John Grisham’s talent as a writer continues in his latest episode of work called “Rouge Lawyer.” The title itself draws you to find out more about the character of the story, Known as Sebastian Rudd, he can be described as a shrewd, atypical attorney. The plot is defined as this:
“Sebastian Rudd is not your typical street lawyer. He works out of a customized bulletproof van, complete with Wi-Fi, a bar, a small fridge, fine leather chairs, a hidden gun compartment, and a heavily armed driver. He has no firm, no partners, no associates, and only one employee, his driver, who’s also his bodyguard, law clerk, confidant, and golf caddy. He lives alone in a small but extremely safe penthouse apartment, and his primary piece of furniture is a vintage pool table. He drinks small-batch bourbon and carries a gun.
Sebastian defends people other lawyers won’t go near: a drug-addled, tattooed kid rumored to be in a satanic cult, who is accused of molesting and murdering two little girls; a vicious crime lord on death row; a homeowner arrested for shooting at a SWAT team that mistakenly invaded his house. Why these clients? Because he believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial, even if he, Sebastian, has to cheat to secure one. He hates injustice, doesn’t like insurance companies, banks, or big corporations; he distrusts all levels of government and laughs at the justice system’s notions of ethical behavior.”
So there you have it. Quite different from the lawyers that Grisham has written about in the past that were best seller novels such as A Time to Kill’s (1989) lawyer Jake Brigance, The Firm’s (1991) lawyer Mitchell Y. McDeere, and The Rainmaker’s (1995) attorney Rudy Baylor. All three were made into films, including six others.
Here is an excerpt from the Washington Post review on Rudd’s attitude representing his latest client:
“My clients are almost always guilty, so I don’t waste a lot of time wringing my hands about whether they get what they deserve. In this case, though, Gardy is not guilty, not that it matters. It does not. What’s important in Milo these days is that Gardy gets convicted and sentenced to death and executed as soon as possible so that the town can feel better about itself and move on. Move on to where, exactly? Hell if I know, nor do I care.”
Last week, Grisham appeared on “Spotlight,” a monthly series presented on the Turner Classic Movie (TCM) channel promoting his book. November’s dedication was to southern writers. Grisham introduced and co-hosted with Robert Osborne at 8 p.m. on Nov. 25 three premiere movies on the channel – A Time to Kill (1989), The Prince of Tides (1991), and No Country for Old Men (2007). A native of Arkansas, Grisham attended law school at the University of Mississippi.
Rouge Lawyer has received mixed reviews. Harry Graff from abovethelaw.com had this to say:
“Rogue Lawyer is not nearly as entertaining as early Grisham classics like The Firm and The Client. But it is a solid novel, firmly within the upper echelon of late-period Grisham, and unquestionably better than Gray Mountain. And if Grisham really does read my columns, then hopefully he knows not to fall for the Back to the Future Part II internet hoax in the future.”
The plot setup may remind readers of “The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)” where attorney Mickey Haller also operated out of his vehicle; a Lincoln Town car, that was made into a film. With Grisham’s successful film record, Rudd’s character may do the same thing.