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The Appeal

De (autor)
Notă GoodReads:
en Limba Engleză Paperback – November 2008

Politics has always been a dirty game. 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.

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Specificații

ISBN-13: 9780440243816
ISBN-10: 0440243815
Pagini: 484
Dimensiuni: 108 x 173 x 33 mm
Greutate: 0.24 kg
Editura: Random House
Colecția Dell

Notă biografică

SincefirstpublishingATimetoKillin1988,Grishamhaswrittenonenovelayear(hisotherbooksareTheFirm,ThePelicanBrief,TheClient,TheChamber,TheRainmaker,TheRunawayJury,ThePartner,TheStreetLawyer,TheTestament,TheBrethren,APaintedHouse,SkippingChristmas,TheSummons,TheKingofTorts,Bleachers,TheLastJuror,andTheBroker)andallofthemhavebecomeinternationalbestsellers.TheInnocentMan(October2006)markshisfirstforayintonon-fiction.

GrishamliveswithhiswifeReneeandtheirtwochildrenTyandShea.ThefamilysplitstheirtimebetweentheirVictorianhomeonafarminMississippiandaplantationnearCharlottesville,VA.


Extras

ChapterOne


Thejurywasready.

Afterforty–twohoursofdeliberationsthatfollowedseventy–onedaysoftrialthatincluded530hoursoftestimonyfromfourdozenwitnesses,andafteralifetimeofsittingsilentlyasthelawyershaggledandthejudgelecturedandthespectatorswatchedlikehawksfortelltalesigns,thejurywasready.Lockedawayinthejuryroom,secludedandsecure,tenofthemproudlysignedtheirnamestotheverdictwhiletheothertwopoutedintheircorners,detachedandmiserableintheirdissension.Therewerehugsandsmilesandnosmallmeasureofself-congratulationbecausetheyhadsurvivedthislittlewarandcouldnowmarchproudlybackintothearenawithadecisiontheyhadrescuedthroughsheerdeterminationandthedoggedpursuitofcompromise.Theirordealwasover;theircivicdutycomplete.Theyhadservedaboveandbeyond.Theywereready.

TheforemanknockedonthedoorandrustledUncleJoefromhisslumbers.UncleJoe,theancientbailiff,hadguardedthemwhilehealsoarrangedtheirmeals,heardtheircomplaints,andquietlyslippedtheirmessagestothejudge.Inhisyoungeryears,backwhenhishearingwasbetter,UncleJoewasrumoredtoalsoeavesdroponhisjuriesthroughaflimsypinedoorheandhealonehadselectedandinstalled.Buthislisteningdayswereover,and,ashehadconfidedtonoonebuthiswife,aftertheordealofthisparticulartrialhemightjusthanguphisoldpistolonceandforall.Thestrainofcontrollingjusticewaswearinghimdown.

Hesmiledandsaid,“That’sgreat.I’llgetthejudge,”asifthejudgeweresomewhereinthebowelsofthecourthousejustwaitingforacallfromUncleJoe.Instead,bycustom,hefoundaclerkandpassedalongthewonderfulnews.Itwastrulyexciting.Theoldcourthousehadneverseenatrialsolargeandsolong.Toenditwithnodecisionatallwouldhavebeenashame.

Theclerktappedlightlyonthejudge’sdoor,thentookastepinsideandproudlyannounced,“Wehaveaverdict,”asifshehadpersonallylaboredthroughthenegotiationsandnowwaspresentingtheresultasagift.

Thejudgeclosedhiseyesandletlooseadeep,satisfyingsigh.Hesmiledahappy,nervoussmileofenormousrelief,almostdisbelief,andfinallysaid,“Roundupthelawyers.”

Afteralmostfivedaysofdeliberations,JudgeHarrisonhadresignedhimselftothelikelihoodofahungjury,hisworstnightmare.Afterfouryearsofbare–knucklelitigationandfourmonthsofahotlycontestedtrial,theprospectofadrawmadehimill.Hecouldn’tbegintoimaginetheprospectofdoingitallagain.

Hestuckhisfeetintohisoldpennyloafers,jumpedfromthechairgrinninglikealittleboy,andreachedforhisrobe.Itwasfinallyover,thelongesttrialofhisextremelycolorfulcareer.

