Grisham makes his mark with this wonderful short story, riding the coat tails of hi popular novel, Rogue Lawyer. Thomas Ray Cardell, aka Tee Ray, is having a hard time making ends meet. He takes a sketchy job as a drug mule for a local dealer and appears to be having much success. However, one night while walking through the projects, he is chastised by a cop, who draws his weapon and begins shooting. Only once Tee Ray has been injured and on his knees does he draw a weapon and shoot the officer, eventually killing him. The State pushes for capital murder and Tee Ray is in need of representation. Enter, Sebastian Rudd, whose legal skills are second to none, even though his clientele and antics may leave much to be desired. Rudd works to piece the story together, fighting a city prosecutor who has the officer’s partner fabricating a story of his own. At trial, Rudd puts it all out there, in hopes of salvaging at least some of Tee Ray’s life. With a defence strategy based on truth and honesty, Rudd must convince a jury that the prosecution is representing a police force bent on a vendetta as it is filled with guilt. A great read with succinct chapters and legalese only Grisham can bring to the table.
Grisham redeems himself with this story, after blundering through a pamphlet-style story approach to new tumor research earlier this year. His legal mind is crisp and the chapters offer the reader quick doses of the trials and tribulations of building a capital murder defence. While only a teaser of potential future Sebastian Rudd work, Grisham handles it effectively, offering advantages to both sides of the trial prep. However, Grisham finds a way to link Rudd and the previous Rogue Lawyer story in the end, which wraps the entire tale up and brings it home for anyone with an hour to spend reading this piece.
Kudos, Mr. Grisham for another legal success. While the stories need not always have the underdog winning, it is nice to see the world is not always stacked against the poor.