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The Runaway Jury - John Grisham

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      25.05.2014 09:34
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      Grisham at his best

      John Grisham is well known for his fantastically written crime novels and The Runaway Jury follows in this tradition.

      The story follows a major trial of the tobacco industry and its biggest players with millions of dollars at stake but when the jury begins to behave strangely and the trial doesn''t appear to be going the way one would expect questions have to be asked and decisions need to be taken to ensure that justice is served.

      The story is brilliantly written and enables the reader to be drawn in to the events as they unfold and thanks to Grisham having a great understanding of the legal procedures at hand I was able to read this without feeling that it was becoming unbelievable in any way which I have found with other authors trying to do the same kind of writing.

      The style of Grisham''s writing enables for the story to flow well and despite being able to explain the situations and events unfolding with a good level of details it manages not to feel like it is dragging on or becoming boring like some of the other novels by Grisham I have read.

      Overall for me this is a really good story which gets you feeling the kind of emotions that many experience looking in on these kind of court cases and thanks to the excellent legal procedure knowledge of Grisham he managed to give the perfect level of detail and believability that is so important in crime novels nowadays. You don''t need to have read any other Grisham novels to be able to pick this up and read it as this is a standalone novel so that you can read it enjoy it and move on without needing to then read another 5 novels to get to the final outcome (I am not criticising series of books as I do read these too but I think sometimes they can feel drawn out in comparison to standalone novels).

      A good crime novel with excellent levels of detail and realism but that manages to still be an enjoyable read.

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      18.12.2011 09:15
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      They had a book sale in our library not long ago and one of the books on sale was The Runaway Jury written by John Grisham. I had heard of the author and on looking at the list of books he had already written I knew a few of the stories, either from films made from the books or that I had already read them in the past. The blurb on the back of the book made it look like a good interesting story so I bought it, and at an excellent bargain price of 20p.


      This story is set around the courts where a big case is being heard. The plaintiff is the widow of a man who died from lung cancer and she is trying to bring charges against the tobacco company that made the cigarettes that her husband smoked all of his adult life.


      The two sides of lawyers working on the case both for the plaintiff and the defense had to choose a jury of 12 people. The first few chapters of the book goes through this telling how they whittled it down and how each of them had people who looked into the background lives of the said people so they could try to choose who they thought would be the best to give them the results they needed.


      Once the 12 had been chosen the case started for real, but as the story developed with the chapters covering both the case in the courts and the antics happening in the jury room, you got to know the main characters of the story and you realise that something fishy is going on. There is a person employed by the defence to dig and delve into the pasts of the 12 jurors and the ones that they think are going to go along on the plaintiffs side he has to find ways to make them turn to the defence, but without them knowing they are being led along. The judge makes a point of telling them every morning that if anyone contacts them about the case and tries to put ideas into their heads they must tell him immediately, but this man is clever and he finds ways of getting to them so that they done get suspicious.


      As the trial goes on, things start to happen and one of the jurors says he is being followed so the judge decides to sequester the jury to a motel and give them protection but then a mystery woman turns up who seems to be able to predict things that are going to happen to the jurors and when they start to come true you wonder if there is a mole in the jury and who it is.


      The story was very exciting in parts, it was well written with lots of things going on to get your brain around. The one thing you have to remember is that this book was written back in 1996 before we had all the no smoking in public places like we have today. When it gets into the case and they are bringing in expert witnesses to explain to the jury the pros and cons of smoking cigarettes, some of it got a bit boring, and I found my self skipping bits to get to the next part of the story. I think may be this would have been better if it had been an actual film and you could see the charts and things that were being explained in the prose but it seemed to go on a bit in the writing.


      The characters were well written though and you got to know them well through out the book, dome more than others but you got a good feel as to how they would be and look if you were to meet them in real life.


      Once the story with the jurors took off it was a much better book to read as then you seemed to get where the thriller side of the story was coming from where as at the beginning it just seemed like a normal court setting story.


      I am not sure if I would bother to read this book again, not for a while anyway, but if I found it was out as a film (I haven't checked) then I would like to see the film. I had a good idea in my head of which actors would be good in some of the roles and I think it would make an interesting movie.

      Copied from Ciao under username Harveydog52

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        04.08.2011 12:31

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        A great thriller of a book.

