Read the pelican brief by John Grisham Online


John Grisham's head was full of movies when he wrote The Pelican Brief, which is such a brisk page-turner you could use it to dry your hair. He had Julia Roberts in mind for the heroine, Darby Shaw, a brilliant Tulane law student who comes up with an ingenious theory to explain the baffling assassinations of two Supreme Court justices in one day. They were shot and stranglJohn Grisham's head was full of movies when he wrote The Pelican Brief, which is such a brisk page-turner you could use it to dry your hair. He had Julia Roberts in mind for the heroine, Darby Shaw, a brilliant Tulane law student who comes up with an ingenious theory to explain the baffling assassinations of two Supreme Court justices in one day. They were shot and strangled by ace international terrorist Khamel, who loves the film Three Days of the Condor, but government gumshoes don't get what connects the deaths. Silly government guys! They died so the conservative president, who just wants to be left alone to play golf, will appoint new, conservative justices who will help out a case involving an industrialist who is the enemy of pelicans and other living things. It's all spelled out for them in Darby's brief. She likes to do legal feats to impress her boyfriend, her boyish law prof Thomas (who, like Grisham, prefers to shave at most once a week, and is cool, smart, and antiauthoritarian). The prof likes to paint her toes red, in homage to Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham. (Sarandon also starred in the film version of Grisham's The Client.) But when Thomas gets splattered by a car bomb meant for Darby, she escapes the hospital and hooks up with a Washington Post reporter, Gray Grantham, who sleuths like the guys in All the President's Men. Grisham wishes he hadn't written The Pelican Brief quite so quickly (his first novel, A Time to Kill, went through dozens of drafts), but Pelican's very breathlessness contributes to its dreamy, cinematic chase-o-rama atmosphere....

Title : the pelican brief
Author :
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ISBN : 8151323
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 498 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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the pelican brief Reviews

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-02-13 13:21

    The Pelican Brief, John GrishamTaut thriller about a young law student whose legal brief about the assassination of two Supreme Court justices causes her to be targeted by killers. She realizes just how accurate her accusations have been when her lover and mentor is murdered. Forced to go on the run in New Orleans, she is aided by a journalist who helps her unravel a conspiracy involving senior government figures.تاریخ نخستین خوانش: دوم ماه اکتبر سال 1999 میلادیعنوان: پرونده پلیکان؛ نویسنده: جان گریشام؛ مترجم: بابک ریاحی پور؛ تهران، زرین، 1373؛ در 672 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: ویراستار: بابک حقایق؛ تهران، نشر آویژه، 1377؛ در 672 ص، شابک: 9649094083؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی قرن 20 معنوان: پرونده پلیکان؛ نویسنده: جان گریشام؛ مترجم: خسرو مهربان سمیعی؛ تهران، هرمس، 1384؛ در 500 ص؛ شابک: 9647100671؛ چاپ دوم 1394، در هشت و 535 ص؛ شابک: 9789647100670؛در این داستان، آبراهام روزنبرگ (آخرین چهره‌ ی دادگاه عالی فدرال) از سوی مخالفان با: سقط جنین، و حامیان برتری نژادی، و هم‌جنس‌گرایان، به شدت تهدید می‌شود. این در حالی ست که او به برتری حکومت بر مسائل دیگر، و برتری فرد بر حکومت، و حفظ محیط زیست، و دفاع از سرخ‌پوستان و سیاه‌پوستان، باور دارد؛ و ...؛از متن: «اسمیت»، من «گری‌»ام. خوب گوش کن و کاری را که می‌‌گویم انجام بده. تایید را از منبع دیگری گرفتم، درباره «پرونده پلیکان» سند مهمی است «اسمیت». یک ربع دیگر با «کراتهامر» در دفتر «فلدمن» باشید. ـ چی پیدا کرده‌ ای؟ ـ «گارسیا» پیام خداحافظی گذاشته است. اول باید جای دیگری برویم، بعد می‌آییم آن‌جا. ـ چی؟ دخترک هم با توست؟ ـ بله. یک ویدیو و تلویزیون در اتاق کنفرانس بگذار. فکر می‌کنم «گارسیا» می‌خواهد با ما حرف بزند. ـ نوار کاست گذاشته است؟ ـ بله، تا یک ربع دیگر آنجاییم. ـ خطری تهدیدت نمی‌کند؟ ـ نه. فکر نمی‌کنم «اسمیت». اما اعصابم داغان است. گوشی را گذاشت و دوان دوان به طرف اتومبیل رفت. پایان نقل. ا. شربیانی

