A novel by John Grisham.
Krane Chemical’s improper disposal of toxic waste leached into a Mississippi town’s water supply, causing a “cancer cluster” of horrific proportions. In a lawsuit filed by Jeannette Baker, whose husband and son had died from cancer, a jury returns a guilty verdict with a $41 million award.
Carl Trudeau, billionaire CEO of Krane, has no intention of paying a dime. He immediately begins an appeal process, and at the same time, manipulates the election of a Mississippi supreme court justice who, bought and paid for, will overturn the verdict. Although the many players left little room for characterization, Grisham does admirably depict the plaintiff’s dedicated attorneys, the callous Mr. Trudeau, and the politicization of the judicial electoral process. The result is a chilling tale of corruption, in which verdicts and acquittals can be bought. Unfortunately, I suspect such things can and do happen in real life.