        I recently finished John Grishams book, "The Runaway Jury". I hated finishing it, it was amazing. The story is of two law firms. One side is suing tobacco companies. The jury start acting strange, and there is a woman who can predict the jurors actions and votes. The woman can also control them. The defence don't play fair, and blackmail and vandalism is used in the case, outside the courtroom. There is so many unanswered questions at first, then they get answered as you read on.

        The characters are good, a wide range of personalities. The location and story is great, and it could all well be true. Not a lot of action, like in a lot of thriller's, but lot's of suspense and mystery. It's not a hard book to read and follow along, and it won't bore you. The chapters vary in size, but are reasonably short, around 7-8 pages. Each chapter always ends in a great way, making you read the next chapter.

        From burning houses to courtrooms, this book is amazing. Definitely one of the best books I've ever read, and I've read a lot. Lot's of mysteries and suspense in the book, as the mystery get's deeper and deeper. A great read.

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        03.08.2010 20:49

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        A really good read that will keep you gripped

        The Runaway Jury by John Grisham was the first book of his that I read. I have to admit that it took me a while to get into the book and several times I only managed to read a couple of pages before putting it down. I have to say I'm so glad I persevered with this. Like all of his books this is very well written. The plot centres around a fictitious tobacco litigation case but with all John Grishams novels, there is a great twist at the end.
        The characters are not as developed as in some of his other books and you need to remain focused to remember who to root for.

        This was a well told story and it made me a huge fan of John Grisham. I have now read all of his books and haven't really ever been disappointed. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes a legal tale and who likes the fact you can't be sure of the outcome until the very end.

        Trust me, once you get into John Grisham you'll be checking to see when his next book is due out. For those that are interested, it's Octobr 2010.

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        12.04.2009 21:14
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        worth reading

        John Grisham is a graduate of Mississippi State University and Ole Miss Law School. After completing his law degree in 1981 he practiced law for about 10 years, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1983 and served until 1990. John Grisham has givrn up his law practice to write full-time. He began writing in 1984, and three years later finished his first novel, A Time To Kill, published by Wynwood Press in June 1988. He is the best-selling author of A Time to Kill, The Firm, The Pelican Brief and The Client and Runaway Jury. He lives with his wife and their two children on a farm in Oxford, Mississippi.

        Runaway Jury is a legal thriller like the rest of Grisham's novels.
        The story revolves around a land mark trial that is taking place in Biloxi, Missisipi. The giant Tobacco company Pynex and its head Mr.Jankel, part of the powerful four ,are being sued by Celeste Wood, whose husband had died from causes related to cigarette smoking. The Judge Harkin is taking the middle ground , he never realised that this was going to be his biggest case ever, nor did he dream of being unknowingly manipulated by a member of the jury..

        The powerful four have formed The fund with enough money to be used for manipulating the case in their favor, and anything and anyone connected with it, including the jury.The man in charge of this fund and the manipulations is Rankin Fitch.

        For the Defense, Durwood Cable is the prime lawyer and for the plaintiff Wendall Rohr was the prime lawyer. Even as the 2 lawyers are battling it out inside the court, the powerful four have employed Rankin Fitch , a devious expert who had won many of their cases earlier, by manipulating the jury, and this time the stakes were high and he was determined to win..

        But the jury was being manipulated from day one , with a lot of effort from Fitch and his goons, but more effectively from someone within ..The jury starts behaving strangely taking the judge into confidence , with one of the jurors complaining about being watched and followed everywhere.The judge Feels that it is safer to have th jury sequestered.

        But manipulations continue and Fitch finds himself and his gang being outsmarted by two people, one is Nigel , who is part of the jury and a mysterious woman who called herself Marlee, and she corners Fitch with accurate details of everything that is going on behind the scenes...Now Fitch is bent on discoveing who Marlee is , trying to dig into her mysterious past, present, every single detail about her , especially the murky details of her mysterious past, if any and outsmart her..

        And things take interesting turns as the trial progresses..

        My views

        This is yet another excellent book by John Grisham, that is very witty and very suspenseful. The plot is intricate , fast paced and very interesting.One cant help laughing out loud at some of the humorous situations and the way Grisham puts it across. Fitch and his escapades, though deadly make you laugh. The intricacies of the legal world , the manipulations that go into winning or loosing a case , behind the scene work by the jury manipulator, makes for an absorbing story. Fitch , who never takes things for granted and having promised Victory to the big four is ready to go to any length to ensure that he delivers what he has promised.