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-02-08 17:43

    The Pelican Brief is darker than Grisham's usual works, but it's still very well-written and original, and its descriptions of characters and scenery are very vivid and realistic.

  • Cathie
    2019-02-15 14:44

    I worked at a law firm where part of the movie was filmed. When Julia Roberts's character goes into a law firm to ask for a particular lawyer only to find out that he no longer works there and she leaves, that is my old firm. It is an ornate marble lobby with a small stream of water in the middle of the lobby. She goes through a glass door and can either go up an escalator or up some stairs to the reception desk, which overlooks the lobby. The walls are all glass and she can see across the floor into the conference room where the receptionist goes. I had just interviewed there before I saw the movie and was having major deja vu while watching the movie.

  • Michael Finocchiaro
    2019-02-09 13:24

    I read this when it came out and I was a restless teenager. I never saw the movie. I only gave it three stars because I remember it being exciting but still considered it pulp fiction. Perhaps the topic of assassinated Supreme Court justices over environmentalism will become a more relevant topic soon and it merits a re-read? Or not.

  • Kiersten
    2019-02-13 19:14

    This book was a lot more suspenseful and entertaining than I thought it would be. I don't know why I thought it would be so boring, since John Grisham is so popular. It was incredibly suspenseful at parts. It was the first book I'd read by Grisham, so I really didn't know what was coming. I had three problems with it: 1) Although, like I said, the book as a whole was really suspenseful, I thought the end was a bit anticlimatic. 2) The environmentalism was a bit heavy handed. I'm all about preserving the environment, but I don't like being hit over the head by it. Darby could get a bit preachy at times. 3) I didn't think that Darby was a very good characterization. She didn't feel real. Towards the end she said something like, "It's not fair; we used my brains, looks, and legs, and you get all the glory." Despite whatever Grisham's fantasies may be, women do not talk like that, nor do they obsess over their legs and toenails as much as Darby did, and if they do, everyone hates them. But all in all it was a great book.

  • Annet
    2019-02-09 14:29

    Read it years ago, remember I liked it, entertaining read. I used to like reading Grisham's books, maybe I'll try a new one soon, sort of lost track of all the books he wrote in the past years.

  • Carmun
    2019-02-15 18:28

    ¡Esta bastante bien! Aunque me esperaba un final un poco más impactante.

  • Tina Suraj
    2019-01-22 21:38

    My first Grisham novel and probably my last. The book was much too formulaic and a bit dull (not for an avid mystery reader and an adrenaline junkie)though at certain points it was a fast page turner. The plot was really weak. Maybe this environmental conspiracy plot was breakthrough in the 90s but in 2010, it's a tad bit overused and overdone. What made this book unbearable was Grisham characterization of Darby. She is the generic 90s heroine...extremely smart, absolutely stunning, with a spunky attitude with zero faults...making her unrelatable. And her romance with Callahan and Grantham was oh-so-predicatable. Apparently, for Grisham, damsel in distress always needs to be attached to a white knight.

  • Whitney
    2019-02-15 20:15

    i had read a less well-known grisham book, and was pretty disappointed, so i decided to read this one, which is supposedly one of his best. terrible ending, tedious story for the most part. if you can read quickly you might not think you're wasting your time on this book.

