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. Read more...
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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.
- ISBN-13: 9780553399820
- ISBN-10: 0553399829
- Publisher: Random House
- Publish Date: October 2015
- Dimensions: 1.25 x 5 x 6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.6 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-02-29
- Reviewer: Staff
Grisham’s antihero defense attorney, Sebastian Rand, who narrates this novel, handles cases no other lawyer would touch with a 10-foot habeas corpus. More obsessed by justice than legal process or friendship or social amenities, he bends the law to its breaking point, keeps to himself, and travels in a custom-built bulletproof van driven by a mainly silent ex-client he calls Partner. He’s cold, contemptuous, and hard to like. Reader Deakins doesn’t ignore this, but includes a smidgen more humanity than the author has put on the page, a welcome addition—not that his version of the lawyer is warm and fuzzy. Rand, after all, is dealing with a broken judicial system, described by Grisham with an insider’s knowledge and read with eye-opening clarity by Deakins. He also adds an aural sense of continuity to a work that is more a collection of cases, won or lost, than a fully constructed novel. A Doubleday hardcover. (Oct.)
Audio: A riveting rogue
I used to listen to John Grisham novels for their totally engaging, thrilling plot lines, but lately, he’s added another dimension or, even better, a small, bully-pulpitish soap box from which he can take aim at very specific targets. So, it’s no surprise that Grisham sends us some strong messages in Rogue Lawyer, his new roller-coaster ride of a legal thriller, making the debut appearance of Sebastian Rudd, said rogue lawyer, all the more appealing. From the get-go, the rough, tough and impassioned Rudd lets us know that providing a first-class defense for anyone, guilty or not, is his consuming mission. He calls himself a “lone gunman, a rogue who fights the system and hates injustice.” He packs a gun and a courtroom wallop, uses a well-appointed, bulletproof black van as his mobile office and isn’t afraid to take on cops who abuse their authority, or anyone else in the hierarchy of power. Rudd handles six cases here, each given its own intriguingly shaped chapter, and Mark Deakins’ well-paced performance gives him the vibrant voice he so deserves.
LEARNING TO READ
Roy Peter Clark, a senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, teaches writing using a technique he calls X-ray reading. In his new book, The Art of X-Ray Reading: How the Secrets of 25 Great Works of Literature Will Improve Your Writing, Clark guides us through some of the greatest literary hits of all time, revealing the strategies, the invisible “machinery of making meaning,” these authors used and invites us to think about writing in a fresh way. He wants us to read deeply, to hear the echoes, intended and unintended, that influence the finest writing. In a manner that is truly accessible to mere mortals, wannabe writers and perpetrators of plodding prose, Clark begins with T.S. Eliot, moves through Fitzgerald, Flaubert, Chaucer, Nabokov, Joyce, Melville, Flannery O’Connor, Toni Morrison, Steinbeck, Shakespeare, of course, and more. A lithe scholar with a sense of humor, Clark makes learning to really read fun.
TOP PICK IN AUDIO
Quirke, the brooding, haunted, incurably curious pathologist who stars in Benjamin Black’s extraordinary, atmospheric series set in 1950s Dublin, returns in Even the Dead. He’s taken himself out of the game to convalesce from a brain injury suffered years ago. But when his assistant needs his opinion on a car-crash death that turns out to be murder, he eagerly returns to the morgue and to a sinister world that turns a blind eye to moral scandal. Just a few days later, an acquaintance of Quirke’s daughter begs for help. Narrowly escaping the crash that claimed her boyfriend’s life, the young woman now fears for her own. This odd coincidence spurs Quirke to contact his “companion in arms,” Inspector Hackett, and, once more, to try to right wrongs. Black, the nom de crime of Booker Prize-winning author John Banville, writes beautifully textured prose, perfectly rendered here by John Keating in a flight of Irish accents. Nobody does it better—this is noir, Irish noir, contemporary noir at its best.