Tag Archives: legal thriller

The Rainmaker

The legal thriller by John Grisham, made famous by the 1997 movie of the same name, starring Matt Damon, Danny de Vito among others. Early John Grisham books were quite brilliant – books like The Firm, The Chamber were well written and in true Grisham form. Here Rudy Baylor is just getting out of law college when he gets a couple of assignments on his social project helping senior citizens. One of which is a insurance claim where an insurance company is refusing to pay hospital expenses for a bone marrow treatment for one their one policy holders Donny Ray who has leukemia and is dying from it, if the bone marrow cannot be gone. Baylor digs deep and finds lot of dirt. In the meanwhile he loses his job offer from a couple of law firms, gets inside a seedy law firm but has to urgently extricate himself when it is found that his boss has been involved in some shady dealings and has to quit town under cover of darkness. Baylor has company of Deck Shifflet, (played by Danny de Vito in the movie) who has not managed to pass the bar exam despite his six attempts and does not believe in playing the ethical rules of the game. Meanwhile the court room fight with the insurance company Great Benefit gets murkier by the day. Grisham has gone into a lot of depth in covering the pre-trial, depositions, jury selection and the trial itself. Female element has to be there, so while Rudy Baylor is preparing for his bar exams by studying in the hospital canteen, he comes across a young girl Kelly (played by Claire Danes in the movie) who is badly beaten and bruised by her husband. I have already watched the movie before reading the book, yet found the book to be pulsating and throbbing in typical Grisham style. Goodreads 5/5

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Rainmaker

Saw the 1997 movie The Rainmaker starring Matt Damon, Danny de Vito, Danny Glover in the cast. The movie is an adaptation from a book by John Grisham, the legal thriller writer. As is wont to be with early Grisham books, it does not disappoint. There is a medico legal case in which Damon is involved as his first ever case after passing the bar exam, ranged against him high profile lawyers. There is also an assault and battery case involving a woman who is attacked by her husband, but who prefers not to file for divorce until much latter when she is almost clobbered to death. Ethics or lack of it in the legal profession comes out strongly, jury tampering, doing away with witnesses – all in the mix of it. Matt Damon has done a good role in it, being a competent actor that he is. All time time classic from those good old days, worth a watch anytime it comes on telly.

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The Chamber by John Grisham

“The Chamber” by John Grisham, is a searing portrayal of an aging Ku Klux Klan convict on the death row, his agonies, his cleansing, his relationship with his family, in a slow and deliberate manner that wrenches your guts away. While there is sufficient legalese in the book, it is the morbidity that hits you as a reader. Undoubtedly, one of Grisham’s best.

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