        The 12 jury members and their own private lives and how it gets entangled in the case is all very interesting. I love the way John Grisham has neatly put together the very complicated set of characters and their lives and stories and the coming together of all of these in respect to the case..

        The detailed and well thought out manipulations by Nigel and Marlee and the grudging admiration it draws from Fitch makes the narrative very absorbing. Fitch becoming the target of the very game that he had been playing with the others , and the way the entire legal process is manipulated for personal gains forms the main subject matter here, also makes one think how far can one trust the legal system?

        On the flip side I was quite amused at the way the Judge is manipulated by the jury members while being sequestered demanding their right for private time which the Judge terms as 'Conjugal visits' during weekends, which makes the jurors angry since many of them are unmarried and felt restricted by the use of the word 'Conjugal', later forcing him to change it to ' Personal visits' and the poor judge has no other option but to go along with their wishes.
        Another hilarious account is about Church visits on Sunday mornings, when most of the jurors left supposedly for four hours of ' much -awaited ' worship, felt drawn by spirits, when they all headed in the general direction of some unnamed church and later ended up in casinos and elsewhere..

        I would say that this is one of Grisham's best novels. I had earlier read his novel 'The Firm' and loved his style of writing and now after having read 'The Associate ' and ' The Runaway Jury' , I can safely say that he is the best in his subject - Legal thrillers .

        I definitely recommend this book for anyone interested in suspense thrillers ...a must read legal thriller .

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          04.09.2008 01:22
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          A story that gets to the heart of the smoking debate

          Well, forgive me for jumping up and down on my bed in a fit of joy. I have finally finished reading this book. It is not particularly long, nor particularly difficult to read. I had already seen the film before reading, so should have known where it was leading. But if I told you when I had started reading it, most of you would probably laugh. I guess that's why I am taking so long to keep up with reading people's reviews, though. I am such a hopelessly slow reader I will be lucky to have read twenty books by the time I die. Okay, slight exaggeration there, but basically it can take me a matter of months to get through a book, so often by the time I have reached the end, I have forgotten most of the story. That could well have been the case for me with this book, but I think it might just have been memorable enough for me to now sit down and write this review. Here goes.

          === The Story ===

          Set in a place called Biloxi in Mississippi, the ninth tort case against a tobacco company is about to take place, and the whole world is watching. Well, America at least, but aren't they the world these days?
          Sorry, anyway... jury selection has begun its tedious processes. A bunch of very ordinary people are due to be picked from a bigger bunch of very ordinary people, to do something really quite extraordinary. Twelve jurors will be chosen to look at all the evidence of one particular case, but their decision could affect the entire future of litigation against tobacco firms. Both sides have their own jury consultants, who will dig as much as they can to find out everything about these people. The tobacco companies, those with much more money and much more at stake, have clubbed together to form 'The Fund', enough money, surely, to do whatever it takes to ensure that they will never be held liable for the damage their products may cause. Fitch is their director, and he and his consultants are researching the jury candidates thoroughly. Jury selection is a crucial point in the trial, but this time they may not be getting all the information.

          Once the jury are seated and the trial begins, they start to realise that something very strange is going on. Slowly, it appears that the jury are behaving, often collectively, in a very bizarre manner, but no one can explain why. Then Fitch is taunted by a young woman with a pleasant voice, Marlee, who may have the power to affect everything. The only trouble is, he knows nothing about her, only that she seems to know more than anyone about the jury.

          This is a story that constantly moves its focus from one character to another. At times there are too many characters for me to really remember who is who, but often at a point that it does not really matter. As long as you know vaguely who's side that person is on, or that the person is part of the court process, the book still makes perfect sense. This is true all apart from the very start of the story, because already it is jumping about and at that moment you just want to set the scene. This I found a little frustrating, and so it took me a little longer than usual to really get into the story. Say, a month or two (try not to laugh). The plot reminds me of a game of chess. There is a game I have played since the age of four, and am still terrible with. I am not a strategic person and have always wished I was. If you are anything like me, you will be constantly wondering why on earth this character did that. You know it is leading to something, but it's a headache trying to figure out what. Perhaps for others, this might prompt you to think of what you would do in their shoes, but I'm not sure you can even tell what shoes some characters are wearing through most of the book.

