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The Appeal

Dec 24, 2009, 1:10 PM | Article By: John Grisham

Author: John Grisham

Publisher and Date of Publication: Arrow Books; 2008 Paperback; 499 pages

If you are a fan of John Grisham, then you will enjoy his latest legal thriller ? The Appeal. Here he relates the account of a trial in Mississippi. It involves Krane Chemical Corporation whose waste product is alleged to have caused the death Pete Baker and Chad Baker. Both Bakers are survived by Jeannette Baker respectively wife and mother of Pete and Chad.

On hand to take up the case on behalf of Jeannette Baker is a small husband-and-wife legal team composed of Wes and Mary Grace Payton. To fight the case, they have to borrow US$400,000 from a bank. They win the case, as the court grants the defendant a whopping sum of US$41 million.

But Carl Trudeau, the owner of Krane Chemical Corporation, is hell-bent on paying none of the plaintiffs a cent. His thinking is that if he pays the Bakers, his company will be assailed by a deluge of litigation, which he is not prepared for. He therefore decides to appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court. But there is an obstacle in the person of Justice Sheila who is unsympathetic to big business. If he is to have his way, he has to get rid of Justice Sheila. He uses his clout to do just that. Though an elaborate campaign of intrigue and cold calculation, he gets Ron Fisk to be nominated to the Mississippi Supreme Court.

When the case comes up for hearing, Justice Fisk ensures that the ruling of the lower court is overturned.

With that judgement, the shares of Krane Chemical Corporation that have already plummeted rally almost immediately, making Mr Trudeau regain his dominance of Wall Street. To celebrate his new status, Mr Trudeau buys a brand new yacht and celebrates in grand style.

But it is a sad end for Justice Fisk, as his only son Josh is blinded during a game of baseball by a defective bat manufactured by one of the big corporations.

As always, John Grisham spins a good yarn laced with suspense and exciting drama. It is a marvellous read.

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