  • Raymond
    2019-01-23 14:27

    I read this book when I was a freshman in high school. I was looking for a book to read for a book report in my English class and the librarian suggested that I read The Pelican Brief. I read it and the rest is history. 15 years and 36 books later, I'm still reading Grisham's books. He is my favorite author and it all started with this novel.

  • Tom Barnes
    2019-01-29 17:42

    Washington wakes up to the gruesome news that two members of the Supreme Court have been murdered overnight. The shocking part was in their diversity. The old, should have retired years ago, Democrat Justice Rosenberg and the younger Republican Justice Jensen. The fact that they were almost always on opposite sides of any issue left law enforcement with no clear political motive. The only clues left behind seemed to be ones of the killer’s choosing. A nylon cord used to garrote Jensen as he sat in a movie house watching a porno film. The Rosenberg affair was messy – three people dead, three 22-caliber bullets to the head of each victim Rosenberg, a guard and an aid.Down in bayou country Tulane University law professor Thomas Callahan on hearing the news got roaring drunk to ease the pain. Rosenberg was one of his idols and he couldn’t believe the end had come.While the whole country pondered the reason behind the killings Darby Shaw, a bright law student and bed partner of professor Callahan turns sleuth. Ms. Shaw pores over the current Supreme Court docket and eventually comes up with a promising case. And for the next four days she shuffles through pages of affidavits detailing lies and abuses by lawyers and their clients.In the end Darby Shaw writes an eight-page draft of what will later be called the Pelican Brief. Shaw is only half convinced that she is on to something, however, in spite of her skepticism she turns the pages over to Callahan.Callahan attends the Rosenberg funeral in Washington and passes the brief along to a colleague. And once copies of those pages get into the wrong hands Darby Shaw becomes the hunted.John Grisham takes us through a fast paced cat and mouse investigation, and in the end solves the puzzle to everyone’s satisfaction.

  • Ana M. Román
    2019-02-08 14:39

    Acabo de terminarlo hace apenas unos momentos. Debo decir que me ha gustado pero me gustó más La Confesión. Me parece evidente que es uno de sus primeros trabajos, es menos legalista que el anterior que menciono y usa más los típicos elementos usados para agradar a un público más amplio, incluído cierto componente romántico sútil. Además es mucho más comedido en sus críticas ya que aunque las hay son más del tipo que todo el mundo sabe y siempre dejan de lado que las que nos encontramos en La Confesión.Sobre la trama, no iba tanto acerca de descubrir quién estaba detrás de todo, que también había algo de eso, sino acerca de cómo se desarrollaba todo, de cómo llegaban hasta él. Esta, a fin de parecer presuntuosa en mi afirmacion con solo dos libros del autor leídos, parece ser una característica de John Grisham que no me desagrada.Creo que de este autor me gustan más sus libros con más componente legalista, deformación profesional supongo. Por supuesto se trata de un gran exponente del género y una lectura muy recomendable. Sus capítulos cortos, sus continúos cambios de perspectiva y su ritmo rápido que se mantiene a lo largo de todo el libro con continos descubrimientos hacen de este libro una lectura amena, rápida e interesante.

