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  • Andrea Simakis Talks Books

    [caption id="attachment_5034" align="alignleft" width="148" caption="Andrea "The Diva" Simakis"]Simakis[/caption]

    If you're doing some Holiday gift research, and are looking for a good book, check out Andrea Simakis's story on John Grisham's "The Litigators" in her article In 'The Litigators,' John Grisham fleshes out his characters:

    As I cracked John Grisham's "The Litigators," sibling to 18 titles beginning with the same, hardworking article, I scanned the "Also By" page and found myself momentarily stumped.

    Which ones had I actually read? Other than "The Innocent Man," his memorable nonfiction work about a real-life miscarriage of justice, I wasn't sure. Had I reviewed "The Brethren" or "The Broker?" "The Appeal" or "The Associate?"

    That's the trouble with potato-chip fiction. You scarf it down so fast, you lose track of how much you ate, not to mention the flavor: Barbecue? French onion?

    "The Litigators," which publishes today, serves up a heartier meal, though a more stick-to-the-ribs title would be "Dewey, Cheatem & Howe."

    Rightly criticized for populating his fiction with characters as flat as an LSAT booklet, Grisham this time puts three dimensions on Oscar Finley and Wally Figg, partners in the "boutique firm" of Finley & Figg.

    Wally, a recovering drunk with four ex-wives and a DUI, takes cabs to funeral parlors in search of potential clients. He trolls sickrooms "wearing a set of aquamarine scrubs" with "a stethoscope around his neck."

    Oscar, unhappily married and nearing retirement, an undignified career of "fender-benders, slip-and-falls and quickie divorces" in his rearview mirror, has lost his hustle. Like Elmore Leonard's anti-heroes, Finley and Figg are circling the drain.

    Conveniently located near a Chicago intersection known for its high accident rate, the grungy offices of Finley & Figg are managed by Rochelle Gibson, who once threatened to sue the attorneys for malpractice. Now she answers phones, placates feuding spouses and makes sure the firm's dog, AC (short for "Ambulance Chaser"), is watered and fed. She also scours the morning paper for workers crushed by forklifts and other calamities.

    In a repeated joke, the three stop bickering only when a siren -- "Police, fire or ambulance? . . . Wally could distinguish the three in a heartbeat"-- whines down the street.

    During one of his distasteful fishing expeditions, Wally lucks into a mass tort claim against pharmaceutical king Varrick Labs and its cholesterol drug Krayoxx, rumored to be triggering strokes and heart attacks. Lawyers with deep pockets (and brand-new Gulfstream jets) are gathering like clouds to make it rain. Wally wants in on the big score.

    Read more at The Cleveland Plain Dealer


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