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9780440245933

The Pelican Brief: A Novel

Grisham, John Author

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In suburban Georgetown, a killer’s Reeboks whisper on the floor of a posh home. In a seedy D.C. porno house, a patron is swiftly garroted to death. The next day America learns that two of its Supreme Court justices have been assassinated. And in New Orleans, a young law student prepares a legal brief.

To Darby Shaw it was no more than a legal shot in the dark, a brilliant guess. To the Washington establishment it’s political dynamite. Suddenly Darby is witness to a murder–a murder intended for her. Going underground, she finds that there is only one person–an ambitious reporter after a newsbreak hotter than Watergate–she can trust to help her piece together the deadly puzzle. Somewhere between the bayous of Louisiana and the White House’s inner sanctums, a violent cover-up is being engineered. For someone has read Darby’s brief–someone who will stop at nothing to destroy the evidence of an unthinkable crime.

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Review:

John Grisham's head was full of movies when he wrote The Pelican Brief, which is such a brisk page-turner you could use it to dry your hair. He had Julia Roberts in mind for the heroine, Darby Shaw, a brilliant Tulane law student who comes up with an ingenious theory to explain the baffling assassinations of two Supreme Court justices in one day. They were shot and strangled by ace international terrorist Khamel, who loves the film Three Days of the Condor, but government gumshoes don't get what connects the deaths. Silly government guys! They died so the conservative president, who just wants to be left alone to play golf, will appoint new, conservative justices who will help out a case involving an industrialist who is the enemy of pelicans and other living things. It's all spelled out for them in Darby's brief. She likes to do legal feats to impress her boyfriend, her boyish law prof Thomas (who, like Grisham, prefers to shave at most once a week, and is cool, smart, and antiauthoritarian). The prof likes to paint her toes red, in homage to Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham. (Sarandon also starred in the film version of Grisham's The Client.)

But when Thomas gets splattered by a car bomb meant for Darby, she escapes the hospital and hooks up with a Washington Post reporter, Gray Grantham, who sleuths like the guys in All the President's Men.

Grisham wishes he hadn't written The Pelican Brief quite so quickly (his first novel, A Time to Kill, went through dozens of drafts), but Pelican's very breathlessness contributes to its dreamy, cinematic chase-o-rama atmosphere.

Review:

Anthony Heald gives an uncommonly compelling performance narrating this fast-paced legal thriller. The action begins with the fierce assassinations of two Supreme Court justices. Too unlikely to be coincidental, the murders have no identifiable connection until a young law student uncovers a hidden link, exposing herself and those around her to deadly consequences. Heald uses the flexibility of his voice to conjure up a large cast of diverse characters. He crafts his delivery expertly, heightening the already substantial suspense and carrying the story to its dramatic conclusion. (Running time: 6 hours, 4 cassettes) --George Laney

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 188 x 104 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. In suburban Georgetown, a killer s Reeboks whisper on the floor of a posh home. In a seedy D.C. porno house, a patron is swiftly garroted to death. The next day America learns that two of its Supreme Court justices have been assassinated. And in New Orleans, a young law student prepares a legal brief. To Darby Shaw it was no more than a legal shot in the dark, a brilliant guess. To the Washington establishment it s political dynamite. Suddenly Darby is witness to a murder-a murder intended for her. Going underground, she finds that there is only one person-an ambitious reporter after a newsbreak hotter than Watergate-she can trust to help her piece together the deadly puzzle. Somewhere between the bayous of Louisiana and the White House s inner sanctums, a violent cover-up is being engineered. For someone has read Darby s brief-someone who will stop at nothing to destroy the evidence of an unthinkable crime. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780440245933

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