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3 John Grisham books that shouldn’t be missed

David Burnett/Contact Press Images

Considering that John Grisham is back with new work titled, Sycamore Row, a sequel to his first novel, A Time to Kill, we find it suitable to take a closer look at his bibliography and attempt to recommend 3 books to the lover of Grisham thrillers and suspense (and to newbies, for that matter). It is truly an attempt, since picking out and spotlighting 3 books out of his extensive list of phenomenal books can be close to being, if not, impossible. But the attempt will be made.

Those who know Grisham will attest that he is the authority in legal thrillers. The man is the fit host to the world of Armani suits, briefcases, black robes, Lear jets, yachts, courtrooms and mahogany offices surrounded with bookshelves filled with leather-bound law books.

Though Grisham fans have their favorites, the following list is open to serve as a subject for discussion as well as a suggestion for those who are not familiar with him and providing them with a starting point to the John Grisham world.


A Time to Kill-The serenity of a small, quiet town is shaken and at risk after the brutal rape of a ten-year-old black girl. The rapists, 2 racist white men, are soon caught, jailed and preserved for the law. However, Carl Lee, the girl’s distraught father, decides to take the law in his hands by killing both men, an act that only worsens a racial separation and tension that already exists in Clanton, Mississippi. When Jake Brigance, a young white defense lawyer, decides to take the case and to represent Carl Lee, the existing line of racial separation is not only redrawn now but emboldened. And the once quiet town of Clanton, Mississippi has become a ticking bomb that can go off any second.

The Partner-Before his death, his name was Patrick Lanigan, a junior partner for a law firm in Biloxi, Mississippi. Shortly after Patrick’s death, $90 million disappeared from one of his law firm’s accounts. Years later, a man named Danilo Silva is kidnapped in Brazil. After hours of torture, it is revealed that Danilo Silva is none other than Patrick Lanigan. However, the whereabouts of the money is a mystery. Somehow the FBI intervenes and Patrick is extradited back to the U.S. where he faces lawsuits from his life insurance company and federal & state charges for fraud, theft and murder. Meanwhile, his old law firm prowls behind because it wants its $90 million back. And the whereabouts of the money remains a mystery.

The Runaway Jury-After the meticulous screening and the careful selecting is done, Nicholas Easter has been picked to serve as a juror in the biggest tort case against the tobacco industry in Biloxi, Mississippi. With millions at stake, the defense is playing dirty. They hire Rankin Fitch as a consultant, who, in addition to posting hidden cameras in the courtroom, has been harassing, blackmailing and bribing the jurors. But after the mysterious phone call placed by a woman named Marlee, Fitch realizes that someone else is playing dirty. Nicholas is not who he says he is, the jury is behaving strangely and the verdict is unexpectedly for sale.

Whenever prying deeper into Grisham’s literature and attempting what we’ve done today, it is good practice to take into account that only John Grisham can take such complicated issues (like those of the latter), complicate them even further by entwining them with litigations and construct such easy and enjoyable tales for everybody.

Furthermore, one must keep in mind when standing before the shelves of books in the “G” section at the public library or at the preferred book store, uncertain of what Grisham book to read next that there is no wrong choice—that the seeker of thrillers and the lover of fiction is always vulnerable and prone to John Grisham.

J. Marquez Jr.
January 2014

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