GRAY MOUNTAIN by John Grisham
This book has something for, and about, everyone – rich people and poor people, innocents and the guilty, environmentalists and clear cutters, big law and legal aid, murderers and the murdered, the cheats and the honest, those who love and those they love. Because Grisham is a good writer he can take all these disparate ideas and combine them into a cogent and quick moving novel.
Gray Mountain used to be a primeval wonderland of pristine acreage in the Appalachian Range, but now, after the land has been taken over by big coal, it is a wasteland of detritus and denuded mud leveled into a “stump” of a mountain. Additionally, big coal is the bad guy in an ongoing dispute over black lung and the minors who suffer loss of health and loss of jobs. The downturn of the recent recession makes its appearance and enables suddenly unemployed, but talented, big city lawyers to become legal aid interns in backwater hamlets.
The characters are human and well developed. The conversations and situations are believable and convincing. The good guys and the bad guys are obvious, so if you are a proponent of big coal or cutthroat lawyers you might find yourself cringing a bit.
Altogether a well written, fast paced mystery with a bit of romance and a lot of environmentalism.
5 of 5 stars