Theclerk’sfirstcallwenttothefirmofPayton&Payton,alocalhusband–and–wifeteamnowoperatingoutofanabandoneddimestoreinalesserpartoftown.Aparalegalpickedupthephone,listenedforafewseconds,hungup,thenshouted,“Thejuryhasaverdict!”Hisvoiceechoedthroughthecavernousmazeofsmall,temporaryworkroomsandjoltedhiscolleagues.

HeshouteditagainasherantoThePit,wheretherestofthefirmwasfranticallygathering.WesPaytonwasalreadythere,andwhenhiswife,MaryGrace,rushedin,theireyesmetinasplitsecondofunbridledfearandbewilderment.Twoparalegals,twosecretaries,andabookkeepergatheredatthelong,clutteredworktable,wheretheysuddenlyfrozeandgawkedatoneanother,allwaitingforsomeoneelsetospeak.

Coulditreallybeover?Aftertheyhadwaitedforaneternity,coulditendsosuddenly?Soabruptly?Withjustaphonecall?

“Howaboutamomentofsilentprayer,”Wessaid,andtheyheldhandsinatightcircleandprayedastheyhadneverprayedbefore.AllmannerofpetitionswerelifteduptoGodAlmighty,butthecommonpleawasforvictory.Please,dearLord,afterallthistimeandeffortandmoneyandfearanddoubt,please,ohplease,grantusadivinevictory.Anddeliverusfromhumiliation,ruin,bankruptcy,andahostofotherevilsthatabadverdictwillbring.

Theclerk’ssecondcallwastothecellphoneofJaredKurtin,thearchitectofthedefense.Mr.KurtinwasloungingpeacefullyonarentedleathersofainhistemporaryofficeonFrontStreetindowntownHattiesburg,threeblocksfromthecourthouse.Hewasreadingabiographyandwatchingthehourspassat$750per.Helistenedcalmly,slappedthephoneshut,andsaid,“Let’sgo.Thejuryisready.”Hisdark–suitedsoldierssnappedtoattentionandlineduptoescorthimdownthestreetinthedirectionofanothercrushingvictory.Theymarchedawaywithoutcomment,withoutprayer.

Othercallswenttootherlawyers,thentothereporters,andwithinminutesthewordwasonthestreetandspreadingrapidly.


SomewherenearthetopofatallbuildinginlowerManhattan,apanic-strickenyoungmanbargedintoaseriousmeetingandwhisperedtheurgentnewstoMr.CarlTrudeau,whoimmediatelylostinterestintheissuesonthetable,stoodabruptly,andsaid,“Lookslikethejuryhasreachedaverdict.”Hemarchedoutoftheroomanddownthehalltoavastcornersuite,whereheremovedhisjacket,loosenedhistie,walkedtoawindow,andgazedthroughtheearlydarknessattheHudsonRiverinthedistance.Hewaited,andasusualaskedhimselfhow,exactly,somuchofhisempirecouldrestuponthecombinedwisdomoftwelveaveragepeopleinbackwaterMississippi.

Foramanwhoknewsomuch,thatanswerwasstillelusive.


PeoplewerehurryingintothecourthousefromalldirectionswhenthePaytonsparkedonthestreetbehindit.Theystayedinthecarforamoment,stillholdinghands.Forfourmonthstheyhadtriednottotoucheachotheranywherenearthecourthouse.Someonewasalwayswatching.Maybeajurororareporter.Itwasimportanttobeasprofessionalaspossible.Thenoveltyofamarriedlegalteamsurprisedpeople,andthe
Paytonstriedtotreateachotherasattorneysandnotasspouses.

And,duringthetrial,therehadbeenpreciouslittletouchingawayfromthecourthouseoranywhereelse.

“Whatareyouthinking?”Wesaskedwithoutlookingathiswife.Hisheartwasracingandhisforeheadwaswet.Hestillgrippedthewheelwithhislefthand,andhekepttellinghimselftorelax.

Relax.Whatajoke.

“Ihaveneverbeensoafraid,”MaryGracesaid.

“NeitherhaveI.”

Alongpauseastheybreatheddeeplyandwatchedatelevisionvanalmostslaughterapedestrian.

