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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Pelican Brief: A Novel

I'm going way back in the John Grisham canon with The Pelican Brief. Arguably, Grisham's first three books are his absolute best, with this being the third. After I read The Client, I'll let you know if that stands for the first four. 

Darby is an outstanding law student in New Orleans, enjoying her time and enjoying the eligible bachelor professor as well. After two Supreme Court justices are murdered in one night, Darby puts together a brief on what could be linking the murders -- and it soon becomes the reason she is running for her life and her beloved is dead. The Pelican Brief, as it's called, names a very dangerous man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, which is control of land that will yield him billions of dollars. If Darby can survive, she must trust an investigative reporter to get the story out in time. 

This throwback of a Grisham novel was positively wonderful. It was everything I love about his intricate storytelling, his grasp of complicated legal binds, and his awkward insertion of a romance where there really doesn't need to be one. This quite long book read very quickly, because the story is so compelling that it begs to be read. Darby is a fantastic character in her own right; rarely does she need to be rescued and, in fact, is more willing to walk away than trust any man she has suspicions about. I hesitate to call her a feminist character, but she's damned close for a 1990ms portrayal of a woman in pop lit. 

It's been fun to hark back to Grisham's easy work, because it really is outstanding. I know he's a little fluffy for "serious readers" (snort), but I appreciate a good book that reads like water flows through a brand new pipe and that capture my attention so full it's the only thing I want to read. This novel did just that, and it was well worth the time I spent with my nose in a book. 

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