by John Grisham
Category: Crime, Mystery & Thrillers / Crime & Mysteries
Publication date: 20 September 2003
Number of pages: 496
The Office of the Public Defender is not known as a training ground for bright young litigators. Clay has been there too long, and dreams of a better job. When he reluctantly takes the case of a young man charged with a random street killing, he digs into the background of his client, and stumbles upon a conspiracy too horrible to believe.
John Grisham could certainly be said to have earned his position as one of the bestselling crime writers in the world; after all, he inaugurated (almost single-handedly) the entire genre of the legal thriller as we know it today, and his host of imitators have rarely matched the skill so evident in such novels as The Firm, The Client and The Pelican Brief. Set in the cut-throat world of the public defender's office in Washington DC, The King of Torts touches all the usual bases. Grisham's hero this time is an ambitious young lawyer who is handed a case that initially appears to be nothing more than one of the host of crack cocaine killings that plague the capital. But as he digs deeper, the tentacles of a massive conspiracy begin to appear: a conspiracy that has implications for nothing less than the entire justice system itself. All the customary John Grisham fingerprints are satisfyingly in evidence here: the resourceful, beleaguered lawyer protagonist, the labyrinthine plot in which small details begin to paint a much larger canvas, and that unflagging narrative drive that has propelled the author to the stellar position he enjoys today. And there's a new lean quality in the prose that makes this something of a new departure for Grisham. As usual, an indifferent movie will probably be made of the book, but the canny reader would do well to go straight to the source, where the real pleasure lies. (Kirkus UK)
What the papers say:
No manuscript available, but the publishers describe The King of Torts as a legal thriller set in Washington DC. An aspiring young lawyer in the Public Defender's office is assigned a case that appears to be nothing more than one of many crack cocaine murders in the capital. However, he delves deeper and begins to uncover a conspiracy that is bigger than him and perhaps bigger than the justice system itself. It's something of a truism to say that Grisham's inspiration has been fitful of late, but his sales rarely falter; The King of Torts will no doubt get the punters forking out their shekels.
John Grisham is the author of eighteen bestselling novels. He lives with his family in Virginia and Mississippi.
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