“Gray Mountain” by John Grisham (Doubleday, 386 pages, $28.95)
John Grisham has been writing legal thrillers and dramas that resonate with readers for almost 25 years, and his latest continues the theme of ordinary people who work in the law profession experiencing a crisis of conscience.
Sometimes following the letter of the law might not feel morally just, and that conflict within the person having to confront the issue head-on has propelled Grisham to the top of the best-seller lists and made him a household name.
“Gray Mountain” introduces readers to Samantha Kofer, Grisham’s latest character to tackle walking the line between right and wrong. Kofer is working for a giant Wall Street law firm when the financial world collapses in 2008. She soon finds herself leaving her office building with a cardboard box filled with her belongings. She goes to work in a legal clinic in rural Virginia without pay, with the possibility of returning to her old firm in a year when money woes should have eased.
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The town of Brady, Virginia, has a population small enough to ensure that everyone knows everyone else. Kofer becomes involved in the intricacies of helping those who can’t afford legal help find the justice. She also learns some big secrets involving the people she has grown to care about and what companies will do for profit.
Grisham has written one of his best legal dramas in quite some time with this dive into small-town politics. There’s a mystery, but that’s a minor portion of the story. The main thrust that will engage readers is Kofer and the cast of characters that help her discover her passion.