"The decision to bomb the office of the radical Jew lawyer was reached with relative ease." So begins Grisham's legal leviathan The Chamber
, a 676-page tome that scrutinizes the death penalty and all of its nuances--from racially motivated murder to the cruel and unusual effects of a malfunctioning gas chamber.
Adam Hall is a 26-year-old attorney, fresh out of law school and working at the best firm in Chicago. He might have been humming Timbuk 3's big hit, "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades," if it wasn't for his psychotic Southern grandfather, Sam Cayhall. Cayhall, a card-carrying member of the KKK, is on death row for killing two men. Knowing his uncle will surely die without his legal expertise, Hall comes to the rescue and puts his dazzling career at stake, while digging up a barnyard of skeletons from his family's past. Grisham fans expecting the typical action-packed plot should ready themselves for a slower pace, well-fleshed-out characters, and heavy doses of sentimentalism.
Amazon.com Audiobook review
At first listen, the narration of this abridged version of John Grisham's The Chamber
seems flat and uninvolved. But Michael Beck has chosen his vocal style well, purposely eschewing unnecessary adornment and allowing this searing indictment of racism and murder to unfold on its own terms. Beck uses character voices sparingly, adding subtle emphasis to the already charged plot. The story begins with a Klan-sponsored bombing and then traces a trail of rigged acquittals stretching over three decades, until a young lawyer with secrets of his own brings the case to a powerful conclusion. (Running time: 6 hours, 4 cassettes) --George Laney