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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rogue Lawyer: A Novel

Newer John Grisham is interesting. It feels like a departure for him, even more so than mid-aughts Grisham. This is Rogue Lawyer.

Sebastian Rudd isn't your normal kind of lawyer. His last office was fire-bombed, so his current office is on wheels, driven by Partner, a former client and loyal companion. He doesn't take normal cases -- he takes the ones others don't want. Provided they can pay, of course. He is the backer of a cage fighter, and his ex-wife hates him with a passion. That's no surprise -- most of the people Rudd knows don't really like him anyway. 

This first book in what looks like it can be a nice, prolonged series is a nice collection of introductory stories. It's less of a novel and more of a compilation with a through line. I compared it to The Closer, the Kyra Sedgewick TV show that ran for a few seasons. (It's one of my favorites.) What I loved about that show was that it was both a procedural and had a through-story that ran throughout the season. This book was the same way. There was an undercurrent story while still lending itself to smaller short vignettes about interesting clients. I don't always love when Grisham departs from his usual M.O., but I totally dig this one. He did a great job weaving it all together. 

I also appreciate that Grisham wrote about some hard stories. He's becoming quite a social justice writer. I've quietly been watching this develop over the years, and this book was very much in that line. He has thoughts on rogue officers, and he still takes the good guy/bad guy line and makes it thick for his readers. Rudd is the only character that toes the line between on the side of right and on the side of wrong; he is, however, on the side of justice. I appreciate that in a protagonist. 

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