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Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded shops, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That's just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they'll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on the street without a rooftop Frosty the snowman; they won't be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash; they aren't even going to have a tree. They won't need one, because come December 25 they're setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But, as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences - and isn't half as easy as they'd imagined.
A classic tale for modern times, Skipping Christmas offers a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that has become part of our holiday tradition.
A story of high-stakes and revenge following the construction of a casino.
A sly entrepreneur and an unlikely Chieftain conspire to set up a casino on tribal territory. Money starts to pour in, business seems assured, as do the attentions of the local lonely-hearted women. But some people are upset by this - especially one spurned husband, who plans to strike back where it hurts.
Part of the Storycuts series, this story was previously published in the collection Ford County.
Published: 17 Nov 2011
The laugh out loud adventure of three men from rural Ford County who travel to Memphis to donate blood to an injured friend. The journey, however, takes longer than expected thanks to their inability to continue driving past any liquor store en route. Not to mention the fact that the men have no idea which hospital their friend is in. After a variety of shootings, and a strip club brawl, it seems as though these men will not just be visiting their friend in the hospital.
Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was previously published in the collection Ford County.
Published: 17 Nov 2011
With a 17-point lead and just minutes to go, Rick Dockery provided what was arguably the worst single performance in the history of the NFL. Overnight, he became a national laughing stock and, of course, was immediately dropped by the Browns and shunned by all other teams.
But all Rick knows is football, and he insists that his agent, Arnie, finds a team that needs him. Against enormous odds, Arnie finally locates just such a team and informs Rick that, miraculously, he can in fact now be a starting quarterback – for the mighty Panthers of Parma, Italy.
Rick reluctantly agrees to play for them – at least until a better offer comes along – and heads off to Italy. He knows nothing about Parma (not even where it is), has never been to Europe, and doesn't speak or understand a word of Italian.
The land of opera, fine wines, extremely small cars, romance and football americano certainly holds a few surprises for Rick Dockery.
Worldwide No.1 bestseller John Grisham takes you into the heart of America's Deep South with a collection of stories connected by the life and crimes of Ford County: a place of harsh beauty where broken dreams and final wishes converge.
From a hard-drinking, downtrodden divorce lawyer looking for pay-dirt, to a manipulative death row inmate with one last plea, Ford County features a vivid cast of attorneys, crooks, hustlers, and convicts. Through their stories he paints a unique picture of lives lived and lost in Mississippi.
Completely gripping, frequently moving and always entertaining, Ford County brims with the same page-turning quality and heart-stopping drama of his previous bestsellers, and is proof once more why John Grisham is our most popular storyteller.
High school All-American Neely Crenshaw was probably the best quarterback ever to play for the legendary Messina Spartans. Fifteen years have gone by since those glory days, and Neely has come home to Messina to bury Coach Eddie Rake, the man who molded the Spartans into an unbeatable football dynasty.
As Coach Rake's 'boys' sit in the bleachers waiting for the dimming field lights to signal his passing, they replay the old glories, and try to decide once and for all whether they love Eddie Rake – or hate him. For Neely Crenshaw, still struggling to come to terms with his explosive relationship with the Coach, his dreams of a great career in the NFL, and the choices he made as a young man, the stakes could not be higher.
In 1970, The Ford County Times, one of Mississipi's more colourful weekly newspapers, went bankrupt. To the surprise and dismay of many, ownership was assumed by 23-year-old college drop-out, Willie Traynor. The future of the paper looked grim until a young mother was brutally raped and murdered by a member of the notorious Padgitt family. Traynor reported all the gruesome details, and his newspaper began to prosper.
The murderer, Danny Padgitt, was tried before a packed courtroom in Clanton, Mississippi. The trial came to a startling, dramatic end when the defendant threatened revenge against the jurors if they convicted him. Nevertheless, they found him guilty, and he was sentenced to life in prison.