          === The scary world of spies, bugs and phone taps ===

          Human rights are high on most people's agendas these days (except for people like Mugabe, of course). Here in the U.K. we are already being told that the government are watching our every move out in public, and can easily utilise current legislation to justify intrusive measures. We hate the thought of it, generally, although some may believe it makes us safer. Nobody likes to think of their privacy being jeopardised. But imagine, as occurs in this book, that there were people other than the government who were doing such things. How could we know? Even if we did know, what on earth can we do about it? This book really makes you cringe on the edge of your seat at the thought of some of the things that happen. Everything from hidden photography to full-on break-ins. Definitely not one for those easily made paranoid.

          === The debate ===

          It is hard to say throughout the book whether Grisham personally favours smoking and the smoking industry or not. Obviously the ending will lean one way or the other and this may indicate something of his views, but had it been something you could pick up on during the bulk of the book I think that mysterious element would have been lost. What is and is not the law is something very different to what we believe in, but when a case is heard by a jury, the whole point is that that jury can intervene where it deems proper to do so. So a person who has been systematically abused over a number of years and then methodically plans and carries out plans to kill their abuser may be a murderer at law, but the jury can decide, behind closed doors, not to convict. In the U.S., unlike here in the U.K., the jury is also able to determine the level of damages set in a civil trial. Not only can they decide whether or not a defendant is liable, but if so, how much the victim deserves in compensation, and whether the defendant should be punished further with punitive damages.

          So in this case, a novel portraying a trial against a tobacco company is the perfect opportunity to introduce and review the debate on smoking. Grisham embraces this completely. When witnesses declare their evidence, we understand their thoughts, the things they would like to say behind their words, and the corresponding thoughts of those listening. When people discuss the trial, they do so comprehensively, in a way that takes into account their personal views and lifestyles. There are not just two perspectives in this book, but numerous points of views that approach their reasoning from completely different angles and come to conclusions that others may find ridiculous. We can at least appreciate how or why people may feel differently about an issue, something I sometimes prefer to being bombarded with 'evidence' that apparently proves their point. By the end of the book I really wasn't so sure myself where my own opinion lies.

          === Characters ===

          I think there are a few interesting characters in this story, but some stand out a lot more than others, some we learn more about and others become quite vague and left to the imagination. The latter few are the ones you are most likely to read about, then see on film and think, 'that's not how I pictured them!'

          My favourite character has to be Fitch, a person I would never like in a million years if I met him. You can see the very expressions on his face, even sense the tension he must cause when in the presences of his staff. In all I think he is the best developed character in the story. Whereas the emotional secrecy necessary to keep certain other characters more vague in terms of personality, this one is unrestricted. I suppose as a result, Grisham goes a little overboard and the character almost dominations much of the book. But maybe this is intentional. Maybe his torn up personality is a metaphor for the antisocial nature of smoking and the smoke industry. Maybe not.
          But he certainly is memorable.

          === Writing style ===

          The book was quite a slow starter for me, and I'm not really sure if this is because the writing style used throughout is not such an easy read when you are unfamiliar with the book, or because to begin with it is hard to follow the jumps from one character's perspective to another. I would think it is the latter. As with most books, the writing style does form a part of the suspense, but only a very small part, so that it does not get annoying, as stories often do when every sentence leads to a question. The language is fairly simplistic, although at times Grisham forgets is potential audiences and throws in perhaps a little too much legal jargon. At times I did think, had I not just studied law and accounting, this would not make much sense to me at all. There is also a lot of stock exchange talk, and at some points I got quite confused and just ignored sections, but everything makes some sense by the end. As long as you understand the basics, the book can be followed.

          === Structure ===

          As I mentioned before, I am generally a terrible slow reader. In fact, I can write faster than I can read. I don't have problems with reading individual words, but with sentences, especially lengthy ones, I lose track quickly. I can read the same paragraph several times sometimes and still not know what I just read. This book overall keeps to reasonable length words, sentences and paragraphs. The chapters are generally broken down into chunks and the story is such that you can keep putting it down and picking it up later without much trouble - unless you find yourself hooked, which, with the level of suspense in this book, is possible. The book follows quite a standard structure. There are just over forty numbered chapters in all, roughly four or five pages in length each - although the chapters are obviously based on stages in the story, rather than length.

