Thursday, May 7, 2015

Gray Mountain

Title: Gray Mountain
Author: John Grisham
Published: October 21st 2014 by Doubleday
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Genre: Legal Thriller

Almost 400 pages and an anticlimactic ending. By the end, I was wondering if John just got bored and decided to put us all out of our misery.

In 2008 during the financial collapse, attorney Samantha Kofer is given the choice, either be terminated from the Wall Street firm that she is currently with or take a one year nonpaid sabbatical at a nonprofit. Out of curiosity, she heads to Brady, Virginia in the heart of Appalachia. Thus begins her indoctrination in Big Coal, Big Lies and real people with real problems.

Her background in Real Estate law did not prepare her for the daily problems that enter the legal aid clinic and Samantha is hitting the ground running. She is trying to draw the line between what is legal and what is in the best interest of her clients. Those lines get a bit murky when coal companies choose to hide documents.

What Sam gets during her time at the clinic is a crash course in humanity. What she chooses to do with it will not surprise the reader. You could tell from the first twenty percent of this book how the story would play out. There is a surprise or two and a couple of harsh realities, but still this book is only slightly to Grisham’s usual standard of writing. I do wonder if this was supposed to be a legal thriller or John Grisham’s personal attack on the coal industry.

Since the ending was so blasé, I am questioning if this is a standalone or if Grisham has further plans for Samantha and the Gray Mountain Legal Clinic. More could have be told of this story so I will see how Grisham wants to play this out.

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