Judith D Collins
By: John Grisham
Narrator: Mark Deakins
Publisher: Random House Audio
Publication Date: 10/20/2015
My Rating: 4 Stars
On the right side of the law. Sort of.
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.
Sebastian Rudd is one of John Grisham’s most colorful, outrageous, and vividly drawn characters yet. Gritty, witty, and impossible to put down, Rogue Lawyer showcases the master of the legal thriller at his very best.
John Grisham returns following Gray Mountain, landing on my Top 30 Books of 2014, with another new hero.
Go Rogue or Go Home. A new character, and legal crime thriller series featuring a street defense lawyer named Sebastian Rudd- ROGUE LAWYER . A lone gunman, cynical, he fights the system, a nonconformist, bad-ass, attitude, a fearless lawyer . . taking cases no one else would touch; Unconventional ---giving Michael Connelly’s defense attorney, Mickey Haller a little competition. Of course, we have room for another controversial witty, unorthodox hero – ready to fight an unjust and corrupt legal system, with less concern of morals or values. His motto: Bad people are entitled to a fair trial. Grisham gives us a look at the less glamorized aspects of the legal system, taking him from traditional to non-traditional. Sebastian Rudd a well- known street lawyer with no need to advertise. No traditional office. Carries a legal gun. No friendships. The law is his life. All consuming. Has an apartment, however, he moves from one motel to another, dodging death threats--running from more than a few bad guys. Defending criminals, so therefore creating enemies. Normally his clients are guilty. When he finished law school and took a job at a public defender office, then a criminal office which blew up, leaving him out on the street. Now in Milo, a back woods town and now defending Gardy, (not a very high IQ) who is charged with capital murder. Fabricated evidence. Politics. Cops trumped up the charges and already marked him guilty. He is not. Of course by looking at him…gives off the vibe. No one agreed to defend him, as the town too small for public defender. Do we really want fair trials? No. Justice. Burden of proof is usually lies. The state has to fabricate evidence. A snitch. Will say whatever they want him to say. Gardy knew nothing about the murders. Yet the snitch said he gave him details of the two young girls…tortured, raped, molested. Sebastian has to raise hell in the courtroom. Partner is his assistant. His driver. Paralegal. Best friend. Driver. Heavily armed. His body guard. He earned his loyalty through another past case, where he saves him. Does not speak unless spoken to. Their communication: Nods, winks, silence. A large black Ford cargo van - his office. (unlike, Haller’s Lincoln). Of course this changes by the end of the book. Windows shaded and bullet proofed. Sometimes he spends the night, a fully equipped office, bar, and hi-tech. Always death threats. Call Sebastian if you cannot find anyone else. He will defend anyone. Or so they say. Personal wise, he has quite the drama and past. (similar to Haller), but worse. His ex-wife beautiful, Judith (also a lawyer), turned lesbian, now living with her partner, leaving his only son, seven-year-old, Starcher being raised by two mothers, and only a few hours a month visitation. His name is on the birth certificate is about all. She warns him never to take their son to the fights. Of course their visits are always FUN, as the poor boy is so sheltered – and with Rudd it goes to the opposite extremes. Pushing the limits. His wife, does not trust Rudd’s life. She does not want him involved. After all, he attends cage fights, carries a gun, has shady clients, and subjects their son to things such as bad food, and danger. A great collection of legal cases -----showcasing Rudd’s personality and tenacity. He is not afraid to get down and dirty. A home invasion, a family torn apart, a wireless router, a drug dealer, a bust, Homeland Security; a death-row inmate, a police chief’s daughter, and a serial killer. A continuation of Rudd fighting against cheating and corrupt cops. (My favorite case---the aging couple case reminds me of my parents, always getting in trouble with technology--they have no clue what they are doing). Can so envision this scenario playing out. A huge Grisham long time fan, having read all his books, cleverly crafted, Rudd is a lawyer you will root for --- one who helps the underdog fight the bureaucracy and politics of the system. Can envision this as a TV series --- Can you imagine the lineup of stars? No one can tell a story like Grisham. It is time for another movie; however, this one has TV series written all over it. Perfect for today's contemporary world, where a normal lawyer would be crushed. One day we may see Mickey and Sebastian meet on the big screen--- Partner and Cisco---now, this will fun. What about a little poker game with Grisham and Connelly in the back room and Greg Iles? Think you will have more than a few takers! Even though there are similarities in the two lawyer characters, each have their own unique personality. Rudd may be a little rougher around the edges, and not afraid of mistrials. He has grit—looking forward to MORE! A former whistleblower, enjoy characters, not afraid to fight back. Mark Deakins delivered a suspenseful performance, via audio.
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About the Author
Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi, law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.
Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn’t have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990. Read More