The Office of the Public Defender is not known as a training ground for bright young litigators. Clay Carter has been there too long, and, like most of his colleagues, dreams of a better job in a real firm. When he reluctantly takes the case of a young man charged with a random street killing, he assumes it is just another of the many senseless murders that hit D. C. every week.
As he digs into the background of his client, Clay stumbles upon a conspiracy too horrible to believe. He suddenly finds himself in the middle of a complex case against one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, looking at the kind of enormous settlement that would totally change his life - that would make him, almost overnight, the legal profession's newest king of torts...
About the Author...
One day at the Dessoto County courthouse, John Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.
That might have put an end to Grisham's hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career - and spark one of publishing's greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.
Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 225 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. The Innocent Man (2006) marked his first foray into non-fiction.
John Grisham could certainly be said to have earned his position as one of the bestselling crime writers in the world; after all, he inaugurated (almost single-handedly) the entire genre of the legal thriller as we know it today, and his host of imitators have rarely matched the skill so evident in such novels as The Firm, The Client and The Pelican Brief. Set in the cut-throat world of the public defender's office in Washington DC, The King of Torts touches all the usual bases. Grisham's hero this time is an ambitious young lawyer who is handed a case that initially appears to be nothing more than one of the host of crack cocaine killings that plague the capital. But as he digs deeper, the tentacles of a massive conspiracy begin to appear: a conspiracy that has implications for nothing less than the entire justice system itself. All the customary John Grisham fingerprints are satisfyingly in evidence here: the resourceful, beleaguered lawyer protagonist, the labyrinthine plot in which small details begin to paint a much larger canvas, and that unflagging narrative drive that has propelled the author to the stellar position he enjoys today. And there's a new lean quality in the prose that makes this something of a new departure for Grisham. As usual, an indifferent movie will probably be made of the book, but the canny reader would do well to go straight to the source, where the real pleasure lies. (Kirkus UK)
Number Of Pages: 496
Published: December 2003
Dimensions (cm): 17.8 x 11.2 x 3.3
Weight (kg): 0.258