what i liked: “let’s not kid ourselves. mr. phelan knows exactly what he’s doing. his mind is much quicker than ours.”
oh, thank you. that means so much to me. you’re a bunch of shrinks struggling to make a hundred thousand a year. i’ve made billions, yet you pat me on the head and tell me how smart i am (p. 18).
what sucked: the length. the absence of a strong plot. i’ve only ever read one other grisham novel, the rainmaker, back when i was in college. back when i was supposed to be reading things like billy budd and the grapes of wrath. i stayed up late one night, reading, stopping only because i couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. i took it to campus with me the next day, and in between classes, i sat in my car and read. finished it way inside of twenty-four hours. this one, though? i had no trouble putting it down. i did it a lot. and out of five hundred thirty-three pages, i enjoyed reading about a fifth of’m.
having said all that: the premise of the story is quite good. it’s estate law, which wouldn’t have the intrigue that his other stories possess, but the blurb on the back and the first few pages sounded interesting enough. it’s got the usual grisham fare, but it lacks his flare. the last bit of the blurb? where a woman–pursued by enemies and friends alike–holds a stunning surprise of her own (back flap). there’s only one person pursuing her and her surprise? not stunning. not even a surprise. actually, it’s more of a letdown, to tell you the truth. the whole book is pretty much an utter disappointment. i’m surprised i actually finished the thing.