The Pelican Brief by John Grisham

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Synopsis

In suburban Georgetown, a killer’s Reeboks whisper on the floor of a posh home. In a seedy D.C. porno house, a patron is swiftly garroted to death. The next day America learns that two of its Supreme Court justices have been assassinated. And in New Orleans, a young law student prepares a legal brief.

To Darby Shaw it was no more than a legal shot in the dark, a brilliant guess. To the Washington establishment it’s political dynamite. Suddenly Darby is witness to a murder–a murder intended for her. Going underground, she finds that there is only one person–an ambitious reporter after a newsbreak hotter than Watergate–she can trust to help her piece together the deadly puzzle. Somewhere between the bayous of Louisiana and the White House’s inner sanctums, a violent cover-up is being engineered. For someone has read Darby’s brief–someone who will stop at nothing to destroy the evidence of an unthinkable crime.


From the Paperback edition.
 

About John Grisham

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Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, and The Broker) and all of them have become international bestsellers. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marks his first foray into non-fiction. Grisham lives with his wife Renee and their two children Ty and Shea. The family splits their time between their Victorian home on a farm in Mississippi and a plantation near Charlottesville, VA.
 
Published March 9, 2010 by Dell. 498 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Children's Books, Horror, Crime, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Pelican Brief

Kirkus Reviews

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Darby reviews hundreds of the Court's upcoming cases and sees only one that fulfills the breadth of evil needed to account for such desperate measures as double murder: a multibillion-dollar oil venture in Louisiana that will kilt off the state's beloved but endangered brown pelican.

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Publishers Weekly

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In this tale of the aftermath of the assassinations of two Supreme Court justices, Grisham delivers a suspenseful plot at a breakneck pace, although his characters are stereotypes.

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Entertainment Weekly

At least it delivers the cinematic analog of a Grisham book-delivers more, actually, since the performances make the characters resonate in a way that Grisham's flat prose (''with tired eyes, no makeup, and wet hair, she was beautiful'') can never quite manage.

Dec 23 1994 | Read Full Review of The Pelican Brief

Entertainment Weekly

As Roberts wends her way toward both Washington, D.C., and Washington, Denzel (as heroic investigative journalist Gray Grantham), The Pelican Brief settles into a deadening rhythm of snoop, get chased, hide in a hotel room;

Dec 24 1993 | Read Full Review of The Pelican Brief

Entertainment Weekly

That's the theory favored by brainy, gorgeous Tulane law student Darby Shaw, who — just for fun, sort of, and to impress her law-prof lover — researches all the big cases headed for Supreme review...and zeroes in on a reclusive multimillionaire with White House connections and controversial...

Mar 13 1992 | Read Full Review of The Pelican Brief

The Independent

(The main action of The Pelican Brief shifts between Washington, New Orleans and New York, but you would be hard pressed to notice the scene change.) But one neat structural device separates this thriller from the pack.

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Common Sense Media

The Pelican Brief is low on colorful villains and memorable visuals and loaded with grim, grey scenes where characters are doing research or having conversations.

Nov 30 2005 | Read Full Review of The Pelican Brief

People

Readers will be similarly tempted with The Pelican Brief, which is stronger on character than The Firm but a bit shakier and less compelling on plot.

Mar 23 1992 | Read Full Review of The Pelican Brief

Variety

Playing a part written with her in mind, Julia Roberts is sensational as law student-on-the-run Darby Shaw, and Denzel Washington proves her equal in a laudable example of color-blind casting.

Dec 12 1993 | Read Full Review of The Pelican Brief

Variety

Playing a part written with her in mind, Julia Roberts is sensational as law student-on-the-run Darby Shaw, and Denzel Washington proves her equal in a laudable example of color-blind casting.

Dec 12 1993 | Read Full Review of The Pelican Brief

Reader Rating for The Pelican Brief
71%

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