          === Conclusion ===

          So, I've made it to the end of the book, and what did I think? Well, to give you an idea, I was smiling, although perhaps this was more due to my achievement. The ending is not so much of a climax as I had hoped for. You don't get that sudden 'wow' feeling of everything falling into place and suddenly it all makes sense. The ending drags out just a little too much and to be honest, the novel might have been better with a few bits sliced off. Still, most loose ends were tied up nicely. There were just a couple of elements of the plot that seemed to have been forgotten, but they were really red herrings.

          I had seen the film adaptation of the book years before, on television. At that time I had read another of Grisham's books, so already knew roughly what to expect. I can't claim one to be better than the other, and I can't remember enough to say what was different. But I do think they both had very different strong points, and this works mostly because of the formats. If you've read it, it would be good to watch it and if you've watched it, you might like to read it. As a whole I expect the novel will be much more memorable and more likely to force you to think about each step, rather than sitting back and passively taking it all in.

          Today this book is likely to set you back about £6.99, and as the image shows, it has with rather a luring cover with a male shadow figure and a darker 'courthouse' background. Maybe this was intended to give the book a more sinister, or mysterious feel, I don't know. But don't judge a book by its covers, anyway.

          This concludes my review, thanks for reading.

          (Also on Ciao)

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            08.05.2008 13:50
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            The Runaway Jury - John Grisham's 7th novel

            The Runaway Jury is the 7th novel from the award winning legal thriller author John Grisham. It has been made into a blockbusting film as have his previous 6 novels.

            The Plot

            In Mississippi, a widow is suing a tobacco company because her husband died of lung cancer. In the preliminaries before the case starts, we see the jury being selected. The tobacco company hires the services of the great Rankin Fitch, jury selector extraordinaire, who will virtually guarantee them a favourable jury unlikely to conclude the tobacco company is liable for the death. With his big guns and highly trained entourage, Fitch starts eliminating potential jurors from the sheet, until he is down to his final selection. The prosecution, naturally, is doing the same thing through their nervous lawyer, but, and here's the twist, neither of them are controlling the jury at all.

            Selected on the jury is Nick Easter, a seemingly innocuous man just serving his country by turning up for jury service. Making it into the 12 jurors, Easter starts to manipulate the jury during the case, leaving Fitch and his opponents floundering on the outside, both anxious to settle this dispute as quickly as possible with the best possible outcome. But Easter has something else in mind: whose side is he on, and what is he up to?

            My Opinion

            The first thing to note here is that Easter is operating here under secrecy, and is untouchable by Fitch and his opponents once he has been selected as a juror. Grisham has gone on a slightly different tack here with this book, and instead of examining the actual case before us, he is showing us the manipulating world of jury selection. Naturally, whether any of this would ever actually occur no one will ever know, but the tale seems believable to the point where it made me wonder if I ever got selected for jury service how true and influential I could be as a juror. And I guess this is Grisham's trump card: putting the reader there with the characters to actually feel a part of the novel.

            The characterisation is typical of Grisham, yet this is not a criticism. He likes playing off the big guns against the little league. Here, Fitch and his posse are the big guns, and the prosecution are the little league. The widow, with no money, takes what she can get in terms of legal representation. The defense, a multi-million dollar tobacco company, has its pick of the best. It is a combination that works well, especially when you add in the tenacity and manipulative skill of Easter, to create a thrilling read that I didn't want to end.

            Overall, I can safely say that, in my opinion, Grisham debut novel, A Time To Kill, is his best. However, The Runaway Jury comes very close to the high level of excellence seen in his debut novel, and it is his second best by a margin. I didn't want the book to end, despite being desperate to know what happens, and as soon as I had finished reading it, I felt like reading it again. I dind't - I wasn;t too sure if I bcould cope with the intense skill at hand.

            Conclusion

            Brilliant behind the scenes courtroom drama.

            I rate this book at 5 stars out of 5.

            The book is available from amzon.co.uk for £4.49.

            This review may also be posted on ciao.co.uk.

            Thanks for reading.

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            27.08.2006 05:56
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            The book is about a big tobacco trial where millions of dollars are at risk.