“Canwesurvivealoss?”shesaid.“That’sthequestion.”

“Wehavetosurvive;wehavenochoice.Butwe’renotgoingtolose.”

“Attaboy.Let’sgo.”

Theyjoinedtherestoftheirlittlefirmandenteredthecourthousetogether.Waitinginherusualspotonthefirstfloorbythesoftdrinkmachineswastheirclient,theplaintiff,JeannetteBaker,andwhenshesawherlawyers,sheimmediatelybegantocry.Westookonearm,MaryGracetheother,andtheyescortedJeannetteupthestairstothemaincourtroomonthesecondfloor.Theycould’vecarriedher.Sheweighedlessthanahundredpoundsandhadagedfiveyearsduringthetrial.Shewasdepressed,attimesdelusional,andthoughnotanorexic,shesimplydidn’teat.Atthirty–four,shehadalreadyburiedachildandahusbandandwasnowattheendofahorribletrialshesecretlywishedshehadneverpursued.

Thecourtroomwasinastateofhighalert,asifbombswerecomingandthesirenswerewailing.Dozensofpeoplemilledabout,orlookedforseats,orchattednervouslywiththeireyesdartingaround.WhenJaredKurtinandthedefensearmyenteredfromasidedoor,everyonegawkedasifhemightknowsomethingtheydidn’t.Dayafterdayforthepastfourmonthshehadproventhathecouldseearoundcorners,butatthatmomenthisfacerevealednothing.Hehuddledgravelywithhissubordinates.

Acrosstheroom,justafewfeetaway,thePaytonsandJeannettesettledintotheirchairsattheplaintiff’stable.Samechairs,samepositions,samedeliberatestrategytoimpressuponthejurorsthatthispoorwidowandhertwolonelylawyersweretakingonagiantcorporationwithunlimitedresources.WesPaytonglancedatJaredKurtin,theireyesmet,andeachofferedapolitenod.Themiracleofthetrialwasthatthetwomenwerestillabletotreateachotherwithamodestdoseofcivility,evenconversewhenabsolutelynecessary.Ithadbecomeamatterofpride.Regardlessofhownastythesituation,andtherehadbeensomanynastyones,eachwasdeterminedtoriseabovethegutterandofferahand.

MaryGracedidnotlookover,andifshehad,shewouldnothavenoddedorsmiled.Anditwasagoodthingthatshedidnotcarryahandguninherpurse,orhalfofthedarksuitsontheothersidewouldn’tbethere.Shearrangedacleanlegalpadonthetablebeforeher,wrotethedate,thenhername,thencouldnotthinkofanythingelsetologin.Inseventy–onedaysoftrialshehadfilledsixty–sixlegalpads,allthesamesizeandcolorandnowfiledinperfectorderinasecondhandmetalcabinetinThePit.ShehandedatissuetoJeannette.Thoughshecountedvirtuallyeverything,MaryGracehadnotkeptarunningtallyonthenumberoftissueboxesJeannettehadusedduringthetrial.Severaldozenatleast.

Thewomancriedalmostnonstop,andwhileMaryGracewasprofoundlysympathetic,shewasalsotiredofallthedamnedcrying.Shewastiredofeverything—theexhaustion,thestress,thesleeplessnights,thescrutiny,thetimeawayfromherchildren,theirrun–downapartment,themountainofunpaidbills,theneglectedclients,thecoldChinesefoodatmidnight,thechallengeofdoingherfaceandhaireverymorningsoshecouldbesomewhatattractiveinfrontofthejury.Itwasexpectedofher.

Steppingintoamajortrialislikeplungingwithaweightedbeltintoadarkandweedypond.Youmanagetoscrambleupforair,buttherestoftheworlddoesn’tmatter.Andyoualwaysthinkyou’redrowning.

AfewrowsbehindthePaytons,attheendofabenchthatwasquicklybecomingcrowded,thePaytons’bankerchewedhisnailswhiletryingtoappearcalm.HisnamewasTomHuff,orHuffytoeveryonewhoknewhim.Huffyhaddroppedinfromtimetotimetowatchthetrialandofferasilentprayerofhisown.ThePaytonsowedHuffy’sbank$400,000,andtheonlycollateralwasatractoffarmlandinCaryCountyownedbyMaryGrace’sfather.Onagooddayitmightfetch$100,000,leaving,obviously,asubstantialchunkofunsecureddebt.IfthePaytonslostthecase,thenHuffy’soncepromisingcareerasabankerwouldbeover.Thebankpresidenthadlongsincestoppedyellingathim.Nowallthethreatswerebye-mail.

