Saturday, 15 August 2015

Gray Mountain - John Grisham


Donovan Gray is ruthless and fearless. 
Just the kind of lawyer you need, deep in small-town Appalachia.

Samantha Kofer is a world away from her former life at New York's biggest law firm. If she is going to survive in coal country, she needs to start learning fast.
Because as Donovan knows only too well, the mountains have their own laws. And standing up for the truth means putting your life on the line . . 

What did I think?

An interesting read that begins with Samantha losing her job in the wake of the Lehman Brothers collapse.  Lehman created a domino effect, with professionals the world over collecting their personal items in cardboard boxes and being escorted out of their workplace.

The first half of the book was a little slow as Samantha heads off to Appalachia for an unpaid internship at a legal aid clinic but this was needed to set the scene.  Then BAM! Grisham strikes again and kills off a major character - this is when my page turning reached record speeds.  Samantha settles in to the community and you can feel her start to care about her clients, many of whom are suffering from coal mining related diseases.  They don't expect to win, but it doesn't stop these small town lawyers fighting the huge international coal mining corporations who have no scruples about playing dirty.

The suffering of the townspeople due to the mining business was heartbreaking at times with people making the ultimate sacrifice to save their loved ones.  It actually felt quite realistic and I could imagine companies comparing costs for cleanup of cancerous material versus damages payable to residents for causing cancer.

Perhaps not as good as some Grisham books, but from half way through I was gripped.  I had nothing but admiration for Samantha when she was considering her employment options - would she take a highly paid boring job in New York or the poorly paid enjoyable job where she could make a difference?

I received this book from the publisher, Hodder & Stoughton, via Bookbridgr in exchange for an honest review.

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