The Summons by John Grisham

The SummonsThe Summons by John Grisham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the third book by Grisham involving mass torts that I’ve read, although it’s not a commanding thread in the story. I enjoyed it, but that’s helped by the fact I’m a lawyer. It was, however, repetitive of the same sort of stuff in The King of Torts, a book I read first, although it was written after this one. Still I wonder if that’s what most people are interested in.

I was looking for a mystery. This does start with a death; a retired judge suffering from terminal cancer is found dead, apparently from a morphine overdose. Was it suicide? A mercy killing? The cancer? Or murder? This question is complicated by the three million dollars in cash found in his house.

The charm of the book lies in its depiction of rural southern life. Grisham is from Mississippi and his love for the deep south shows in his writing. I found the ending rather unsatisfying, but at this point in his career, Grisham has reached journeyman status in his prose and is able to move the reader along pleasantly enough. It’s not his best work, but you could pass a day or three whipping through this one and not feel cheated.

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