            Definitely one of John Grisham's bests, and is so far the best one of his that I have read. I thought it was a fairly fast read and a great book.
            The book is about a big tobacco trial where millions of dollars are at risk. It takes place in Mississippi where a widow is suing a tobacco company because her husband had died of lungcancer due to smoking.
            Before the trial had even started, the tobacco company monitored every potential juror in order to pick the perfect jury. The main character, Nicholas Easter, is one of twelve that’s been approved and chosen for jury duty, he is later made the leader within the group by his fellow jurors.
            Strange things start to happen, the jury is being watch, or at least one of them is. What also is remarkable is the somewhat odd behavior of the jury. It seems like someone is manipulating or controlling them.
            The book in my opinion was a great story and an interesting read. One thing that sets this book apart from other Grisham books is that I thought the ending came together well unlike some of his others that I have read.

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              25.09.2001 02:24
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              Grisham delivers, once again, another courtroom drama, but this time there are no hero lawyers outsmarting the odds and getting ungodly amounts of money. It's just the jury, with all those lovely lawyer/judge spats cut out. The absence of the "genius boy" lawyer in this novel makes it rather refreshing. The main characters are a woman trying to get ungodly amounts of money and a jury-rigging bad guy. All readers of courtroom dramas will be familiar with the manipulation of the press, public opinion, changes of venues, all attempts to affect the judicial system by working on external forces. So, what happens when judicial manipulations occur from the INSIDE system? The book also raises many thought provoking questions Grisham poses a lot of interesting questions in this book. "Are tobacco companies responsible for the damage done by the products they sell?" is the most obvious one.; Is money adequate compensation for all damages? Do large judicial awards compensate for death and punish for it's infliction? Is an attempt to tamper with the judicial system acceptable if you believe your cause is just enough? Do the poor have to unite against the wealthy to obtain a judgement in our current system of trial practices? What is missing is characters who you can like. The cast ends up being opposite sides of the same coin, each determined to use whatever means they have availabe to win. Each side is just as morally repellent as the other, and point seems to be that the meanest, trickiest, and richest will win, and having won, nothing further is required from them. On the whole it was like a large meat pie, adequate, filling but just lacking in that certain something!

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                18.09.2001 23:12
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                Grisham is very, very good. I have read all but 4 of his novels and have found each of them to be extremely well written, engaging stories. "The Runaway Jury" however, tops the lot. It is a captivating read. You are not only guided through the maze of legalities with ease by Grisham but he relates the story in such a way that you never ever know what is coming next, that means you cannot put it down! I was amazed at the way in which a jury can 'runaway' and the ending of the book is, well, suprising, unpredictable and ingenious - draw dropping stuff. (I won't say much more lest I give stuff away). Unlike "The Rainmaker" this book dispenses with the almost 18 chapters of interesting but unnecessary narrative and in comparison to this "The Chamber" is predictable, only one of two things can happen. The book that comes closest is "The Partner" also well written and unpredictable. If you've read other legal thrillers, including Grisham's then this is a must read - his best novel yet. Don't be put off by the seemingly boring title. Just get it and devour it.

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                  18.08.2001 04:11
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                  A huge trial, the widow of a smoker who died from lung cancer against the big four, the four largest tobacco companies in the United States and hence the world. A trial involving millions and millions of dollars and one which could well set the scene for many future litigations, if the tobacco companies win this, they'll win them all and vice versa; if the smokers widow wins, there are millions of Americans who've suffered from smoking and they can all sue. A jury, picked painstakingly, slowly agreed upon by the lawyers representing both sides and satisfying neither and then, as the trial begins, it appears that the jury can be manipulated, there is someone 'inside' who can alter the verdict, pick it at will. The basic plot, the storyline of this book would only make for half of it. The joy of this novel is the way Grisham weaves the story around a large number of characters, he never fully explains motives or gives a full description of each character and hence you aren't quite sure why everyone does what they do until you are deep into the story and have had a chance to see what direction each person is actually going in. Following all the 'sides' in the novel allows you to see how things are worked out. You see various events from two points of view, the antagonist and the victim. Although this isn't a new writing technique and many other authors have used it successfully Grisham weaves it into the text so skillfully, not hitting you over the head with it like event one from viewpoint one followed by event tone from viewpoint two but just naturally flowing from person to person, perspective to perspective and happening to happening in such a way that you don't notice the chronological jumps. This book has it all, a clever intriguing plot woven together with realistic understandable characters and written so smoothly you don't notice that you're reading it. The style reminds me of Dick Francis at his
                  best, you get drawn on, not necessarily by the story itself but by the sheer rythm of the writing. There are lots of little tricks that Grisham uses, and I'm not sure it's conscious or that he just writes that way. Of the ones I've noticed my favourite is that when he needs to illustrate something happening away from the world of his current characters he simply introduces a new one. Again this isn't a new trick lots of people have been doing it for a long time but Grisham manages to have these characters a part of the main story, linked with the current characters in such a way you have to wonder if they were planned from the very very beginning, the initial conceptualisation of the story contained these minor add ins. I found this book amazingly easy to read and the story held me. There was a twist in the tale (a Siamese kink? (tail)) and I didn't see it coming at all which was nice. I'm looking forward to reading more of Grishams novels, I can see why he's the 'worlds most popular author' as it proudly declares on the cover.

