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Rogue Lawyer
Cover of Rogue Lawyer
Rogue Lawyer
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND NPR
  • Featuring one of John Grisham's most colorful, outrageous, and vividly drawn characters yet, Rogue Lawyer showcases the master of the legal thriller at his very best.

    On the right side of the law—sort of—Sebastian Rudd is not your typical street lawyer. His office is a customized bulletproof van, complete with Wi-Fi, a bar, a small fridge, and fine leather chairs. He has no firm, no partners, and only one employee: his heavily armed driver, who also so happens to be his bodyguard, law clerk, confidant, and golf caddie. Sebastian drinks small-batch bourbon and carries a gun. He defends people other lawyers won't go near: a drug-addled, tattooed kid rumored to be in a satanic cult; a vicious crime lord on death row; a homeowner arrested for shooting at a SWAT team that mistakenly invaded his house. Why these clients? Because Sebastian believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial—even if he has to bend the law to secure one.

    Praise for Rogue Lawyer

    "Terrific . . . inventive . . . Grisham still makes it look easy."—Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post

    "Sebastian Rudd is . . . a kind of twenty-first-century Philip Marlowe . . . with a blunt, rude, gravelly poetic wiseguy voice."—Benjamin Percy, The New York Times Book Review

    "Deeply engaging and entertaining . . . [Grisham finds] intense drama in the little skirmishes that play out across our legal system every day."—Charles Finch, USA Today

    "Grisham has taken a step in an intriguing new direction."—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
    From the Paperback edition.
  • #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND NPR
  • Featuring one of John Grisham's most colorful, outrageous, and vividly drawn characters yet, Rogue Lawyer showcases the master of the legal thriller at his very best.

    On the right side of the law—sort of—Sebastian Rudd is not your typical street lawyer. His office is a customized bulletproof van, complete with Wi-Fi, a bar, a small fridge, and fine leather chairs. He has no firm, no partners, and only one employee: his heavily armed driver, who also so happens to be his bodyguard, law clerk, confidant, and golf caddie. Sebastian drinks small-batch bourbon and carries a gun. He defends people other lawyers won't go near: a drug-addled, tattooed kid rumored to be in a satanic cult; a vicious crime lord on death row; a homeowner arrested for shooting at a SWAT team that mistakenly invaded his house. Why these clients? Because Sebastian believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial—even if he has to bend the law to secure one.

    Praise for Rogue Lawyer

    "Terrific . . . inventive . . . Grisham still makes it look easy."—Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post

    "Sebastian Rudd is . . . a kind of twenty-first-century Philip Marlowe . . . with a blunt, rude, gravelly poetic wiseguy voice."—Benjamin Percy, The New York Times Book Review

    "Deeply engaging and entertaining . . . [Grisham finds] intense drama in the little skirmishes that play out across our legal system every day."—Charles Finch, USA Today

    "Grisham has taken a step in an intriguing new direction."—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
    From the Paperback edition.
  • Available formats-
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    Copies-
    • Available:
      1
    • Library copies:
      1
    Levels-
    • ATOS:
      6.0
    • Lexile:
    • Interest Level:
      UG
    • Text Difficulty:
      4 - 5

    Recommended for you

    Excerpts-
    • Chapter One 1.

      My name is Sebastian Rudd, and though I am a well‑known street lawyer, you will not see my name on billboards, on bus benches, or screaming at you from the yellow pages. I don't pay to be seen on television, though I am often there. My name is not listed in any phone book. I do not maintain a traditional office. I carry a gun, legally, because my name and face tend to attract attention from the type of people who also carry guns and don't mind using them. I live alone, usually sleep alone, and do not possess the patience and understanding necessary to maintain friendships. The law is my life, always consuming and occasionally fulfilling. I wouldn't call it a "jealous mistress" as some forgotten person once so famously did. It's more like an overbearing wife who controls the checkbook. There's no way out.
      These nights I find myself sleeping in cheap motel rooms that change each week. I'm not trying to save money; rather, I'm just trying to stay alive. There are plenty of people who'd like to kill me right now, and a few of them have been quite vocal. They don't tell you in law school that one day you may find yourself defending a person charged with a crime so heinous that otherwise peaceful citizens feel driven to take up arms and threaten to kill the accused, his lawyer, and even the judge.
      But I've been threatened before. It's part of being a rogue lawyer, a subspecialty of the profession that I more or less fell into ten years ago. When I finished law school, jobs were scarce. I reluctantly took a part‑time position in the City's public defender's office. From there I landed in a small, unprofitable firm that handled only criminal defense. After a few years, that firm blew up and I was on my own, out on the street with plenty of others, scrambling to make a buck.
      One case put me on the map. I can't say it made me famous because, seriously, how can you say a lawyer is famous in a city of a million people? Plenty of local hacks think they're famous. They smile from billboards as they beg for your bankruptcy and swagger in television ads as they seem deeply concerned about your personal injuries, but they're forced to pay for their own publicity. Not me.
      The cheap motels change each week. I'm in the middle of a trial in a dismal, backwater, redneck town called Milo, two hours from where I live in the City. I am defending a brain‑damaged eighteen‑year‑old dropout who's charged with killing two little girls in one of the most evil crimes I've ever seen, and I've seen plenty. My clients are almost always guilty, so I don't waste a lot of time wringing my hands about whether they get what they deserve. In this case, though, Gardy is not guilty, not that it matters. It does not. What's important in Milo these days is that Gardy gets convicted and sentenced to death and executed as soon as possible so that the town can feel better about itself and move on. Move on to where, exactly? Hell if I know, nor do I care. This place has been moving backward for fifty years, and one lousy verdict will not change its course. I've read and heard it said that Milo needs "closure," whatever that means. You'd have to be an idiot to believe this town will somehow grow and prosper and become more tolerant as soon as Gardy gets the needle.
      My job is layered and complicated, and at the same time it's quite simple. I'm being paid by the State to provide a first‑class defense to a defendant charged with capital murder, and this requires me to fight and claw and raise hell in a courtroom where no one is listening. Gardy was essentially convicted the day he was arrested, and his trial is only a...
    About the Author-
    • JOHN GRISHAM is the author of twenty-seven novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and five novels for young readers.

