Review: Gray Mountain by John Grisham

Gray Mountain: A Novel by John Grisham

Doubleday, a division of Random House LLC, 2014

My Review (3 Stars: Liked it!)

Gray Mountain: A Novel by John Grisham was a pleasant read over the course of a few days.  It is easy to see why Grisham is so popular.  The story was fast paced and his writing style is fluid.

I’ve categorized Gray Mountain as Historical Fiction as it takes place in 2008.  The recession has hit Wall Street law firms and, third year attorney,  Samantha Koefer is escorted out of her office.  She goes to work, without pay, for a legal aid clinic in a small town in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia.

Samantha along with others, tackle litigation involved in fighting the giant coal companies who are strip mining the beautiful mountains in Appalachia.

Samantha encounters several cases depicting struggles of some of the locals.  For Samantha, these cases have much more meaning than the work she was doing for a big law firm in New York.  Grisham, brings a hometown country feeling to the story with other characters and descriptions of the area.

There is another lawyer in town, handsome Donovan Gray, whose family lost so much to the coal companies in the past.  He does everything in his power to defeat them, even if, like the coal companies, he has to cheat.

Overall, Gray Mountain was an enjoyable read about an important topic.

First Paragraph

“The horror was in the waiting – the unknown, the insomnia, the ulcers.  Co-workers ignored each other and hid behind locked doors. Secretaries and paralegals passed along the rumors and refused eye contact.  Everyone was on edge, wondering, “Who might be next?”  The partners, the big boys, appeared shell-shocked and wanted no contact with their underlings.  They might soon be ordered to slaughter them.”

Also By John Grisham

The Theodore Boone Books

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer

Theodore Boone: The Abduction

Theodore Boon: The Accused

Theodore Boon: The Activist


  1. Excellent review! I’m glad you enjoyed this book, Pat. I know John Grisham has many fans. I read one of his books many years ago.


  2. It’s been a long time since I read a Grisham book. His first few were just amazing to me. Don’t think I had read any legal thrillers. I think my favorite, well, except for A Time To Kill, which is wonderful, is The Pelican Brief. I loved that one for some reason. And I liked The Firm very much too, although the movie with Tom Cruise kind of put me off of it. I’ve meant to try this one. Maybe soon.


  3. Hmm I have never read a John Grisham book, although this sounds okay. I am terrible, I hardly ever read a male author, probably just a few that have appealed. One being Jeffrey Archer. I should read more males!


  4. I have not read a Grisham novel in ages! In fact, I had no idea he had released this one. It sounds like he did an excellent job bringing light to a troubling topic that is still very relevant.


  5. Like most of your other commenters, it’s been many years since I read John Grisham. His early books were absolutely unputdownable, but then I just got out of the habit of reading his latest offerings. My father still loves him, so I may pick this up for him. Great review!


  6. I’ve never read a Grisham novel though I’ve probably seen some of the movie adaptations. Glad you enjoyed this one! I never know when to classify a book as historical fiction.


  7. My grandpa was really raving about this book, so I’d like to get to it sometime. However, I think it’s likely to only be a 3 star read for me as well. A lot of Grisham’s books seem the same to me.


  8. Your review makes me want to read this one right away! I haven’t read a John Grisham in such a long time, but this has all my favorite elements: the underdog, a lawyer fighting for the underdog, and people struggling with this economy. Thanks for sharing! This one is going on my list.


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