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The Beauty of the End
Debbie Howells

from FictionZeal.com re: Gray Mountain by John Grisham

Gray Mountain - John Grisham

Working for a Wall Street firm meant having it all – making a lot of money and living the dream.  But for many during the Wall Street crash of 2008, it was all about to come to an abrupt end.  Samantha Kofer was an up and coming attorney in a Wall Street firm.  Now she’s out of work but told that the firm would keep her under contract for a year.  She would not get a paycheck, but hey, she could keep her health benefits and intern (voluntary; no pay) for a qualified nonprofit.  She had managed to build up a savings account so she took them up on their offer.

Within a few days, she was moving from Manhattan to mountainous Brady, Virginia in Appalachia.  She will work for Mattie Wyatt with Mountain Legal Aid Clinic.  She also meets Mattie’s nephew Donovan Gray, a prominent attorney in the region who specializes in going after the coal companies.  These companies strip mine the mountains leaving devastation causing families to leave their homes because of blasting, dust, sludge, and flooding.  But, fighting these coal companies can prove dangerous.  That’s why Donovan carries a weapon.

This is a good premise and I enjoyed the characters of Samantha, Mattie, and Donovan.  However, much of the story drags because of too much detail into coal mining and quite a bit of nonessential dialogue.  I loved that it was set in Appalachia and Grisham helped us quite well to visualize these people along with their impoverished lifestyle.  Out of all of Grisham’s legal thrillers, this one seems to miss the ‘thriller’ part.  Rating: 3 out of 5.