Synopses & Reviews
Politics has always been a dirty game.
Now justice is, too.
In a crowded courtroom in Mississippi, a jury returns a shocking verdict against a chemical company accused of dumping toxic waste into a small town's water supply, causing the worst "cancer cluster" in history. The company appeals to the Mississippi Supreme Court, whose nine justices will one day either approve the verdict or reverse it.
Who are the nine? How will they vote? Can one be replaced before the case is ultimately decided?
The chemical company is owned by a Wall Street predator named Carl Trudeau, and Mr. Trudeau is convinced the Court is not friendly enough. With judicial elections looming, he decides to try to purchase himself a seat on the Court. The cost is a few million dollars, a drop in the bucket for a billionaire like Mr. Trudeau. Through an intricate web of conspiracy and deceit, his political operatives recruit a young, unsuspecting candidate. They finance him, manipulate him, market him, and mold him into a potential Supreme Court justice. Their Supreme Court justice.
The Appeal is a powerful, timely, and shocking story of political and legal intrigue, a story that will leave readers unable to think about our electoral process or judicial system in quite the same way ever again.
"[An] entertaining page-turner that...yearns for justice. Who knew that the mega-best-selling Grisham wanted to be a moralist." Boston Globe
"Building a remarkable degree of suspense into the all too familiar ploys described here, Mr. Grisham delivers his savviest book in years....What works for Mr. Grisham is his patient, lawyerly, inexorable way of dramatizing urgent moral issues." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"There's no thrill in this thriller, but that's not a bad thing. There's a more meditative quality, yet the novel still packs a wallop....More than a novel, The Appeal is an exposé of how highly organized special-interest groups, loaded with cash, can manipulate the judicial system." USA Today
"Despite cardboard characters and broad sweeps of malevolent action from Big Business, an affecting moral comes through in The Appeal. It reads like a long, engaging and sad fable." The Washington Post Book World
"Grisham illustrates the dangers of such a system with a clever story and thoughtful plot. Of course, much of what makes Grisham's writing so predictable remains the bad guys are stereotyped to the point of absurdity." Seattle Times
"Grisham tells the story in his rat-a-tat, almost journalistic style, which is effective in giving the reader the sense of how frantic and energy-sapping campaigns can be. If you're a fan of Grisham's legal thrillers, you know what to expect, and that's just what you'll get with The Appeal. You won't be disappointed." Denver Post
"[A] cartoon filled with one-dimensional characters, predictable language and nary a plot twist." Oregonian
"Grisham has written his best legal thriller since 2003's The King of Torts." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"[A] modern-day version of the John Steinbeck novel The Pearl, a look at the futility of the little guy trying to get a fair shake. But Grisham is too savvy a writer to simply lay out a dark scenario and then lead his plot down a predictable path." Dallas-Ft. Worth Star Telegram
is [Grisham's] 20th novel, and it's as angry, dark and urgent a piece of social realism as you're likely to find on the bestseller lists any time soon....It's a fascinating narrative, filled with deadly accurate characterizations by an author who knows both the law and politics from the inside. The problem, as with all Grisham's fiction, is that it's egregiously written." Tim Rutten, The Los Angeles Times
(read the entire Los Angeles Times review
In Grisham's first legal thriller since The Broker, justice is for sale and only the rich can afford it.
About the Author
John Grisham has written nineteen previous novels and one work of nonfiction, The Innocent Man, published in 2006. He lives in Virginia and Mississippi.