In this back list legal thriller, Grisham examines the corruption of the “big tobacco” industry and the influence of a single juror. In Biloxi, Mississippi, late twenty-something Nicholas Easter has been selected for jury duty in the civil case of Pinex versus Jacob Wood’s widow, who lost her husband to lung cancer.
Both the plaintiff and defense have hired jury consultants to analyze the every jury’s move. But what the defense also has that no one else does his Fitch and his team, who will do whatever it takes and by whatever means necessary to secure a verdict no matter how illegal or unethical, even if it takes buying off a juror, thanks to the fund of millions secured by the Tobacco companies.
But this jury is like no other with Nicholas Easter at the helm who, unbeknownst to everyone else, has his own motives. Easter’s cohort on the outside, Marlee, engages Fitch to show him how much control Easter really has over the jury. Once she has him convinced she can guarantee a defense win, he bribes her with $10 million dollars, but Fitch will soon learn not everything is what it seems.
It is hard to determine who really is the “good guy” here, which keeps the plot lively. Neither Runaway Jury nor The King of Torts are the Grisham’s best (I would know; I have read A LOT of Grisham) but still very enjoyable nonetheless. I like how he always keeps the reader guessing and gives good insight into the law. I never gave much thought about the dynamics and influence of a group of jurors until this book.