Whathadbeguninnocentlyenoughwithasimple$90,000secondmortgageloanagainsttheirlovelysuburbanhomehadprogressedintoagapinghellholeofredinkandfoolishspending.FoolishatleastinHuffy’sopinion.Butthenicehomewasgone,aswasthenicedowntownoffice,andtheimportedcars,andeverythingelse.ThePaytonswereriskingitall,andHuffyhadtoadmirethem.Abigverdict,andhewasagenius.Thewrongverdict,andhe’dstandinlinebehindthematthebankruptcycourt.

Themoneymenontheothersideofthecourtroomwerenotchewingtheirnailsandwerenotparticularlyworriedaboutbankruptcy,thoughithadbeendiscussed.KraneChemicalhadplentyofcashandprofitsandassets,butitalsohadhundredsofpotentialplaintiffswaitinglikevulturestohearwhattheworldwasabouttohear.Acrazyverdict,andthelawsuitswouldfly.

Buttheywereaconfidentbunchatthatmoment.JaredKurtinwasthebestdefenselawyermoneycouldbuy.Thecompany’sstockhaddippedonlyslightly.Mr.Trudeau,upinNewYork,seemedtobesatisfied.

Theycouldn’twaittogethome.

ThankGodthemarketshadclosedfortheday.

UncleJoeyelled,“Keepyourseats,”andJudgeHarrisonenteredthroughthedoorbehindhisbench.Hehadlongsincecutoutthesillyroutineofrequiringeveryonetostandjustsohecouldassumehisthrone.

“Goodafternoon,”hesaidquickly.Itwasalmost5:00p.m.“Ihavebeeninformedbythejurythataverdicthasbeenreached.”Hewaslookingaround,makingsuretheplayerswerepresent.“Iexpectdecorumatalltimes.Nooutbursts.NooneleavesuntilIdismissthejury.Anyquestions?Anyadditionalfrivolousmotionsfromthedefense?”

JaredKurtinneverflinched.Hedidnotacknowledgethejudgeinanyway,butjustkeptdoodlingonhislegalpadasifhewerepaintingamasterpiece.IfKraneChemicallost,itwouldappealwithavengeance,andthecornerstoneofitsappealwouldbetheobviousbiasoftheHonorableThomasAlsobrookHarrisonIV,aformertriallawyerwithaprovendislikeforallbigcorporationsingeneraland,now,KraneChemical
inparticular.

“Mr.Bailiff,bringinthejury.”

Thedoornexttothejuryboxopened,andsomewhereagiantunseenvacuumsuckedeveryounceofairfromthecourtroom.Heartsfroze.Bodiesstiffened.Eyesfoundobjectstofixateon.Theonlysoundwasthatofthejurors’feetshufflingacrosswell–worncarpet.

JaredKurtincontinuedhismethodicalscribbling.Hisroutinewastoneverlookatthefacesofthejurorswhentheyreturnedwithaverdict.Afterahundredtrialsheknewtheywereimpossibletoread.Andwhybother?Theirdecisionwouldbeannouncedinamatterofsecondsanyway.Histeamhadstrictinstructionstoignorethejurorsandshownoreactionwhatsoevertotheverdict.

OfcourseJaredKurtinwasn’tfacingfinancialandprofessionalruin.WesPaytoncertainlywas,andhecouldnotkeephiseyesfromtheeyesofthejurorsastheysettledintotheirseats.Thedairyoperatorlookedaway,abadsign.TheschoolteacherstaredrightthroughWes,anotherbadsign.Astheforemanhandedanenvelopetotheclerk,theminister’swifeglancedatWeswithalookofpity,butthenshehadbeenofferingthesamesadfacesincetheopeningstatements.

