Wednesday, March 28, 2012

THE KING OF TORTS by John Grisham

Apparently there's a lot of money to be made in class-action lawsuits—for the attorneys, not the claimants.  Clay Carter resigns his job in the D.C. public defenders' office to follow the advice of a shady stranger in the pursuit of a multi-million dollar settlement from a drug company.  This deal gives him the resources to plunge into several lucrative tort cases and draws his practice to the attention of other hugely successful attorneys who specialize in these types of lawsuits.  Clay is at first appalled at the trappings these lawyers have acquired, including private jets and posh homes, but he soon feels the need for all these luxury items, including a trophy girlfriend.  We know that it's only a matter of time before his house of cards tumbles to the ground.  The question is when and how everything will start to unravel as Clay becomes increasingly more cavalier about spending huge sums of money.  Meanwhile, the love of his life, Rebecca, whose nouveau-riche and obnoxious family never approved of Clay's public defender job, has dumped him and married someone else.  At first, I was hoping Clay had won the attorney's equivalent of the lottery, and I applauded his apparent disdain for going overboard with the accoutrements that go with his newfound success, but he disappoints in every way.  From a reader's perspective, this is not necessarily a bad thing, since we know he's going down eventually.  Will he find redemption and win Rebecca back?  This question is what kept me reading.

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