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Publisher's Summary

In suburban Georgetown, a killer's Reeboks whisper on the floor of a posh home. In a seedy D.C. porno house, a patron is swiftly garrotted to death. The next day America learns that two of its Supreme Court justices have been assassinated. And in New Orleans, a young law student prepares a legal brief. To Darby Shaw it was no more than a legal shot in the dark, a brilliant guess. To the Washington establishment it's political dynamite. Suddenly Darby is witness to a murder - a murder intended for her. Going underground, she finds that there is only one person - an ambitious reporter after a newsbreak hotter than Watergate - she can trust to help her piece together the deadly puzzle. Somewhere between the bayous of Louisiana and the White House's inner sanctums, a violent cover-up is being engineered. For someone has read Darby's brief - someone who will stop at nothing to destroy the evidence of an unthinkable crime.

©1992 John Grisham (P)1992 Random House, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Clever Yarn

Grisham needs no introduction nowdays. You know what you will get and he usually delivers. This is one of his earlier outings and, in my opinion, one of the more interesting plot lines. Darby Shaw is innocently drawn into a conspiracy to eliminate SCOTUS Justices. She's a law student having an affair with her burnt-out lecturer one day and on the run from hired gunmen the next. Then we have the makings of a cover-up in the Whitehouse and an intrepid reporter from the Washington Post who threatens to expose the lot. Good Grisham stuff. Not formulaic, but entertaining. Weekend reading rather than beach holiday pulp (not that there's anything wrong with the latter on beach holidays).
The reason I rate this plot line more than some others is that it in fact required Grisham to apply some of his practical legal knowledge. The legal investigative parts of the story are accurate and detailed; as they should be. Strangely, when he came to write the screenplay, I think he did an even better job. The exposure of the plot is a bit early in the book as compared to the screenplay, and the casting for the latter now dominates the psyche when listening (it's hard not to picture Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington). But that is what it it.
Adams does a good job of keeping the engine moving at high speed. I've no complaints on that score.

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  • Aye-Htun
  • San Jose, CA, United States
  • 04-30-15

Equivalent of Couldn't put it down..

What did you love best about The Pelican Brief?

Not sure why I like this book. I simply couldn't stop listening to it. Just have to know what is going to happen next, even though you know the plot from the movie...

Each character was accurately portrayed by the narrator. I often judge the audio books by the performance of the narrator. The voice. The emotional state of the character, etc.. I certainly rate Alexander Adams to be one of the best. Will be looking for more of his work.

My first Grisham's book. Although I find this book to be slightly above average story, I will five another one his novel a try. Having said that, still couldn't stop listening. It was very absorbing.

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  • Lorna
  • 04-01-15

Loved this story.

I have read this book and seen the film and I was so relaxed listening to it I could picture Julia Roberts face throughout it. Mr Grisham can certainly write a Damn good book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tommy
  • 03-05-15

Brilliant

Gripping. Moved at a fast pace. Excellent characterisation.
Wholly believable. Would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good yarn.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A J PERCYbowman
  • 08-06-18

Great story

A really good story, which I can listen o again, also a very good film

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Colin Hoult
  • 03-22-17

political thriller

enjoyed the story but the oritors voice was not as compelling as some others pity

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • P
  • 08-19-16

Dragged on a bit

I think this never ending story could have been wrapped up much earlier. I sort of lost interest when the gunmen faded out of the story.

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  • R
  • 01-24-15

Enjoyable easy listening

The story was a little far fetched with perhaps too many characters but well written and enthralling and enjoyable would recommend.