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John Grisham Legal Thrillers

John Grisham was a practicing lawyer and an elected state representative before becoming a novelist. Grisham refers to himself as a moderate Democrat who shows a concern for social issues. Grisham made his literary fame with legal thrillers, but has released other kinds of novels over the years. This list contains his legal thrillers. Each summary is preceded by Grisham Day in parenthesis, the day that the novel was first released.

20 items

The whistler

John Grisham. |

October 25, 2016

Rogue lawyer

John Grisham. |

(October 20, 2015) The Lincoln Lawyer novels of Michael Connelly were so good that Grisham penned a tribute to the series with this novel featuring his reincarnation of Mickey Haller -- Sebastian Rudd.

Gray Mountain

John Grisham. |

(October 23, 2014) City girl Samantha Kofer is exiled to Appalachia after the 2008 Subprime Mortgage Meltdown and fights the coal companies.

Sycamore Row

John Grisham. |

(October 22, 2013) Seth Hubbard drew up a holographic will that disinherited his children and named a surprise beneficiary.  Lawyer Jake Brigance is called to defend the will in a trial every bit as riveting as his first major trial. A sequel to Grisham's first novel, A Time to Kill.

The racketeer

John Grisham. |

(October 23, 2012) In a rush to indict associates of Barry the Backhander, the Feds sent lawyer Malcolm Bannister to jail.  Jailhouse lawyer Bannister learned of a murder and used Rule 35 to barter for his freedom, but now needs his wits to keep it.

The litigators

John Grisham. |

(October 25, 2011) A gritty law firm in southwest Chicago hires burned-out corporate lawyer David Zinc, who leads the firm in a mass-action tort suit against the makers of a diet pill, defended by his old employer.

The confession

John Grisham. |

(October 26, 2010) The real case of Marty Tankleff inspired this story about a death row convict.  Travis Boyette confessed a crime to a minister, who learned that Dante Drumm is scheduled to be executed for that crime.

The associate

John Grisham. |

(January 27, 2009) A socially-conscious Yale lawyer must accept a job at a high powered New York legal firm, in order to steal some highly confidential legal documents, in order to protect himself from criminal charges resulting from an incident at a college fraternity party. Inspired by the Duke Lacrosse case.

The appeal

John Grisham. |

(January 29, 2008) An unknown candidate for the Mississippi Supreme Court defeats an incumbent with a spirited campaign financed by some wealthy benefactors.  The man finds his conscience tugging him in opposite directions when an important court case is heard.

The summons

John Grisham. |

(February 5, 2002) Ray Atlee obeys the summons, only to find the father who sent the summons dead at home.  A large inheritance is left behind, but threats are made.  Atlee finds some answers but must make up his mind before he winds up dead.

The brethren

John Grisham. |

(February 1, 2000) Three judges from a kangaroo court at a federal penitentiary pretend to be pen pals to lonely men in order to extort money by threatening public embarrassment.  They target a candidate for President backed by the FBI.

The street lawyer

John Grisham. |

(February 4, 1998) Corporate lawyer Michael Brock becomes a lawyer for the homeless after being held hostage.  The street lawyer stumbles upon a wrongful eviction by the corporation hired by Brock's old law firm that ejected the man who took him hostage.

The partner

John Grisham. |

(February 26, 1997) Patrick Lannigan faked his death and absconded with $90 million from a Gulf Coast law firm.  How he hid and how he was discovered are the mysteries of the novel, as well as the location of the money.

The runaway jury

John Grisham. |

(May 1, 1996) This modern Twelve Angry Men tale involves a wrongful death trial against a tobacco company that brings jury fixer Rankin Fitch to town as well as professional juror Nicholas Easter and his girlfriend Marlee.

The rainmaker

John Grisham. |

(April 1, 1995) A law school graduate takes job out of college for Bruiser's ambulance-chasing firm. When Bruiser is arrested, Rudy Baylor starts his own law firm, only to find himself in court facing the top law firm in Memphis.

The chamber

John Grisham. |

(May 1, 1994) A former Klansman on death row finally finds a lawyer who he can work with, a grandson who establishes a personal connection through his professional visits.

The client

John Grisham. |

(February 1, 1993) When a child tries to prevent a man from killing himself, others believe that suicide victim told him a secret.  He hires a lawyer to fend off overzealous federal prosecutors and the mob.

The pelican brief

John Grisham. |

1992

The firm

John Grisham. |

(February 1, 1991) Top student Mitch McDeere accepts an offer he cannot refuse to join a corporate tax law firm in Memphis, but soon after passing the bar he is hounded by the FBI, who say The Firm is a front for the Moralto crime family.

A time to kill

John Grisham. |

(June 1989) Clanton lawyer Jake Brigance knows his client killed two men, but he believes he can convince a jury that each person would do the same thing in the same situation in a case that interests both the KKK and NAACP.