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Topic: Legal Thrillers you'd recommend (besides, of course, John Grisham! lol)

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Subject: Legal Thrillers you'd recommend (besides, of course, John Grisham! lol)
Date Posted: 2/4/2008 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
Posts: 530
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Last Edited on: 2/4/08 10:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/6/2008 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 11/4/2006
Posts: 1,548
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I  really like  Steve Martini and John Lescroart



Date Posted: 2/6/2008 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2005
Posts: 44
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If you like Grisham, I would recommend James Grippando.  I love his books.

Date Posted: 2/6/2008 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2005
Posts: 295
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I've been enjoying the Barbara Holloway series by Kate Wilhelm. Barbara is an attorney who works in her father's firm in Oregon.


Subject: Perri O'Shaughnessy
Date Posted: 2/6/2008 9:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/5/2007
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There is a whole series with the same female lawyer ... I'm not much for legal topics, but these are good!

Date Posted: 2/7/2008 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
Posts: 5,201
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Scott Turow, who started the whole lawyer turned author trend with Presumed Innocent (made into a movie starring Harrison Ford.)

Date Posted: 2/7/2008 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2006
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William Bernhardt

Date Posted: 2/11/2008 11:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 1,305
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Perri O'Shaughnessy sisters write legal thrillers. Steve Martini's books have been good. Grippando is good.

Subject: legal thrillers
Date Posted: 3/7/2008 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2007
Posts: 373
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I like the Robert Whitlow books


Subject: Legal Thrillers
Date Posted: 3/17/2008 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 349
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I second Kate Wilhelm and Peri O'Shaughnessy. 

Susan Gold

Date Posted: 3/18/2008 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2007
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Lisa Scottoline - kind of borderline chick lit/legal thriller combo...

Date Posted: 3/22/2008 6:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2006
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Perri O'Shaughnessy's book are good.
I have Unfit to Practice if you're interested. Check out my other books too!

Date Posted: 3/22/2008 7:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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Obviously, other Legal Thrillers make good suggestions for Grisham's fans. However, not every Legal Thriller works. Scott Turow's stories do not move at the same rapid pace as Grisham's, and readers who like both either enjoy Legal Thrillers across the board or appreciate each author's strengths. By the same token Richard North Patterson, who also writes in this subgenre, matches Turow's larger, more leisurely paced novels more closely than Grisham's page-turners. (In Turow and his ilk, pacing increases at the end, but the books do not start out fast from the first.)


There are many Legal Thriller writers who follow the Grisham pattern more closely and satisfy his many fans. Steve Martini writes page-turning Legal Thrillers that feature lawyers as underdogs, fighting for justice. His titles also have a cinematic quality that characterizes Grisham's books. Sympathetic protagonists, especially series character Paul Madriani and his colleagues, people the stories, and investigation plays an important role, with actual courtroom drama often taking second place. In The Jury, Madriani defends genetic researcher, Dr. David Crone, accused of murdering his assistant. The evidence places blame compellingly on Crone, but skilled investigation brings the true villain to justice.


Lisa Scottoline, sometimes called the "distaff Grisham," offers the legal focus, sympathetic characters, fast pacing, and a plot full of unexpected twists. There's more humor and sarcasm in Scottoline's stories, especially in smart-mouthed heroine/attorney Bennie Rosato, but they offer a similarly suspenseful story. In Mistaken Identity, Rosato represents a woman accused of killing a cop: a woman who also claims to be Bennie's twin. The implications of the latter resonate through this story of personal issues and legal corruption.


Brad Meltzer, like Grisham, likes to portray young, vulnerable lawyers caught in difficult situations, pitted against powerful but corrupt enemies. Fast pacing, provocative storylines, suspense and danger, along with sympathetic characters make satisfying books for Grisham fans. In Dead Even, legal skullduggery abounds as husband and wife face each other in court, forced into this situation by blackmail and politics. How they extricate themselves from the threats of their powerful foes and effect justice makes exciting, satisfying storytelling.


Beyond the boundaries of Legal Thrillers there are a number of authors who might appeal to readers not precisely tied to the law. David Baldacci is a solid suggestion for Grisham fans. Writing intricately plotted stories of conspiracy and corruption, Baldacci offers sympathetic protagonists, multiple plot twists, ethical dilemmas, and more, in these novels which focus on such themes as corporate corruption, financial manipulation, and abuse of power in the presidency. Like Grisham, Baldacci offers down-to earth heroes, caught up in impossible situations. In Absolute Power, he presents a complex puzzle with multiple, intertwining plot lines -- even though we know what happened and who is responsible, we keep turning the pages to discover how the story will play out, as a likable professional cat burglar on his last case witnesses the murder of the president's mistress and becomes the one piece the subsequent cover-up can't seem to eliminate or control.


Also known for his provocative stories and relentless pacing, Stuart Woods has much to offer Grisham fans. New York Dead is a good place to start. The first of the novels featuring detective (later retired) Stone Barrington, this one finds him seeking the murderer of a New York newscaster, who fell -- or jumped -- from her apartment, survived the fall, but disappeared when the ambulance transporting her was hit by a fire truck. While there are suspense, action, and plot twists, there's also more sex and violence than one finds in Grisham. Readers who can tolerate this might find Woods a good choice.


Joyce Saricks is the Literature and Audio Services Coordinator for the Downers Grove Public Library in Downers Grove, Illinois, and the author of Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction (ALA, 2001).


Date Posted: 3/22/2008 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
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Lisa Scottolini is good.  I don't recall anything Chick-littish about her books though.

Date Posted: 3/22/2008 11:19 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
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I like Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series.  They are somewhat legal thrillers, though more from the Chief Medical Examiner viewpoint. 

Date Posted: 3/29/2008 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2006
Posts: 61
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Catherine Arnold's Karen Perry-Mondori series is great.  Tight plotting, lots of twists, interesting characters, and I really enjoyed the strong relationship between Karen and her husband.  The slutty/frigid lawyer gets old.

Subject: Legal Thrillers
Date Posted: 3/29/2008 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2007
Posts: 21
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I liked The Paper Chase, which is an older book about law school.  Made me abandon the fantasy of ever wanting to apply!  LOL


Karen K

Date Posted: 4/3/2008 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/22/2005
Posts: 44
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The Marty Nickerson series by Rose Connors is really good.  Marty Nickerson starts off as an ADA, then in (I think) the second book she switches to criminal defense.  The author is a former defense attorney on Cape Cod (where I live) and that's were the books take place.  The first book is "Absolute Certainty."