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                    27.02.2001 00:34

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                    My title says it all - I enjoyed this tremendously - I couldn't put it down until I'd finished it. The plot is both original and very clever and full of unexpected twists and the characters fascinating and well described. I particularly liked the three lead characters - Fitch trying to rig the biggest trial in legal history for his employers and Nicholas and Marlee planning to rig it for their own personal gain and ends. The judge and jury too were interesting characters without being too exaggerated or stereotypical. Some might consider it a little far fetched but it rings true it that you feel it could happen - its not impossible that someone might try to rig a trial. If they do I can only recommend that they read this book to find out how to do it! The book also has excellent touches of humour, some of which had me laughing out loud and the author seems to know his stuff very well. Overall I found this possibly the best of his novels and that's saying something.

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                    25.11.2000 18:57
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                    The Runaway Jury is a very interesting read, if a little far fetched. The story is very enjoyable and centres on a tobacco trial which has high media interest. The main characters, as you would expect, are the jury members. You get to know the characters very well and can relate to them by the end of the book. The four major tobacco companies in America obviously have the most to lose should the decision go against the tobacco industry. They have a large fund of money set aside to cover such circumstances and decide to make it available for all legal battles. The man they employ, Rankin Fitch, will use all kinds of underhand tactics to keep decisions going their way. After 16 victories and no defeats the Big Four begin to question the incredible amounts of money that they pay Fitch but soon realise his fee pales into insignificance should they ever lose a trial and the floodgates open. The book concentrates one of the jury members, Nicholas Easter, through him the other jury members are introduced. The best thing about this is that there is a feeling of these being real people and they are very easy to relate to because of this. The book has many amusing moments in it and is very cleverly written. If you can suspend your belief in patches you will thoroughly enjoy it. Whilst it is not Grisham's best it is certainly in his top 5. For people who have read Grisham before it will be another welcome read. For new readers, if you enjoy this book check out what I consider to be Grisham's best 2 books to date, "The Partner" and "A Time To Kill".

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                      22.11.2000 03:32
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                      Grisham again entangles the reader in a very clever and intricate plot, beautifully engineered with an ending that leaves the reader satisfied but bamboozled at the final twist. A feeling of regret that the book has ended fills you at the turning of the last page. The Runaway Jury tells the story of a major American trial and the odd behaviour of the jury. The words slip by your eyes as you race to see whats around the next corner. be warned - read carefully as every detail counts, weaving the patterns in this finely crafted artwork. It takes no effort to read this book and keeps you guessing throughout. A genuine page turner from the beginning, once you start you never want it to stop, even trying to make dinner with one hand and holdng the pages open with the other. An increadibly enjoyable read, and if you have never had the pleasure of Grisham then you could do a lot worse than starting here, you'll be hooked!

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                      04.09.2000 01:29
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                      John Grisham does it again.John Grisham has done it again , another brilliant book.This book shows all the trappings of his normal exellence and it does in no way fail to dissapoint.The story portrays people not as good or bad but rather avoids the obvious and forces you to read the subtle clues which are hidden between the lines.This book forces you to pay attantion to every , seemlingly insignificant , detail .Not a book for speed readers then! I would recommend it to absolutely everyone as I have not met a single person who has not enjoyed it.

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