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A Time to Kill and The King of Torts, by John Grisham and Michael Beck (Narrator)


UNABRIDGED AUDIO BOOK; 24 HOURS ON 23 CDsA Time to Kill & The King of Torts
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This is a two-book package by John Grisham, and it would be difficult to say which book is the better of the two. In A Time to Kill, the main character, Jake, is a young, small-town lawyer in a predominantly white Mississippi town. He must defend a black man, the father of three young boys and a 10-year-old daughter. The girl was repeatedly raped and beaten and left for dead in a marsh field. Found and recognized by some fishermen, she is able to get enough words out to tell what had happened. Her words describe a couple of redneck men who are later arrested in a saloon while boasting about what they had done. The father knew that there was no way the men would receive proper punishment in this town, so he kills the rapists on the courthouse steps. The politically minded district attorney, who plans to run for governor in the coming months, is vocal in saying he will seek the death penalty for the father, Carl Lee, because nobody has the right to take justice into his own hands. Jake knows he has no chance to get Carl Lee freed, but he takes the case. What progresses from that point on will keep your interest and surprise you in its conclusion. There will, however, remain the question "When is right wrong and wrong right?"

The story of The King of Torts is quite different. It involves a public defense lawyer who after 44 years is making only $40,000 and is at a point where he hates his job. A stranger offers him an opportunity to make over a million dollars if he represents a pharmaceutical company in a class action suit. The company wants to settle quietly and not let the world know of their mistake with a drug. Clay Carter accepts many millions and decides that is the way to go. He starts his own company and takes on other class action suits. Using every angle and underhanded measure available to achieve his goals, he becomes one of the most successful class action attorneys and is proclaimed King of the Torts by his peers. The conclusion is a shocking surprise and shows that greed has its limitations, but one must know what they are.

The reader of both books does a remarkable job in creating each character is a manner evocative of the location and action. He is able to suggest the passion, tension and frustration of the various characters as they work toward their goals. Each of these books warrants recommendations on its own. Together they are great.

John Mormon
8/26/07

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