John Grisham has a new hero . . . and she’s full of surprises
The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer’s career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track—until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the “lucky” associates. She’s offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she’d get her old job back.
In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about. Mattie Wyatt, lifelong Brady resident and head of the town’s legal aid clinic, is there to teach her how to “help real people with real problems.” For the first time in her career, Samantha prepares a lawsuit, sees the inside of an actual courtroom, gets scolded by a judge, and receives threats from locals who aren’t so thrilled to have a big-city lawyer in town. And she learns that Brady, like most small towns, harbors some big secrets.
Her new job takes Samantha into the murky and dangerous world of coal mining, where laws are often broken, rules are ignored, regulations are flouted, communities are divided, and the land itself is under attack from Big Coal. Violence is always just around the corner, and within weeks Samantha finds herself engulfed in litigation that turns deadly.
John Ray Grisham, Jr. was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas on February 8, 1955. Grisham graduated from Mississippi State University and later from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981. He was a practicing criminal attorney for over ten years and then served in the House of Representatives from 1984 to 1990. He published his first novel in 1989 after working on it for five years. ‘A Time to Kill’, his first novel, launched his new career and was later made into a major motion picture. His first bestseller, ‘The Firm’, released in 1991, sold over seven million copies and was made into a box office hit starring Tom Cruise two years later. Almost twenty years later in 2012, a TV series was launched and picks up the life of Mitch McDeere and his family ten years after the events of the novel.
John Grisham has had his novels translated into more than forty languages and has sold nearly 300 million copies worldwide. He is a winner of the prestigious Galaxy British Book Award and is one of only three authors (the other two being Tom Clancy and J.K. Rowling) to ever sell two million copies of a first published novel. Nine of his novels (including ‘The Firm and ‘A Time to Kill’ have been made into major motion pictures.