  • Stefania T.
    2019-02-11 13:41

    John Grisham: primo fatale incontro.'Il rapporto Pelican' è un libro "da apnea", ovvero appartiene a quel genere di libri che ti lasciano come unica via d'uscita la totale immersione. Non puoi smettere di leggere, il demone della frenesia da lettura si impossessa di tutte le tua facoltà fisiche e mentali, perciò non puoi fare altro che arrivare, in preda all'ingordigia, all'ultima pagina.Tanto di cappello! Quante volte mi è capitato di avere la necessità fisica e mentale di letture simili? In questi momenti si scatenano con più forza la mia passione per i libri e la gratitudine ai rispettivi autori.Allora come potrei spiegare un giudizio così mediocre?Mentre scrivo osservo e scruto alla mia destra la copertina di quello che viene considerato uno dei "migliori Grisham". Se qualcuno mi stesse osservando in questo momento, sul mio volto coglierebbe il ritratto della delusione. Della delusione più assoluta.Il "grande" Grisham è tutto qui?L'articolazione della trama è inesistente ed il suo contenuto è stucchevolemente lineare e scontato. Letto il primo capitolo, è possibile immaginare a grandi linee quanto verrà raccontato nei capitoli successivi. Lo spessore e l'introspezione dei personaggi sono paramentri dell'altro mondo, è già tanto se Grisham abbia deciso di donar loro un nome proprio. Sono figuranti scontati, banali, insipidi e anonimi.Devo essere onesta: il mio pessimo giudizio può essere stato influenzato in maniera massiccia dalle aspettative che negli ultimi anni ho alimentato nei confronti di Grisham. Ed è sempre un'ardua impresa, in questi casi, dimostarsi all'altezza.Probabilmente non sono in grado di cogliere il talento di uno scrittore osannato in tutte le salse perchè non riesco a considerare che ciò che ormai viene considerato "banale" è in realtà l'originalità di Grisham ripresa in tutti i modi possibili dagli scrittori venuti dopo di lui. E' davvero così? E' forse Grisham il "capostipite di un genere" imitato poi da tutti? Non sono sicura che possa essere assolto dall'accusa di banalità, non è un classico, ha scritto negli anni '80/'90 dopotutto, non ha inventato nulla. Non mi fermerò qui, ma continuerò ad addentrarmi nel mondo Grisham per dimostrare tutta la mia buona volontà.Diciamo che, per ora, effettuate le indagini preliminare, John Grisham è rinviato a giudizio. ^_^

  • Brian
    2019-01-30 21:24

    I found great pleasure in this book. Grisham wove an outstanding, well researched plot. His characters move forward into the plot with three dimensions shaping with each word and act. I couldn’t put the book down. Grisham blesses me, and gives me what I need, the way S. King does, in the sense of a mini-vacation from reality. The power of this book, for me, came through the characters, and the outstanding dialogue.If you haven’t seen the movie or read it: A Law student writes a report on the killings of two Supreme Court Justices, and when the report gets into the hands of reporters and gets passed along, she nearly dies in the explosion which kills her boyfriend, a law professor. She goes into hiding as killers seek her out, and she chooses who she can and can’t trust. The plot unfolds near the end, explaining the brief, and a rich antagonist with mob-like power, tied to government officials.I plan to read more of Grisham, and more in this genre.

  • Megan Johnson
    2019-01-30 13:16

    This book was hard to get into. I only read it because I heard it on Jeapardy and I wanted to seems smart. LOL, Just kidding.The book was interesting, but with reading other books as well, I tended to jump around a lot. I usually don't do that, but it seemed like the book was really dry unless you were reading a dialog.

  • John Yelverton
    2019-01-21 20:21

    An edge of your seat thriller that keeps you turning the pages right up until the very end. A well done book by a great author.

  • Tim Rees
    2019-02-06 21:23

    Many years since I read it, but I remember I couldn't put it down and falling in love with Darby Shaw. I read the book before the film and Julia Roberts was brilliantly cast in the role.

  • Molly Greene
    2019-01-22 13:33

    Agggghhhh! Loved the movie so picked this up but whoa! Too many characters, too many POVs, multiple POVs in many scenes without a scene break .... all made it hard to follow. Still, a good story.

  • Nenette
    2019-01-20 21:29

    Such an exciting read. I've never watched the movie, but now I must see it.The story is a testament to the adage "small but incredible". The package may be small, but it could be a bomb inside. Who'd have thought that a brief written by one gorgeous law student would be the downfall of many powerful men?Grisham did a good job on playing out the whole story. Nothing was missed and cut; I didn't have unanswered questions. This is one of his best.

  • Anna
    2019-02-09 19:35

    I watched this movie on the flight home from Oslo, I really liked it, and I was inspired to read the book. Surprisingly, I actually liked the movie more than the book, just because they didn't try to create a relationship between Gray and Darby, which just seemed super forced and cheesy in the book.

