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A thoroughly enjoyable outing from the master of the legal thriller. Our hero, David Zinc, walks out of his high-pressure career in a huge, high-flying law firm; and walks into the firm of Finley & Figg, ambulance-chasers extraordinaire. Oscar, Wally and their secretary Rochelle (to say nothing of the dog) only just manage to keep their heads above water by pursuing injury cases and divorces, and their tactics are not the most ethical. David is a Harvard graduate and son of a judge but has never actually been inside a courtroom. This mismatched group suddenly finds itself handling a potentially massive lawsuit against a major pharmaceutical giant, being represented by David's former employers.

This book is much more light-hearted than some of Grisham's other novels and has lots of humour. Wally dreams of making it rich with one massive settlement, Oscar dreams of being rich enough to divorce his wife, while David dreams of having enough energy left at the end of the working day to start a family with his lovely (and very understanding) wife, Helen.

Well-written, as Grisham's novels always are, this time we get an insight into the distinctly unglamorous and uncertain life of the lower echelons of legal life and while it might not be much fun for the lawyers, it certainly is for us. Despite their flaws, all three of the lawyers are enjoyable characters that we warm to more and more as the book progresses. My only complaint is that Grisham's books are usually stand-alone, so we probably won't get to meet with them again. All the more reason to enjoy this outing. Highly recommended.
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on 6 April 2012
After the disappointment, as reviewed, of John Grisham's `the Associates', I did tend towards the belief that Mr. Grisham had perhaps lost his writing `edge', a problem not unknown in the creative world.

But my interest and admiration for this craftsman has been rekindled by his latest offering, `The Litigators' because in that novel, Mr, Grisham is back on top form. His dialogue is crisp, and in places extremely funny.

His plotlines were brought from real life, his writing about the small boy, damaged beyond all help by a negligent toy manufacturer is both real and understanding; his characters weren't cardboard cut-outs, but real, imperfect human beings.

I liked the manner of his hero's awakening to the drone-like truth of his existence, and especially the scenes in Abner's bar, with one of the strangest walk-on parts ever crafted being the 93 year-old millionairess who just liked getting sozzled.

A triumphant return to the best-seller listings from this wordsmith and craftsman
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on 15 September 2012
I have only read a few of Grisham's books and they tended to be heavy going at times - I only bought this because it was on offer in a national supermarket chain. It is as if this book was by a different author. It flows surprisingly well and fits together quite naturally.

While there are moments of black humour you can see quite early on what is going to shine through. There is no preaching or long speeches educating the reader in case law or legal process which aids the flow of the story. The characters are quite real and beautifully portrayed a little at a time rather than big chunks up front. I would have liked a bit more detail as the story closes but perhaps it was written this way to set up a sequel and if so then I look forward to it.

Essentially this is the story of someone who in a moment of apparent insanity walks away from their high paid job and I suspect there are a few of us who would love to be able to do likewise.