But in Mississippi in 1970 'life' didn't necessarily mean 'life', and nine years later Danny Padgitt managed to get himself paroled. He returned to Ford County, and the retribution began.
The unputdownable true story of a man sentenced to death for a crime he didn't commit by the master of the legal thriller!
'Chilling Because It's True' - The Times
John Grisham's first work of non-fiction is his most extraordinary legal thriller yet.
In the major league draft of 1971, the first player chosen from the State of Oklahoma was Ron Williamson. When he signed with the Oakland A's, he said goodbye to his hometown of Ada and left to pursue his dreams of big league glory.
Six years later he was back, his dreams broken by a bad arm and bad habits - drinking, drugs and women. He began to show signs of mental illness. Unable to keep a job, he moved in with his mother and slept 20 hours a day on her sofa.
In 1982, a 21 year-old cocktail waitress in Ada named Debra Sue Carter was raped and murdered, and for five years the police could not solve the crime. For reasons that were never clear, they suspected Ron Williamson and his friend Dennis Fritz. The two were finally arrested in 1987 and charged with capital murder.
With no physical evidence, the prosecution's case was built on junk science and the testimony of jaihouse snitches and convicts. Dennis Fritz was found guilty and given a life sentence. Ron Williamson was sent to Death Row.
If you believe that in America you are innocent until proven guilty, this book will shock you. If you believe in the death penalty, this book will disturb you. If you believe the criminal justice system is fair, this book will infuriate you.
An innocent man is days from execution. Only a guilty man can save him.
Travis Boyette is a murderer. In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, he abducted, raped, and strangled a popular high-school cheerleader. He buried her body so that it would never be found, then watched and waited as police and prosecutors arrested Donte Drumm, a local football star with no connection to the crime. Tried, convicted and sentenced, Drumm was sent to death row: his fate had been decided.
Nine years later, Donte Drumm is four days from execution. Over 400 miles away in Kansas, Travis faces a fate of his own: an inoperable brain tumour will soon deliver the end. Reflecting on his miserable life, he decides to do what's right. After years of silence, he is ready to confess.
But the law doesn't want to hear it. As far as they're concerned, they've got their man.
So how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges and politicians that the man they're about to execute is innocent?
Troy Phelen is a self-made billionaire, one of the richest men in the United States. He is also eccentric, reclusive, confined to a wheelchair, and looking for a way to die.
Nate O'Riley is a high-octane Washington litigator who's lived too hard, too fast, for too long. Emerging from his fourth stay in rehab he knows returning to the real world is always difficult, but this time it's going to be murder.
Rachel Lane is a young woman who chose to give her life to God, who walked away from the modern world with all its strivings and trappings and encumbrances, and went to live and work with a primitive tribe of Indians in the deepest jungles of Brazil.
In a story that mixes legal suspense with a remarkable adventure, their lives are forever altered by the startling secret of The Testament.
In a crowded courtroom in Mississippi, a jury returns a shocking verdict against a chemical company. They have been accused of dumping toxic waste into a small town's water supply, causing the worst "cancer cluster" in history. The company appeals to the Mississippi Supreme Court, whose nine justices will one day either approve the verdict or reverse it.
But chemical company owner, Carl Trudeau, decides to try to purchase himself a seat on the Court. Through an intricate web of conspiracy and deceit, his political operatives recruit a young, unsuspecting candidate. They finance him, manipulate him, market him, and mould him into a potential Supreme Court justice. Their Supreme Court justice.
The Appeal is a powerful, timely, and shocking story of political and legal intrigue, a story that will leave readers unable to think about the electoral process or judicial system in quite the same way ever again.
The Office of the Public Defender is not known as a training ground for bright young litigators. Clay Carter has been there too long, and, like most of his colleagues, dreams of a better job in a real firm. When he reluctantly takes the case of a young man charged with a random street killing, he assumes it is just another of the many senseless murders that hit Washington D.C. every week.
