Book Title: Rogue Lawyer
Author: John Grisham
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton 2016
Source: Home Collection
Page Count: 371
Audience: Those who enjoy episodic style books, with plenty of variety
Summed up in one word:
First Impression: Regular readers will know that I am a Grishamite, I do enjoy the Grish and book number 29 (excluding his YA stuff) is true to form, it does not break new ground but it is fresh enough to keep me entertained.
Summary of the Book:
Sebastian Rudd takes the 'against the odds' cases, no one else wants them but Rudd is a dab hand at getting people out of a tight squeeze. Starting as public defender and working his way to running around as a lone gun-slinger, Rudd likes a challenge and he likes to see the innocent go free.
In Rogue Lawyer we follow Rudd in his every day life, in an episodic fashion. First we see Rudd trying to get Gardy Baker of a murder charge, Gardy fits a type that his town disagree with and they already believe he is guilty. There are death threats, police brutality and angry members of the community, but Rudd knows he is innocent, but how to prove it. Next we meet Link Scallon, an old gangster who was put on death row for ordering the death of a judge. This is Link's last night alive, he wants to go out with a bang. Following on after this is the story of a S.W.A.T team who want to play the heroes and end up killing a helpless women and ruining the life of a innocent man.
Rogue lawyer is full of Sebastian Rudd's stories, his achievements, his failures and everything in between. Rudd's ex-wife is out for blood, his son is caught in the middle. Rudd's prized MMA fighter acts out in rage and costs himself his career. These events are just another day in Rudd's non-stop crazy life. Things go out of control when he meets Arch Swanger. Swanger tells him things he doesn't want to hear and he tries to ignore him, but when his son goes missing he needs to set things straight.
Come spend a few days in Sebastian Rudd's shoes, it is a wild ride.
To be able to write fresh and exciting fiction after 29+ books is a great talent, I wouldn't be surprised if Grisham finishes his career with Rogue Lawyer, it would definitely be leaving on a high note.
Instead of the traditional format of one big story with plenty of characters each with their own part to the proceedings we get the opposite with Rogue Lawyer. In this book there is one main element, Sebastian Rudd. The 'episodes' we get here are all concerning Rudd and every element of his hectic lifestyle. I enjoyed them all to be honest, I did find some of them rather far fetched but that doesn't mean that they couldn't happen in real life, they do all the time. Each part to Rudd's story is unique, with some adding to the overall story and others set in their own section. The best part for me in terms of the story was the case of Doug Renfro, completely enthralling, heart-breaking and eventually satisfying.
If these episodes are half the fun, the other half is Sebastian Rudd. To be the star of the show this character need to have depth and be interesting, captivating and entertaining. For the most part we get all three here. With Grisham keeping the story rolling over, bringing new parts in and shuffling about the continuous story-lines things don't get stale but barely. At times I found the ex-wife sections avoidable and the Tadeo sections were minutely frustrating but apart from this I was pulled in to Rudd's world and I enjoyed to watch him work. Rudd himself is a straight shooter, he does not sugar coat things and always fights his best fight. Along with Partner who is his partner....he manages his cases, avoids the people out to get him...barely and gets the job done.
I wouldn't change much to this story, I appreciated the format, the main character was solid and the cases that Rudd gets involved in are varied and exciting enough to get me all the way to the end with a grin on my face. I was left a little disorientated at the end as there is no definitive ending, as it is Rudd's life that we follow we as the reader just sort of step out of his life as it is still in top gear.
Grisham is not breaking any boundaries here, he is constantly refining his game and there is plenty here to be enjoyed, I have read 20 of his books and I am still finding little surprises that keep me coming back. A thrilling, fun and fast paced episodic piece of Law-Fiction!
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