I have a long history with John Grisham – love most of his books, but a few have been less worthy. He’s gone through phases ranging from very serious legal thrillers to rather formula courtroom thrillers to non-crime books and more recently, fun legal crime. I haven’t read all of his books but counting down the list at Wikipedia I’ve read at least 21 out of the 37 listed. So … I tried The Rooster Bar even if it did have some mixed reviews, and was pleasantly surprised.
The Rooster Bar
by John Grisham
2017/ 368 pages
read by Ari Fliakos 10h 16m
rating – A+ / legal crime
Mark, Todd, Gordy and Zola are law students at a shady, for-profit law school in Washington, DC. The name is “Foggy Bottom” and that’s pretty indicative of the tone of this book. The tuition, fees and living expenses have all of them deeply in debt and they don’t have jobs. It’s taking a toll on their lives and one night it gets to be a real high toll – way too high. But Gordy has left a trail about his own research and investigations.
First the group of now three law students go to an immigration and customs detention center because Zola’s parents have been incarcerated there. This is a whole ‘nother area of corruption and abuse.
But it’s the law school scam which takes center stage here. The three intrepid wanna-be-lawyers begin their investigation into the law schools which Gordy had started. Meanwhile, they pull a bit of a scam themselves, posing as bone fide lawyers and hustling customers at the court house and hospitals. One thing leads to another and before long the group finds themselves in a wee bit of trouble. And with every twist they give the knot, they find themselves in deeper.
The tone is almost always light and sometimes downright funny, although the topic of law school scams is serious and Grisham has taken aim.