Top critical review
I wasn't particularly impressed
on 5 July 2011
I'm afraid to say I wasn't particularly impressed by this Grisham. Clay Carter is a run-of-the-mill public defender in Washington when he's offered an unbelievable opportunity, to take a mass tort case worth millions. Sadly, Clay comes across as a bit of a gullible money-grabbing idiot, and there's little there for the reader to identify with.
The set-up is a good one, and the book starts really well, introducing the characters and their relationships and kicking off the plot in good time. However it's all a bit downhill from there - it skips through a lot very quickly, and in fact the whole book covers 18 months while it feels like only a week or two should have passed.
The plot is not really at all as billed. The first few chapters cover this but it's only the set-up for what's to come, and particularly the second half of the book becomes quite depressing, and although you feel that the right thing is happening in a moral sense, it's disappointing after the effort that the first half went to build Carter up.
Overall, I feel this is one of the weakest Grisham books. I was unsure of the situation from the start, and found it failed to engage. His plots seem to have gone downhill quite a bit since the days of 'A Time To Kill' and 'The Firm', and I hope they pick up again.