The Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham

This is the story of a street lawyer, Sebastian Rudd.  

The book is written such that each case in which Rudd is involved is laid out almost as a short-story.  

From early in the book, Grisham paints a picture of the sort of man Rudd is.  He’s ruthless, fearless and more than a little cavalier. 

He zealously defends the innocent, when there is no chance of an outcome in his favour.  He single-handedly goes after prosecutors and police officers for poorly planned raids on homes in which blameless civilians are killed and injured.  He sits with Death Row clients in the hours before their execution.

We also get glimpses into Rudd’s private life; ongoing custody battles with his ex-wife, his involvement in an underworld of gangsters, illegal gambling and cage fighting.

I’ve heard it said that ‘nobody grips like Grisham’. 

Having been a fan of Grisham for the best part of fifteen years, I wouldn’t normally argue this point. Indeed, The Rogue Lawyer certainly treats the reader as a passenger on the rollercoaster that is Sebastian Rudd’s life. 

There is definitely an underlying sense of suspense, of something big about to happen. 

However, two thirds in, we still know very little of the main story spoken of in the book’s synopsis and I can’t help but feel a little disappointed at the seemingly slow pace. That said, with part of the book still to read, there is time yet for that twist in the tail that makes reading any thriller worthwhile!


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