When I first came across John Grisham, I gave up on him after one or two books. What I read was well written, with interesting plots and legal background material, but the protagonists were too plain-vanilla to be interesting. I almost expected each young, presentable couple to have 2.3 children.
Clearly the problem was only mine, since Grisham has always been a best-selling author. But while I wasn’t looking Grisham has either become more willing to take chances in his writing, gotten older and more cantankerous, or maybe even lost interest in his own average Joe (albeit clever lawyer) characters. At any rate, the shady stock broker who is the main character in Broker (subject of a previous blog) was definitely interesting enough to suit me and Rogue Lawyer, published in 2015, pulls out all the stops.
Lawyer Sebastian Rudd is divorced and lives alone with his pool table. Another sports interest is cage fighting – he sponsors a young Hispanic fighter with a history of gangs and drug dealing. His attack dog personality is perfectly suited to his career defending the worst of criminals, some of whom are ungrateful enough to come gunning for him afterwards. Grisham ties together several strands in the life of Sebastian Rudd during a period when police and psychopathic killers are after him and his lawyer and lesbian ex-wife keeps suing to prevent him from seeing his son. This is no longer plain-vanilla. It’s more like rum-raisin.