MaryGracecaughtthesign,andshewasn’tevenlookingforit.AsshehandedanothertissuetoJeannetteBaker,whowaspracticallysobbingnow,MaryGracestolealookatjurornumbersix,theoneclosesttoher,Dr.LeonaRocha,aretiredEnglishprofessorattheuniversity.Dr.Rocha,behindred-framedreadingglasses,gavethequickest,prettiest,mostsensationalwinkMaryGracewouldeverreceive.

“Haveyoureachedaverdict?”JudgeHarrisonwasasking.

“Yes,YourHonor,wehave,”theforemansaid.

“Isitunanimous?”

“No,sir,itisnot.”

“Doatleastnineofyouagreeontheverdict?”

“Yes,sir.Thevoteis10to2.”

“That’sallthatmatters.”

MaryGracescribbledanoteaboutthewink,butinthefuryofthemomentshecouldnotreadherownhandwriting.Trytoappearcalm,shekepttellingherself.

JudgeHarrisontooktheenvelopefromtheclerk,removedasheetofpaper,andbeganreviewingtheverdict—heavywrinklesburrowingintohisforehead,eyesfrowningashepinchedthebridgeofhisnose.Afteraneternityhesaid,“Itappearstobeinorder.”Notonesingletwitchorgrinorwideningoftheeyes,nothingtoindicatewhatwaswrittenonthesheetofpaper.

Helookeddownandnoddedathiscourtreporterandclearedhisthroat,thoroughlyrelishingthemoment.Thenthewrinklessoftenedaroundhiseyes,thejawmusclesloosened,theshoulderssaggedabit,and,toWesanyway,therewassuddenlyhopethatthejuryhadscorchedthedefendant.

Inaslow,loudvoice,JudgeHarrisonread:“Questionnumberone:‘Doyoufind,byapreponderanceoftheevidence,thatthegroundwateratissuewascontaminatedbyKraneChemicalCorporation?’”Afteratreacherouspausethatlastednomorethanfiveseconds,hecontinued,“Theansweris‘Yes.’”

Onesideofthecourtroommanagedtobreathewhiletheothersidebegantoturnblue.

“Questionnumbertwo:‘Doyoufind,byapreponderanceoftheevidence,thatthecontaminationwastheproximatecauseofthedeathordeathsof(a)ChadBakerand/or(b)PeteBaker?’Answer:‘Yes,forboth.’”

MaryGracemanagedtoplucktissuesfromaboxandhandthemoverwithherlefthandwhilewritingfuriouslywithherright.Wesmanagedtostealaglanceatjurornumberfour,whohappenedtobeglancingathimwithahumorousgrinthatseemedtosay,“Nowforthegoodpart.”

“Questionnumberthree:‘ForChadBaker,whatamountofmoneydoyouawardtohismother,JeannetteBaker,asdamagesforhiswrongfuldeath?’Answer:‘Fivehundredthousanddollars.’”

Deadchildrenaren’tworthmuch,becausetheyearnnothing,butChad’simpressiveawardranglikeanalarmbecauseitgaveaquickpreviewofwhatwastocome.WesstaredattheclockabovethejudgeandthankedGodthatbankruptcyhadbeenaverted.

“Questionnumberfour:‘ForPeteBaker,whatamountofmoneydoyouawardtohiswidow,JeannetteBaker,asdamagesforhiswrongfuldeath?’Answer:‘Twoandahalfmilliondollars.’”

TherewasarustlefromthemoneyboysinthefrontrowbehindJaredKurtin.Kranecouldcertainlyhandlea$3millionhit,butitwastherippleeffectthatsuddenlyterrifiedthem.Forhispart,Mr.Kurtinhadyettoflinch.

Notyet.

JeannetteBakerbegantoslideoutofherchair.Shewascaughtbybothofherlawyers,whopulledherup,wrappedarmsaroundherfrailshoulders,andwhisperedtoher.Shewassobbing,outofcontrol.

Thereweresixquestionsonthelistthatthelawyershadhammeredout,andifthejuryansweredyestonumberfive,thenthewholeworldwouldgocrazy.JudgeHarrisonwasatthatpoint,readingitslowly,clearinghisthroat,studyingtheanswer.Thenherevealedhismeanstreak.Hedidsowithasmile.Heglancedupafewinches,justabovethesheetofpaperhewasholding,justoverthecheapreadingglassesperchedonhisnose,andhelookeddirectlyatWesPayton.Thegrinwastight,conspiratorial,yetfilledwithgleefulsatisfaction.

