is easy to read and has the lovely good guy and bad guy scenarios. Which brings me to latest and greatest novel, namely ‘The Litigators’.
The lawyers in this book are all pretty horrendous. No really! You have your massive firm of blood suckers and your ambulance chasers too. Where’s the good guy? Then we meet David who works between 80 and 100 hours a week, never sees his wife and is thoroughly miserable. He figures he puts his time in, banks a ton of money and then either becomes a partner or can write his ticket anywhere. But at what cost? Does one die in the meantime just to rack up hours the company can bill for four times his salary? Hmmm. Makes one wonder doesn’t it.
Anyway David cracks one day – I won’t give you the details – and finds himself at the illustrious firm of Finley and Figg. Enter ambulance chaser firm. These characters live from car crash scene to divorce settlement and are described so well you can almost see them. They pretty much make a living doing this stuff but one partner especially dreams of becoming a famous tort lawyer. Basically he figures it will make him rich and successful and they will be lining up at the door. The firm gets a chance filing a massive lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company which is then defended by, you guessed it, David’s old firm. David, on the other hand, is actually struck with a sense of helping others rather than just profiting from them and helps out a very poor Burmese family whose child has become sick as a result of lead poisoning. This is a heart breaking story of a family who is trying to do the best for their kids only to end in disaster.
I hate to give too much detail but I did think the outcome of the two main stories was quite obvious but still very enjoyable to read. As ever the character development is excellent, the bickering partners are hideous and very believable and yet we certainly feel some empathy for David. This is a great holiday read so go for it.