The Pelican Brief is a good time filler.
I took four sessions to finish the 420-odd pages, and didn't feel pressed for time - it is a rapid read.
The plot is sort of realistic in that you can imagine someone wanting to bump off a couple of American Supreme Court justices to change the `political' make-up of the Supreme court - but the book does stretch credibility a little with the descriptions and personalities of both the victims and their executioner - it seemed as though Gresham had gone through a check list of `most likely to make a best seller' qualities and selected them for inclusion.
The same too with his heroine, Darby Shaw, who is a least female and intelligent - more intelligent than most of the other characters in the book. However, she never really escapes the cliché of female as victim in need of a good man to support her. Why did she have to be a blond bombshell? Why couldn't she have been short, stumpy even, and ugly? Why does the book have to end in such a `happy ever after' way on a beach?
One answer is the sales figures - and film rights.
All the way through I felt I was getting exactly what I wanted - no surprise other than a needed plot twist, no truly ambiguous character - just good guy and bad guy (and a very obvious - you got it wrong, good guy portrayed as bad).
And some very film-able locations - including Washington, New York and a pre-deluge New Orleans.
It occupied me pleasantly enough, but I ended with a - that's it? and so what? Turned the light off, and slept well.