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review 2018-05-20 22:01
Sycamore Row - John Grisham


I've come to hate books that tell of horrible things that have taken place or could have taken place. This book is an example of that. I was just heart sick for days after reading it. Then with all that's happening in Virginia, it's like this stuff will never go away. When I was young I couldn't get enough of true life tragedy, now it just depresses me. The ending was predictable but even worse than my predictions.

The procedure parts of a law case went on far too long. I don't know if the author wanted to make it true to life but it was practically on par with, "As every lawyer should be aware, that when someone dies, their assets become property of their estate. Any income those assets generate is also part of the estate and may trigger the requirement to file an estate income tax return. Examples of assets that would generate income to the decedent’s estate include savings accounts, CDs, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and rental property. IRS Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts, is required if the estate generates more than $600 in annual gross income. Jake grabbed a black fountain pen because at the top of the form it asked that signatures be made in black ink so he thought he would save time by filling in the entire form with the same pen." 

This went on and on and on and on and on and on. I would stop paying attention and/or fall asleep. Then I remembered why I had stopped reading Grisham. Too much like my own work!

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review 2018-05-15 14:22
Calico Joe
Calico Joe - John Grisham

A phone call, a father who is dying. The family is broken and will never be completely healed. The father had been an abusive father and husband and when the wife finally gets it together to take the children away, the damage is done. The father has little to anything to do with the children and the son, Paul Tracy, wants little to do with his father and celebrates that all his children are girls and won't feel the need to play a sport, like their father. 


Warren Tracy is a former Big League Baseball player who was known for being a "headhunter" for throwing balls at the heads of players that he felt were being too showy when they got a home run hit off of him. One of his last plays, he throws the ball with such force at the head of a very popular rookie player for the Cubs, Joe Castle, aka Calico Joe. His ball almost kills and does so much damage to Joe that he is never able to return to the game. Paul growing up has to reconcile what happened and how to even have a relationship with his father, who feels that he needs to make sure that his son also becomes a headhunter. 


Paul, on the other hand, doesn't want to be like his father. After some seriously angry times with his father, he gives up playing baseball at all. He doesn't even follow the game anymore. But with the call that his father is dying, he decides that it is time for his father to own up to the truth and make peace with Joe Castle. He goes to Joe's hometown and then works on getting his father to come to the hometown. 


The story does follow baseball in a way, but it is more about relationships and healing. I liked this side of the story the most. Healing of the father and son relationship and healing of the baseball players, so that hew as able to write a story in remembrance of the two men and the ends of their careers. 

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review 2018-05-04 19:29
Witness to a Trial
Witness to a Trial: A Short Story Prequel to The Whistler (Kindle Single) - John Grisham

Super Short story on the trial process, the assigning of an attorney for someone who cannot afford an attorney and the case put forth by a DA or ADA. Good for someone just wanting a little information on court trials. 


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review 2018-04-30 21:26
The Partner
The Partner - John Grisham

Patrick Lanigan was unhappy, he was unhappy in his life, his marriage and his law partnership. He started thinking about how to get away from this life. His wife was cheating with her old boyfriend and had had a child with him that was not his child. His partners were scamming the government with the help of a Senator, related to the partner who was considered the major owner, they were planning on getting rid of Patrick just so he never got any of the money. He planned and plotted and then made it look like he had been killed in a freak accident. He disappeared and then he waited and listened and planned and took the money that had been the root of the partners' plans to get rid of Patrick. He stole the 90 million dollars and then disappeared. 4 years later, he was captured and tortured and brought back to the US for prosecution. But as the prosecution starts he starts working his way free from the charges and gets things settled to his choices. 


The book was a fast read and I really didn't want to put the book down or stop listening to the story (for those times when I listened while driving). I know that there are some who don't like these books and I know that when I read enough of his books, I choose to leave them alone for awhile. I do suggest not listening to the first chapters around children as the descriptions of the torture were intense. 

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review 2018-04-19 12:58
The Rainmaker - John Grisham

Rudy is a 3rd-year law student and all his plans have gone up in dust. The firm that he signed with has sold and he is no longer going to be employed by them. When he leaves their building he knocks into a bust of the founder and it shatters a window. When he goes to another firm, started by a young, hungry law student years ago, he is promised a job, but when he does all the work on the account he is bringing them, they fire him and then he is accused of starting a fire at their place. After his current employer, a shady bar owner, helps him get with Bruiser, a shady attorney, he now has a job and he gets to keep his account that he brought along with him. The cases that he is so possessive of, are Miss Birdie, an elderly woman who says she has a huge fortune and wants to rewrite her will to write out her family and the Black family, whose son is dying from treatable leukemia. He was refused medical treatment by the insurance company that his mother got for the family and his brother was a perfect match for a bone marrow transplant and yet, the insurance company refused the treatments and refused to pay for any testing he had done claiming that he had pre-existing condition and then calling his mother stupid in a letter. 


When it becomes evident that Bruiser is going to be running from the law, he and Declan leave and start their own office, doing all the things they had done before at Bruiser's to pay the bills all the while, working on this one big case. Since this is his only big case, he works it all the time. He fast-tracks the case and as he works the case he finds allies in places he didn't know he had. A law school friend helps him with cases that his company cannot handle and will allow some steady income and allow him to continue to work on this case for the Black family. When Deck and Rudy find that their phones are bugged, they start doing things to see who has bugged them and discover that it was the law firm for the insurance company and they use it to their advantage, pretending that the family wants a settlement or that they tampered with the jury. 


It was a really good story and moved quickly, hard to put down, so much so that in order to continue reading while I was driving my girls around, I borrowed the audio version so I could listen while I drove. 

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