  • Deb
    2019-01-23 21:15

    First time I read this was 20 years ago. Just reread it for a book club and it's as exciting and relevant today as it was then.

  • Seth
    2019-02-04 15:22

    I recently re-read The Pelican Brief. Also known as John Grisham’s love letter to Julia Roberts. (He wrote the character of Darby Shaw with Julia Roberts in mind). Did he write the character of Gray Grantham with Denzel Washington in mind? Methinks probably not.You probably know the plot - two Supreme Court justices get knocked off. A Tulane University student named Darby Shaw comes up with a theory as to who is responsible for the killings. She's spot on, and has to go on the run to save her own life. She is assisted by a Washington Post writer by the name of Gray Grantham as they try to find sources to back up her brief and expose the bad guys before they can snuff her out.It's probably my favorite Grisham novel. The Client and The Firm are the only ones in the same class in my opinion. It was written in the early 1990s, before he became uber-preachy.I hadn't read this since probably about 1992, but I have seen the movie about five times in between, so it was kind of fun in that respect to see some of the differences.It has been a few months since I finished, so I'm having trouble remembering what a lot of them were. You do get more of a sense of Darby's paranoia in the book. You also get more of a sense that Gray Grantham had it BAD for Darby. He goes on and on and on about how great her legs are.Anyways, it's a good read. The movie is pretty good too.

  • Nabil Dabbagh
    2019-01-27 15:20

    I expected nothing but greatness from Grisham, and he didn't let me down (though that doesn't mean I don't have some small critiques).Though The Pelican Brief was filled with suspense, the beginning to mid section of the novel did feel a little slow, but as the chapters go the book started sticking to my hands. (NOTE: Do not -- I repeat -- do not, read the last 5-7 chapters before going to bed. Give yourself enough time. I made the mistake to start reading the end at 11:30pm and didn't put the book down until it was finished, 2:30am)SPOILER ALERT:Though I understand the author and publishers decision to include a romantic side to the novel, it was hard at times to really find it conceivable. For Darby lost the man she loved a mere 10 days before she started having feelings for Gray, the reporter at the Post. Just a small thing I found hard to believe, but wasn't worth dropping a star for.-SPOILER END-Overall, a great easy read, which takes a couple chapters to entice, but that does a great job by the end.

  • Harish Kumar Challapalli
    2019-02-11 21:16

    One of the boring plots!! Formula of Grisham!! Extortions, scams, legal issues, gayism, some political flavor!! There are many unanswered questions in the plot!! There are some thrilling points during the plot, but not very gripping at some times which leaves the reader a puzzled feeling!!The story begins with the assassination of twophilosophically divergent Supreme CourtJustices. Liberal Justice Rosenberg is killedat his home, while the conservative JusticeJensen is killed inside a gay porn cinema. Thecircumstances surrounding their deaths, aswell as the deaths themselves, shock andconfuse a politically divided nation.

