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.
The Appeal is a powerful, timely, and shocking story of political and legal intrigue, a story that will leave listeners unable to think about our electoral process or judicial system in quite the same way ever again.
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.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel...but was definitely caught off guard by the ending. Not my favorite Grisham book, but still a good read.