Reviews / Thriller / Crime Fiction

Book Review: The Litigators by John Grisham

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Bored with serious stuff? Have a look at John Grisham’s latest legal thriller — The Litigators. It is a surprisingly quick read with an intriguing plot, three dimensional characters and a lot of courtroom drama. As for fans of the author, this is arguably Grisham’s best effort in recent years (though not without a few issues).

The story

The partners at Finley & Figg — a law firm — have been in trenches for too long. They’re looking for a big break and desperately hoping for a Jackpot. They get lucky when a disillusioned yet talented young lawyer — David Zinc — joins their firm.  Finley & Figg can handle big cases now and opportunity comes to them in the form of a lawsuit against a big pharma company. In its enthusiasm, the small law firm takes on a formidable armada of lawyers who represent the drug company. What happens next?

What’s so good

A lot of people who opine that Grisham is no longer capable of creating “real” and “living” characters should read The Litigators. Grisham presents some memorable, believable, annoying, despicable, and likable guys in this book (the peevish Oscar Finley, the corrupt Wally Figg, and the sexy defense attorney — Nadine being the best examples).

You’ve got a well-crafted and a gripping story. The logical plotline of the book does not demand willing suspension of disbelief. And the high Entertainment Quotient keeps you tensed and engaged. A book that you cannot put down easily is certainly worth reading.

The not-so-good stuff

The story, though intriguing and entertaining, is formula driven and will seem predictable if you have already read a few John Grisham books.

This is not particularly an issue with this book, but with Grisham’s writing in general: some readers are sick and tired of Grisham trying to show legal profession in a negative light. The litigators too highlights corruption and greed in legal business. You aren’t deliberately trying to be monothematic and boring, are you Mr. Grisham? Isn’t it time to try something new within the boundary of legal thriller?


The Litigators is worth the cover price, but you’ve a feeling that Grisham has not bothered to develop the story to the full extent. It’s a fun ride, but it’s shallow too; it gives you the satisfaction of reading a gossip magazine, not a book. If you are missing John Grisham classics, then it’s time to re-read The Firm may be. Continue reading