  • Fred Shaw
    2019-01-30 13:21


  • Madhulika Liddle
    2019-01-31 15:36

    In the space of one night, two Justices of the Supreme Court of the US are murdered. Professionally and swiftly, by a hired assassin who vanishes without leaving a trace. While a weak President, controlled by an ambitious and ruthless assistant named Fletcher Coal, exults at the thought that he will now be able to engineer the appointment of two new Justices who will be easier to manipulate, in faraway New Orleans a law student smells something fishy about the killings of Justices Rosenberg and Jensen. Darby Shaw, gorgeous and long-legged and having an affair with her professor Thomas Callahan, ferrets about and comes to some conclusions which she outlines in a brief. That brief, which she herself discards, deeming it a rough draft that need go no further, is picked up by Callahan, who shows it to an old friend, a lawyer for the FBI—and from there, Darby’s brief, now being referred to as the Pelican Brief, ends up reaching the White House. Within hours, Darby finds herself on the run, pursued relentlessly by assassins. Her only hope ends up being an investigative journalist named Gray Grantham, who has received a series of nervous and mysterious calls from somebody who seems to know something potentially volatile but is dilly-dallying about telling it…I had mixed feelings about The Pelican Brief as it progressed. Neither politics nor law interest me much, so the combination of them was not especially engrossing for me. The cat-and-mouse game, with Darby trying to stay alive while being hunted down, was interesting, and the way she and Grantham try to get to the bottom of the mystery—who is his mysterious caller and what does he know?—was gripping. Eventually, too, the story wasn’t bad: the pace was good, the fitting together of the pieces of the puzzle satisfying. My problem was with the two main protagonists, neither of whom I really liked. Darby Shaw, who’s touted as being so clever that she could figure out the details of the pelican brief (how come nobody else could figure that out, if the trail was there for all to see if only they looked?), is dumb enough to use her credit card to make hotel bookings all over the place while trying to stay hidden from her pursuers? And, if I’d read one more time about her long legs, her gorgeous face and those red-painted toenails (did she keep repainting them the two weeks she was on the run? Or was the polish chipped by the end?)… I’d have thrown up. Minor spoilers ahead:Grantham was marginally better, but not much. You know this woman’s lover was killed before her very eyes, and all you can do is ogle at her, and make it obvious that you want to sleep with her? Ugh. And, Hollywood-like, that does happen. Double ugh. End of spoilersI won’t be reading this again. The plot was fine—even good in places—but I didn’t care for the characters.

  • seal308
    2019-01-20 20:34

    The characters were unlikable for me. However at least the character flaws were addressed later on in the novel. Halfway through the book I had a pretty good idea of who was behind all of this. It's an easy read and initially I was mesmerized. But the more it went on the less enthused I got by it. The ending sort of dragged, I wish it was cut sooner. (view spoiler)[In America federal elections are bought out all the time. Money from large super pacs are donated to campaigns. But what do these super pacs want in return? While this book is fictitious and goes to extremes it does pose an interesting discussion on it. It is my personal belief that the less money in politics the better, the more money the more corrupt it gets.I'm thankful I took my time with this novel because as I was reading it a lot of it was reflected in the white house because of the book Fire and Fury. Like the Pelican Brief in this story, Fire and Fury also shook up Washington. It shows how the power of words can trump powerful people. How a shot in the dark from a law student in Louisiana can bring a president, a super pac and a large and prestigious law firm to its knees. (hide spoiler)]

  • Peter Lawrence
    2019-01-18 14:20

    A clever suspenseful novel. Follows the movie too, which is why I bought the book.A young law student stumbles upon a theory of who benefits from a corporate oil deal that threatens wildlife. Turns out her theory is true, so the powers that be go after her. She partners with a bright news reporter and together they learn the truth. However, they must dodge attempts on their lives, including a Mid-East assassin who seems unstoppable.

