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Word Count: 436
Jury duty wont make you rich But unfortunately no judge ever delivered that instruction to Nicholas Easter protagonist-juror in John Grishams new novel The Runaway Jury Its a timely legal thriller giant tobacco companies versus the giant anti-smoking lobby Three-pack-a-day 30-year smoker Jacob Wood is dead and his widows lawsuit becomes all things to all involved plaintiffs lawyers want to open the door on tobacco liability and the industry wants it slammed shut The author John Grisham puts The Runaway Jurys court action in Biloxi Miss his home state and adds the suspense of the Gulf Coasts gambling and gumbo In my opinion its far less compelling than The Rainmaker faster than The Chamber and more straightforward than The Pelican Brief Grishams sixth novel is a lively read that evokes doubt about the sanctity of the US jury system Enter provocateur Nicholas Easter part-time store clerk with clean-shaven boyish good looks Easter is very nice and really wants to appear unbiased about tobacco There begins the story and suspicions are soon confirmed Easter has his own agenda threading through a maze of legal procedure and powerful personalities Theres defence lawyer Wendall Rohr whose name sounds like the volume of his voice Hes almost too outrageous with mismatched clothes and clicking dentures But hes crafty enough to get 1 million each from seven anti-tobacco groups in pursuit of a victory that will seal his fortune and his future In public the flanks of the defence team are led by Durwood Sir Durr Cable the senior partner whose rich clothes and rich voice put us on edge Cable and his group look down their long noses and smile phony smiles at the jury With many of these quick hackneyed details Grisham feeds the readers dislike of lawyers The real battles for the verdict are fought outside the courtroom -- and for money The dark explosive Rankin Fitch is the industry bully with a fund to pay
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