The Appeal by John Grisham
Genre: Legal political thriller
Politics has always been a dirty game.
Now justice is, too.
Now justice is, too.
In a crowded courtroom in Mississippi, a jury returns a shocking verdict against a chemical company accused of dumping toxic waste into a small town’s water supply, causing the worst “cancer cluster” in history. The company appeals to the Mississippi Supreme Court, whose nine justices will one day either approve the verdict or reverse it.
Who are the nine? How will they vote? Can one be replaced before the case is ultimately decided?
The chemical company is owned by a Wall Street predator named Carl Trudeau, and Mr. Trudeau is convinced the Court is not friendly enough. With judicial elections looming, he decides to try to purchase himself a seat on the Court. The cost is a few million dollars, a drop in the bucket for a billionaire like Mr. Trudeau. Through an intricate web of conspiracy and deceit, his political operatives recruit a young, unsuspecting candidate. They finance him, manipulate him, market him, and mold him into a potential Supreme Court justice. Their Supreme Court justice.
First I thought, is this the same Grisham, where are my courtrooms, I thought about that for a while and soon enough I got sucked into this book. Not that much about lawyers but more about justice and the political game, and Grisham knows how to tell a story.
The book starts in a little town, where many now have cancer, or are sick in other ways, if not dead. A case have been built and the big chemical company is trying to prove that they sure didn't have anything to do with the fact that this town is a cancer cluster, and no place in the US even comes near the numbers. The lawyers representing a woman who lost her husband and son, wins, and the company is to pay. Here the real story starts. Carl Trudeau can burn 20 million on a painting but he does not want to pay 41 million to the woman in question. The case is to be taken to the Mississippi supreme court, and what if they could get just the right person there. A conservative, Christian, gun loving, gay hating, trial lawyer disliking, white male.
Soon enough I started to go insane, I was so upset with certain characters and I just wanted to go and yell at them, or play real dirty too. Because politics is a dirty game, and towards the end i could only read a couple of pages before I hate to stop and bite my tongue. It gets really intense, and I only grew more angry.
Justice can be bought easily, and Grisham shows what could happen with the right money. What he is saying is that the juridical system should not have anything to do with justice and he makes the point clear. He also shows how the people can be lead to think a certain way, perhaps they don't think at all that this candidate is the best. But he has the best coverage, most money, and his opponent is getting crushed in lies.
I enjoyed this book a great deal, and I am sure I could have liked it even more if it hadn't been for the end. It sure awakened a lot of emotions in me, mostly anger, but still that is what a good book should manage to do.
There is no action, but it builds up to something intense. Who will win the seat on the Supreme court and what will happen to the people in "cancer county"?
For people who like Grisham this is a book to read, his legal thrillers are always the best. For the rest, if you haven't tried a Grisham then there are many to choose from, and they are very addictive. He has a certain way of writing, something you would think is so boring comes alive with his writing.