  • Kieraanne
    2019-02-16 13:42

    Hol-ee crap, that's hours and hours of my life I'll never get back. I've never read any of Grishams books, as thrillers starring lawyers and legal briefs have never interested me. Now having read this I don't see that changing any time in the foreseeable future. The entire plot line was entirely too convoluted. Too many characters with too many boring government jobs that I don't care about. Too much seemingly pointless plotting behind the scenes. The basic plotline itself failed to hold my interest from the get go. A law student (yawn) does a bunch of research and writes a theoretical legal brief(who cares?) about crap that they don't even explain until 3/4 of the way through the book (as if that would be enough to hold anyone's interest). But, they blow up her womanizing cad of a boyfriend/professor right in front of her! Yeah, well he seemed kind of skeezy to me. But no, they LOVED each other! Sure they did. But...she has really long legs and red toenails about which every guy seems to fantasize to the point where you have to wonder if Mr. Grisham has a foot fetish. OMG who cares about her legs? But there are like fifty different people/agencies looking for her and trying to kill her. Then the story goes to print and they all stop. She can leave the country and laze about on an island until her new unconvincing cad of a love interest joins her and they can finally do it. Cuz, you know, love. Whaa? Totally not feeling any chemistry between these two other than lecherous thoughts on Grantham's behalf. True love it most definitely is not and I think the inclusion of that storyline took away from an already overburdened plot. Also at this point even though the story is out, you'd think the bad guy would still try to kill her just for spite after she ruined his life, but whatever. So maybe if you care at all about politics (which I most definitely do not), or government conspiracies (again with the not caring), and if you like books that drone on and on and on and on about various government agencies and law firms...and the environment, or if maybe you have a thing for innocent girls half your age or you have a foot fetish, then this is the book for you. If however, your mind completely disengages with political discussion, or you enjoy reading believable female characters then maybe you should give this one a pass.UPDATE: So I've been thinking about it and my other major problem with this book is that almost all of the characters are so flat and two dimensional. It's as if Grisham is relying soley on the action to keep you reading. For example; Darby Shaw is "beautiful" and "brilliant." Consequently, any information about her is either describing how attractive everyone is finding her and how smart she is to figure stuff out, elude capture, etc... Grantham is an investigative he's always you know, investigating and...reporting stuff...there are the corrupt government officials, the clueless local police, he list goes on and on. Each person in this book is really a flat, two-dimensional caricature of a believable person. I already mentioned that I don't enjoy government/legal thrillers. However I can look past that aspect of a story if I care about what happens to the characters. This book doesn't give you enough information or insight into any character to see them as a real person or to care what happens to them. There are two exceptions to this. Callahan's friend Verheek struck me as a believable person. He had too many random foils and was trying too hard to do what's right while still messing up to be flat like everyone else. The other exception is the assassin we meet in the opening scenes. While they don't go into background or anything, he was fleshed out enough (practicing accents, mimicking behavior, etc...) to seem real to me.

  • Soho_Black
    2019-02-01 14:39

    Having recently come across a Grisham novel I actually enjoyed, I was encouraged to try another. I had only vague recollections of the film version of “The Pelican Brief”, but I figure that a book what was made into a film starring Hollywood stars as major as Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington couldn’t be all bad.In “The Pelican Brief”, two Supreme Court Justices are murdered, seemingly at random. A legal student, Darby Shaw, thinks that they are linked and writes a brief explaining her thinking behind it. It quickly becomes apparent that she was right and that the people behind the murders won’t hesitate to commit many more to prevent the secret from coming out. Her boyfriend tries to pass the brief to someone he trusts and is killed soon after. Darby has no idea who she can trust, if indeed she can trust anyone.Gray Grantham, as investigative reporter, may be that person. He’s managed to obtain information that suggests these Justices were targeted and that people at very high levels in the CIA, FBI and White House, maybe even the President himself, know more about these murders than they have any right to. They have two choices; get killed or keep running and try to find the proof to their suspicions.The novel certainly isn’t all bad. It’s far more of an action thriller than it is a legal thriller, which cuts out a lot of the legal jargon that can sometimes get in the way of a good story. Here, the action rattles along at a fair pace. This makes the book very readable and a quick page turner.The problem is that this readability frequently comes at the expense of realism. For Darby to keep running and for her and Gray to keep being able to investigate the truth behind the Pelican Brief, they have to evade capture. Unfortunately, it appears that while Grisham has a wealth of legal knowledge, he doesn’t have a lot of experience in being hunted. This means the reader has to believe that the entire American establishment is far too incompetent to catch a couple of people who aren’t particularly adept at evading them.“The Pelican Brief” feels a little like John Grisham’s James Patterson moment. The chapters are short, the writing is simple – at least compared to a lot of Grisham’s more legal based novels – and the plot is flowing, if frequently unlikely. It's by no means classic literature, but it’s decent enough entertainment if you literally have nothing else to occupy your time. The main problem with fairly non-descript middle of the road thrillers like this one is that the cost of books these days makes it not worth the effort.