A NoveleBook - 2015
On the right side of the law—sort of—Sebastian Rudd is not your typical street lawyer. His office is a customized bulletproof van, complete with Wi-Fi, a bar, a small fridge, and fine leather chairs. He has no firm, no partners, and only one employee: his heavily armed driver, who also so happens to be his bodyguard, law clerk, confidant, and golf caddie. Sebastian drinks small-batch bourbon and carries a gun. He defends people other lawyers won't go near: a drug-addled, tattooed kid rumored to be in a satanic cult; a vicious crime lord on death row; a homeowner arrested for shooting at a SWAT team that mistakenly invaded his house. Why these clients? Because Sebastian believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial—even if he has to bend the law to secure one.
Praise for Rogue Lawyer
"Terrific . . . inventive . . . Grisham still makes it look easy."—Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post
"Sebastian Rudd is . . . a kind of twenty-first-century Philip Marlowe . . . with a blunt, rude, gravelly poetic wiseguy voice."—Benjamin Percy, The New York Times Book Review
"Deeply engaging and entertaining . . . [Grisham finds] intense drama in the little skirmishes that play out across our legal system every day."—Charles Finch, USA Today
"Grisham has taken a step in an intriguing new direction."—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
From the Paperback edition.
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
"Do we really want fair trials? No, we do not. We want justice and quickly. And justice is whatever we deem it to be on a case by case basis." Sebastian Rudd, lawyer.
The road to justice is filled with barriers and land mines, most of them created by men and women who claim to be seeking justice.
As in any war, the truth is the first casualty.
The longer he stays in jail and the more free legal advice he gets from his cell mates back there, the more delusional he becomes. He’s convinced he can charm a jury, blame it all on a quick bout of insanity, and walk.
"No way, Boss. I made myself real cleat. Scare ‘em but don’t touch ‘em. Nobody gets hurt.”
“They’re not in pain,” I say.
-You'll be sorry, senor.
--Is that a threat?
-No. A promise.
volitional insanity means simply that a person who is mentally healthy does something wrong, and at the time he knows it's wrong, but at that moment he is so mentally unbalanced, or deranged, he cannot prevent himself from doing it anyway. He knows it's wrong, but he cannot control himself and thereby commits the crime.
Link was sentenced to death by an untampered jury for killing a judge … there must have been several hundred people here who truly missed Link, at first. Morticians, strippers, drug runners, chop shop operators, and crooked cops, to name a few.
Most of the units in his building are packed with large families, but none of the traditional variety—mother, father, children. Almost all the fathers are gone, either locked up or living elsewhere and producing more children. The typical apartment belongs to a grandmother, a long-suffering soul who’s stuck with a passel of kids who may or may not be bloods related. Half the mothers are in prison. The other half work two and three jobs. Young cousins drop in and out; almost every family is in a chaotic state of flux. The primary goal is to keep the kids in school, away from the gangs, alive and hopefully out of prison.
“Insanity” is a legal term, not a medical one.
(Naomi:) “I’ve never seen her smile.”
(Rudd:) “I think it happens about once a month.”
“I’ve put the house on the market. I can’t stay there, too many memories. I can see her in the kitchen. I can feel her sleeping on the bed next to me. I can hear her laughing on the phone. I can smell her body lotion. She’s everywhere, Sebastian, and she’s not going away. Worst of all, I can’t help but relive those last few seconds … “
Spike was twelve, old for a Lab, and hard of hearing. But he certainly heard the door crash just a few feet away. His mistake was to jump up and start barking, at which time he was shot three times by a 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol.
The law is my life, always consuming and occasionally fulfilling. I wouldn’t call it a “jealous mistress” as some forgotten person so famously did. It’s more like an overbearing wife who controls the checkbook. There’s no way out.
What’s on the outside to prevent their return? They are now convicted felons, a branding they will never be able to shake. The odds were stacked against them to begin with, and now that they’re tagged as felons, life in the free world is somehow supposed to improve? These are the real casualties of our wars. The war on drugs. The war on crime. Unintended victims of tough laws passed by tough politicians over the past forty years. One million young black men now warehoused in decaying prisons, idling away the days at taxpayer expense. Our prisons are packed. Our streets are filled with drugs. Who’s winning the war?
If a prosecutor gets caught cheating, he either gets reelected or elevated to the bench. Our system never holds a bad prosecutor accountable.
There is no level playing field. There is no fairness. The only honorable alternative for a lawyer fighting to save an innocent client is to cheat in defense.
Do we really want fair trials? No, we do not. We want justice, and quickly. And justice is whatever we deem it to be on a case-by-case basis.
Their father was long gone when they were murdered, and their mother’s apartment was a revolving door for local tomcats and slimeballs.
The presumption of innocence is now the presumption of guilt. The burden of proof is a travesty because the proof is often lies. Guilt beyond a reasonable doubt means if he probably did it, then let’s get him off the streets.
SummaryAdd a Summary
Rogue Lawyer is a slightly different twist on the usual courtroom dramas written by Grisham. It is darker than his normal style, however there is a lot of dry humor that is enjoyable. The style of the book is also a little bit different than previous Grisham books and that is a nice change. Overall it is a good, entertaining read of darker side of courtroom drama.
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