Familiarity breeds ... disappointment. While ardent John Grisham fans won't be put off, the master of the legal thriller gets repetitious in The Litigators, his 26th novel. It's The Street Lawyer meets The King of Torts, but not as satisfying or as suspenseful as either.
Venturing far from his US South, Grisham takes to the streets of Chicago, but his eye for detail seems laboured rather than keen. His tale is that of an earnest and ethical young lawyer who implausibly bolts from a big firm to improbably join a couple of ambulance chasers, who inconceivably decide to take on a big pharmaceutical company.
In other words, we've met such a Grisham hero before, and he's been more fully drawn, as in The Firm and The Rainmaker. The "ham-and-eggers" hustling for clients, the big class-action boys, the supportive wife, the stern judge, even the sympathetic bartender are nothing new either.
Is The Litigators readable? Sure. Even enjoyable? Yes. Just rank it in the bottom of the writer's oeuvre and hope he returns to better form next time.