There is something uniquely satisfying about stories of daunting foes being taken down by the little guy. From David and Goliath to Erin Brockovich, these tales are everywhere across every kind of media and format.
Our editors agree that these kinds of stories can be especially gripping when tied back to our own sense of freedom and justice. The law being manipulated to thwart the proper balance of fairness, robbing the innocent of their freedom, allowing the real criminals to go free, or causing financial ruin -all in with the courts approval- strikes close to home in a way that is more daunting then other threats. After all, what happens when the law, our very benchmark for right and wrong, is incorrect?
Our editors compiled a list of their favorite legal thrillers, where justice is sought despite insurmountable odds.
- Presumed Innocent, by Scott Turow: Released in 1987, this book is considered by some to be the first true Legal Thriller. It tells the story of Rusty Sabich, a married prosecuting attorney whose affair with a colleague comes back to haunt him after she is brutally raped and murdered. Sabich's professional and personal lives begin to mingle painfully when he becomes the accused.
- The Professor, by Robert Bailey: A devastating trucking accident in Henshaw, Alabama, leaves a young family dead. Rick Drake, a fledgling lawyer just out of law school, takes the case against the freight carrier and soon begins to uncover the truth behind the tragedy that is buried in a tangled web of arson, bribery, and greed.
- The Rainmaker, by John Grisham: Just out of law school and already in over his head, Rudy Baylor takes on an insurance claim for a family whose son’s treatable disease goes ignored. Up against a heavyweight corporate defense team, the case that started small is exploding into a thunderous million-dollar war of nerves, skill and outright violence--a fight that could cost one young lawyer his life.
- Bum Rap, by Paul Levine: Successfully combining series heroes Jake Lassiter (State vs. Lassiter) and Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord (Solomon vs. Lord) in a single case that showcases the three attorneys’ very different styles and strengths. When Solomon is found with a body, and the weapon used to kill him, Lord and Lassiter must work together to find the true culprit.
- Con Law, by Mark Gimenez: John Bookman -professor, ladies’ man, and constitutional law expert- spends his summers seeking justice for underdogs and the wrongly accused all across the country. This time he is called on to address the controversial issue of fracking and how the money, and power involved affects the people of small town Marfa, Texas.