      www.jgrisham.com
      www.facebook.com/JohnGrisham
    Reviews-
    • Publisher's Weekly

      August 17, 2015
      Sebastian Rudd, the narrator of this uninspired legal thriller from bestseller Grisham (Gray Mountain), describes himself a “lone gunman, a rogue who fights the system and hates injustice.” Working in an unspecified Southern state, Rudd isn’t afraid to defend unpopular clients, starting with a “brain-damaged eighteen-year-old dropout” named Gardy, who’s charged with murdering two young girls. Since everyone is convinced of Gardy’s guilt, Rudd faces a tough slog in trying to spring him and nail the real killer. Frequent death threats force him to live a nomadic and isolated existence. His sole friend is his bodyguard and confidant, known only as Partner. Grisham tries to humanize Rudd by making him the backer of an up-and-coming mixed martial artist, as well as the father of a second grader raised by his ex-wife and her current female partner, but he’s more a stereotype than a full-blooded character. Some later plot developments, including the climactic jury trial, strain credibility. Agent: David Gernert, Gernert Company.

    • Kirkus

      August 15, 2015
      Another by-the-numbers legal procedural, at once gritty and lethargic, by longtime practitioner Grisham (Gray Mountain, 2014, etc.). "There are plenty of people who'd like to kill me right now," grumbles Sebastian Rudd, the rogue lawyer in question. He carries a gun, works out of his car, and sleeps in a different hotel room every week, precisely because he runs up against so many bad guys who mean him harm. Some of them are cops. Why? Because Sebastian, though jaded and cynical, as literary lawyers are required to be, apparently still believes in justice, for which reason, accompanied by a bodyguard named Partner ("a hulking, heavily armed guy who wears black suits and takes me everywhere"), he finds himself in a podunk burg where a client is fighting for his life against the charge that he's brutally murdered two little girls in a spectacularly gruesome crime. Natch, spectacular gruesomeness being another sine qua non for the bestselling crime novel. Indirection and misdirection abound, with lots of talky exposition, the requisite maverick-y norm-flouting ("At this precise moment, I am violating the rules of ethics and perhaps a criminal statute as well"), and the usual sarcastic world-weariness ("The jurors don't believe any of this because they have known for some time that Gardy was a member of a satanic cult with a history of sexual perversion"). All this is to be expected in a genre bound by convention as tightly as our perp bound the ankles of his victims, but the reader can see most of the mystery coming from a long way off, making the yarn less effective than most. And the cliches pile on a bit too thickly, from the large-breasted moll to the bored judge who dozes at the bench. One wonders if Grisham weren't sleeping through some of this as well. Whatever the case, one of his lesser cases.

      COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    • Library Journal

      May 15, 2015
      No word on plot, character, or setting here. My closest guess on mood, given the title? In "The Appeal", Grisham says, "Trial lawyers, always a colorful and eclectic bunch. Cowboys, rogues, radicals, longhairs, corporate suits, flamboyant mavericks.... They were anything but boring." Expect not to be bored.

      Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

    • Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post "Terrific...Grisham, can still devise distinctive characters, tricky legal predicaments and rogueishly cheating ways to worm out of them."
    • Benjamin Percy, The New York Times Book Review "Sebastian Rudd is a kind of social justice warrior and Grisham uses him to take jabs at the legal system...all with a blunt, rude, gravelly poetic wise guy voice that makes Rudd come across as a kind of 21st-century Philip Marlowe."
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