I'm not sure what I am going to read next as this will be hard to follow and I rarely feel like that after finishing a book.
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on 5 February 2013
I love John Grisham, he's usually such a polished writer with stories that flow so well and keep you reading. This one turned out to be a chore to read and I kept having the feeling that the author must have been bored writing it or that someone else had ghost written it. The self-seeking and corruption that constituted the main theme made grim reading and there wasnt a single character that I liked or felt myself rooting for. Wouldnt recommend it - read one of his others instead, they are a different class.
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on 9 November 2011
The basic story is hopelessly improbable. A stressed-out Harvard Law School corporate law associate at a major firm gets drunk, literally falls into a two-partner, no associates, no - ethics litigation firm and goes to work for them merrily signing pleadings, bank guarantees and promises of huge damages to contingency fees clients. BUT it is a hugely enjoyable story which had me laughing out loud at times. I was absolutely gripped, desperate to know what would happen next, read it through mealtimes, cut the dog's walk short and was half-surprised by the ending. It is a great fun read.
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VINE VOICEon 13 November 2011
A short review: I paid £7 for this and have just read it through in just less than 7 hours. All the main characters are portrayed as decent people especially Mr and Mrs Zinc. As someone else said the ending is easy to guess from about a third of the way in but that does not stop this being a cracking story. If your favourite film is (like me) "A Wonderful Life" I think that there is every chance you'll enjoy reading this. Not a five star effort but well worth four I think !
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 October 2011
Oscar Finley an ex cop, and Wally Figg a recovering alcoholic run a law firm in Chicago with the help of their assistant Rochelle. Their speciality, ambulance chasing, hustling injury cases and any other scam they can find proves to be not too profitable, this small company who call themselves a "boutique firm" are always looking for their big break. Along comes David Zinc, a Harvard graduate who has been working for a lucrative law firm, very high salary with too much pressure. No longer able to cope David decides on a whim to leave, after spending a drunken day in a bar reassessing his life he finds himself walking into a new job working for the incorrigible Finley and Figg. The story unfolds as the opportunity arises for these three dynamic men to take on a large pharmaceutical company who appear to be selling a lethal drug. A thoroughly interesting, well written and enjoyable read.
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on 23 September 2012
David Zinc, a young lawyer slaving away at the huge firm Rogan Rothberg, balks at going to work one day. His rebellion is so severe that he bolts like a madman and winds up at a bar, where he spends the day. Next thing, drunk as a skunk, he stumbles into Finley & Figg, a law firm the partners laughably call a "boutique" firm. Finley and Figg chase ambulances, handle divorces draw up wills for pitiably small estates, and have yet to land a lucrative account. David signs on with them and learns the ropes of their seedy practice. Figg's dream ship coming in is a mass tort lawsuit he brings against the pharmaceutical company Varrick. None of the three partners has even been in a federal courtroom, and how they manage is a lesson to readers about how mass torts are handled. Finley, Figg, and Zinc also learn, to their dismay. The last 50 pages are pure fun to read, as Zinc pulls away and strikes out for himself.
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on 1 August 2012
As a keen fan of Grisham's books let me start off straight away by saying that this is not a par with the "The Rainmaker" or "The Firm". What you get here is an enjoyable story which takes you to two extremes of the law profession in the US to the other.

David Zinc is a typical US lawyer working for a large law firm. A large income along with long hours looks to be David's future until one day when he cannot face the daily grind any longer and he escapes into a bar near to where he works. As he spends the day drinking and vowing never to return to the drudgery of his working life things take an unexpected turn of events the outcome of which leads him to start a new life with the law firm Finley & Figg. This firm run by two older experienced street lawyers is light years away from what David is used to...

There are numerous other reviews of this book which outline the details of the story if you wish to know more about the plot. Suffice it to say that this is a good enough story to make it worthwhile to read and one that I enjoyed. His last book "The Confession" I failed to finish so I approached this book with some trepidation and came away satisfied.

In my opinion Grisham's books have declined in recent years and where once if I saw a Grisham book it was purchased and devoured, recently however I have wondered if it would be worthwhile getting. This story has renewed my confidence in his books and I will continue to be a loyal fan of his.
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on 14 September 2012
Sometimes a book comes along that that makes you sit up and say, `This is the greatest book the world has ever seen.' This is not that book. But it is very good. I would say perhaps the eleventh or twelfth best book ever written. What is particularly amazing is Grisham's deft use of special literary techniques like obliteration, where all the words have the same letters. There were only a few I had to look up in the dictionary.

There are a number of plot holes in the book, one of which I fell down and only managed to climb out after a day and a half. But these are more than made up for by the sheer combustible volatility of the action sequences. Particular highlights for me where the chase through Mr Jingle's allotment, the siege of the abandoned warehouse, and the bit where everyone tripped over all at once but it was apparently only a coincidence.

I have to say, the twist near the end was as unexpected as a frog in a dinner jacket. I was reading this book while drinking a cup of tea and when I learned the true identity of the apprentice mechanic's sister's boyfriend's history teacher I nearly spat my tea all over the head of the chap who was cleaning my shoes. I felt like I had been shot in the face. Luckily this was NOT the case.

I would recommend The Alligators to anyone who wants a quick read on the plane.
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