Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review: The Pelican Brief

The Pelican Brief
By John Grisham
Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing 1992
436 pages
From my shelves

The Pelican Brief

One night in Washington D.C., two supreme court justices are murdered. The circumstances of the murders are very different, but the two deaths must be connected. As the FBI pursues leads, a young law student writes a brief explaining what might have happened. Darby thinks that it is a shot in the dark until someone tries to murder her too. She goes on the run, desperate to stay alive and desperate to find out who murdered the judges and is now after her. Can she trust a journalist to find the answers and tell her story or will she end up like Justices Rosenberg and Jensen?

This was my first time reading a novel by John Grisham and I found it an engaging read. As someone who had interest in both the law and journalism once upon a time, I thought those aspects of the story were really interesting. They play important parts, but they don't make the story inaccessible for those of us without our law degrees. It was funny to note how dated this story feels, though. Published in 1992, it's a trip down a memory lane of pay phones and typewriters. But the story of government conspiracy and intrigue seems like it could happen twenty years ago or tomorrow.

Grisham really builds the tension throughout - I was never sure if Darby was going to make it through another day despite her best efforts to hide from the men chasing her. I see why people enjoy reading his novels. They are fast paced and interesting, perfect for a one-day marathon read. I don't think I'm going to run out and read everything he has written (I would be at it for a while with more than 25 books!), but I'm glad I gave his writing a try.

Do you enjoy reading John Grisham's books? Which is your favorite? 


  1. My best friend has been trying to get me to read John Grisham for a LONG time and I really should. She also told me to pick up Pelican Brief first as it's one of her favorites!

    1. It's always interesting to see what our friends think we will like. It's so fun to discuss a book you have both read.