As he digs deeper into his client's background, Clay stumbles upon a conspiracy too horrible to believe. He suddenly finds himself in the middle of a complex case against one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, looking at an enormous settlement that would totally change his life – a settlement that would make him, almost overnight, the legal profession's newest king of torts...
Rudy Baylor is a newly qualified lawyer: he has one case, and one case alone, to save himself from his mounting debts. His case is against a giant insurance company which could have saved a young man's life, but instead refused to pay the claim until it was too late.
The settlement could be worth millions of dollars, but there is one problem: Rudy has never argued a case in court before, and he's up against the most expensive lawyers that money can buy.
When justice is for sale, every jury has a price
In Biloxi, Mississippi, a landmark trial begins. There are hundreds of millions of dollars at stake and soon it swerves mysteriously off course. The jury is behaving strangely, and at least one juror is convinced he's being watched. Soon they have to be sequestered. Then a tip from an anonymous young woman suggests she is able to predict the jurors' increasingly odd behaviour.
Is the jury somehow being manipulated, or even controlled? If so, by whom? And, more importantly, why?
Two Supreme Court Justices are dead. Their murders remain unsolved.
Darby Shaw, a brilliant and beautiful New Orleans legal student, draws up a speculative legal brief which links the deaths and uncovers an astonishing presidential conspiracy.
When her boyfriend is atomised in a car bomb, it becomes clear that somebody is intent on silencing Darby for good. Somebody who will stop at nothing to preserve the secrets of the Pelican Brief...
Michael Brock is a man in a hurry. He's in the fast lane at Drake & Sweeney, a giant Washington law firm. He's a rising star, with no time to waste, no time to toss a few coins into the hands of beggars. No time for a conscience.
But a chance violent encounter with a homeless man stops him cold. The fallout propels him onto a trail of corruption and illegality which leads straight back to Drake & Sweeney. To get to the truth, Michael will have to dig deep into some of his own firm's dirtiest secrets...
Adam Hill is in his first year at a top Chicago law firm. He volunteers for the toughest assignment any lawyer could ask for. His prospective client doesn't want Adam or his law firm. He is an unrepentent and outspoken racist with a violent past. He is on Death Row for the murder of two Jewish children in a horrific bombing in 1967.
Why would he take on Adam, a complete novice, to defend him? And why would Adam want his case so desperately? The answer lies in the past, in a twenty-year-old secret buried in the madness of another time. . .
It's a deadly game of blackmail. And they're making him play.
Kyle McAvoy is one of the outstanding legal students of his generation: he's good looking, has a brilliant mind and a glittering future ahead of him. But he has a secret from his past, a secret that threatens to destroy his entire life.
One night that secret catches up with him in the form of a deeply compromising video of the incident that haunts him. Kyle realises that he no longer owns his own future – that he must do as his blackmailers tell him, or the video will be made public, with all the unpleasant consequences.
What price do they demand for Kyle's secret? It is for Kyle to take a job in New York as an associate at the largest law firm in the world. Kyle won't be working for this company, but against it – passing on the secrets of it's biggest trial to date, a dispute worth billions of dollars to the victor.
Full of twists and turns and reminiscent of The Firm, The Associate is vintage John Grisham.
Trumble is a minimum security federal prison, home to drug dealers, bank robbers, swindlers, embezzlers, tax evaders, and three former judges who call themselves The Brethren. They meet each day in the law library where they spend hours writing letters. They are fine-tuning a mail scam, and it's starting to pay big. The money is pouring in.
But then their little scam goes awry. It ensnares the wrong victim, a powerful man on the outside, a man with dangerous friends, and The Brethren's days of quietly marking time are over.
An eleven-year-old has discovered a secret that not even an adult should know.
A US State Senator is dead, and Mark Sway is the only one who knows where the body is hidden. The FBI want him to tell them where it is, at whatever cost to Mark and his family.
The killer wants him silenced forever.
Reggie Love has been practising law for less than five years. Only she can save Mark from these twin threats. Together they must take on the might of the State and the wiles of a cold-blooded killer.