“Questionnumberfive:‘Doyoufind,byapreponderanceoftheevidence,thattheactionsofKraneChemicalCorporationwereeitherintentionalorsogrosslynegligentastojustifytheimpositionofpunitivedamages?’Answer:‘Yes.’”

MaryGracestoppedwritingandlookedoverthebobbingheadofherclienttoherhusband,whosegazewasfrozenuponher.Theyhadwon,andthatalonewasanexhilarating,almostindescribablerushofeuphoria.Buthowlargewastheirvictory?Atthatcrucialsplitsecond,bothknewitwasindeedalandslide.

“Questionnumbersix:‘Whatistheamountofpunitivedamages?’Answer:‘Thirty-eightmilliondollars.’”

Thereweregaspsandcoughsandsoftwhistlesastheshockwavesrattledaroundthecourtroom.JaredKurtinandhisgangwerebusywritingeverythingdownandtryingtoappearunfazedbythebombblast.ThehonchosfromKraneinthefrontrowweretryingtorecoverandbreathenormally.Mostglaredatthejurorsandthoughtvilethoughtsthatranalongthelinesofignorantpeople,backwaterstupidity,andsoon.

Mr.andMrs.Paytonwereagainbothreachingfortheirclient,whowasovercomebythesheerweightoftheverdictandtryingpitifullytositup.WeswhisperedreassurancestoJeannettewhilerepeatingtohimselfthenumbershehadjustheard.Somehow,hemanagedtokeephisfaceseriousandavoidagoofysmile.

Huffythebankerstoppedcrunchinghisnails.Inlessthanthirtysecondshehadgonefromadisgraced,bankruptformerbankvicepresidenttoarisingstarwithdesignsonabiggersalaryandoffice.Heevenfeltsmarter.Oh,whatamarvelousentranceintothebank’sboardroomhewouldchoreographfirstthinginthemorning.Thejudgewasgoingonaboutformalitiesandthankingthejurors,butHuffydidn’tcare.Hehadheardallheneededtohear.

ThejurorsstoodandfiledoutasUncleJoeheldthedoorandnoddedwithapproval.Hewouldlatertellhiswifethathehadpredictedsuchaverdict,thoughshehadnomemoryofit.Heclaimedhehadn’tmissedaverdictinthemanydecadeshehadworkedasabailiff.Whenthejurorsweregone,JaredKurtinstoodand,withperfectcomposure,rattledofftheusualpost-verdictinquiries,whichJudgeHarrisontookwithgreatcompassionnowthatthebloodwasonthefloor.MaryGracehadnoresponse.MaryGracedidn’tcare.Shehadwhatshewanted.

Weswasthinkingaboutthe$41millionandfightinghisemotions.Thefirmwouldsurvive,aswouldtheirmarriage,theirreputations,everything.

WhenJudgeHarrisonfinallyannounced,“Weareadjourned,”amobracedfromthecourtroom.Everyonegrabbedacellphone.


FromtheHardcoveredition.

Recenzii

“Buildingaremarkabledegreeofsuspense…Grishamdelivershissavviestbookinyears.Hisextendedvacationfromhard–hittingfictionisover.”—JanetMaslin,TheNewYorkTimes

Anovelthatcouldbecomeitsownera–definingclassic.JohnGrishamholdsupthatsamemirrortoourageasTomWolfe’sBonfireoftheVanities.”—TheBostonGlobe

Chillingandtimeless.”—TheWashingtonPost

“Anintricatelydetailed,involvingstory…theendingmaysurpriseyou.”—People

Stirringpopularfictionthatdoublesasanimportantpublic–serviceannouncement.”—EntertainmentWeekly

Packsawallop…Thetiming,inthemidstofallthepresidentialprimaries,makesitallthemorecompelling.”–USAToday

Fascinating…filledwithdeadlyaccuratecharacterizationsbyandauthorwhoknowsboththelawandpoliticsfromtheinside.”–LosAngelesTimes

Acleverstoryandthoughtfulplot…Grishamconfrontsinstarkreliefthedangersofelectingjudgesinaneraofbig–moneypolitics.”—SeattleTimes–PostIntelligencer