John Grisham

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Posted by sonny 03/23/2009 @ 08:13

Tags : john grisham, authors, books, fine arts

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Mike Pound: Child's vision not so perfect after all - Joplin Globe
Of course, back in the day, I'm sure picking up a copy of the latest Shakespeare play was like picking up a copy of the latest John Grisham novel. And, yes, I did just type the phrase “back in the day.” Sometimes I type something even though I have a...
The Things John Grisham Never Mentioned - THISDAY
Most of the remaining time is filled with sitting in court, taking notes faster than one can breathe, attempting to decipher another's horrible hand writing, doing research no one wants to do and all the things that John Grisham never mentioned....
The Innocent Man by John Grisham - Teen Ink
It is a shame that John Grisham waited so long to attempt his first nonfiction work. This story of Ron Williamson is both tragic and disturbing. The town of Ada, Oklahoma, seizes upon an opportunity to rid itself of an undesirable character and “solve”...
He's a Southern lawyer-turned-popular author, but John Hart is no ... - Victoria Advocate
"Scott Turow and John Grisham built the genre; they are the masters of it," said Hart, 43. "It would be impossible to out-Grisham John Grisham. I did not want to spend my life compared to those guys. I never wanted to be in another writer's shadow....
The spy who came in from law school - Daily News & Analysis
Incidentally, it's also an apt summary of John Grisham's The Associate. Reminiscent of his bestseller The Firm, this novel follows Kyle McAvoy as he makes the transition from Yale Law School to the sleazy world of New York law firms....
FWIW: a dKos ad I like. "Willow"...I clicked, read & loved. - Daily Kos
dare to touch the sacred prose of Nicholas Sparks or John Grisham. God knows I can't touch it without a barf bag nearby. And lots of "literary fiction" is just too precious by half. Maybe by three-quarters. Ugh. Just tell a damn compelling story...
Man Pleads Guilty To Faking Autographs, Selling Books - WFMZ-TV Online
Prosecutors say he received more than $300000 from the sales of books by authors that included John Grisham, James Michener, and Truman Capote. They say Smith bought the unsigned books with an account registered in his name and re-sold them as "signed"...
Battle of the big sellers - Toronto Star
Mary Higgins Clark and John Grisham are up to the same tired old tricks. Lisa Scottoline also has a formula but at least puts some entertaining sizzle into it by Mary Higgins Clark by John Grisham by Lisa Scottoline If Mary Higgins Clark didn't tell us...
Mark Grisham to be guest at Buffalo Island Museum open house - Northeast Arkansas Town Crier
Grisham will be on hand Sunday, May 31, for the open house of the newly located Buffalo Island Museum in Monette. Mark Grisham, younger brother of John Grisham, will be a special guest on Sunday signing copies of "Bedlam South," the book he co-authored...
When the Law Comes a Knockin' - PBS
The story has everything you'd expect to find in a John Grisham novel, or, more appropriately, an episode of The Wire. Speaking of which, there was a character on The Wire who did this very thing. I think he got away with it, however....

John Grisham

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John Ray Grisham (born February 8, 1955) is an American ex-politician, retired attorney and novelist is best known for his works of modern legal drama. As of 2008, his books have sold over 250 million copies worldwide.

John Grisham, the second oldest of five siblings, was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to Southern Baptist parents of modest means. His father worked as a construction worker and a cotton farmer; his mother was a homemaker. After moving frequently, the family settled in 1967 in the town of Southaven in DeSoto County, Mississippi, where Grisham graduated from Southaven High School. He played as a quarterback for the school football team. Encouraged by his mother, the young Grisham was an avid reader, and was especially influenced by the work of John Steinbeck whose clarity he admired.

In 1977, Grisham received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Mississippi State University. Grisham tried out for the baseball team at Delta State University, but was cut by the coach, who was former Boston Red Sox pitcher, Dave Ferriss. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981. During law school Grisham switched interests from tax law to criminal and general civil litigation. Upon graduation he entered a small-town general law practice for nearly a decade in Southaven, where he focused on criminal law and civil law representing a broad spectrum of clients. As a young attorney he spent much of his time in court proceedings.

In 1983 he was elected as a Democrat to the Mississippi House of Representatives, where he served until 1990. During his time as a legislator, he continued his private law practice in Southaven. He has donated over $100,000 to Democratic Party candidates. In September, 2007 Grisham appeared with Hillary Rodham Clinton, his choice for U.S. President in 2008, and former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, whom Grisham supported for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Republican John Warner (no relation). Grisham himself had considered challenging former GOP U.S. Senator George Allen, Jr. in the 2006 election in which Allen was narrowly defeated by the Democrat James Webb.

The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a young attorney "lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared." That second book, The Firm, became the 7th bestselling novel of 1991. Grisham then went on to produce at least one work a year, most of them wildly popular bestsellers. He authored seven number-one bestselling novels of the year (1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, and 2005).

Beginning with A Painted House in 2001, the author broadened his focus from law to the more general rural south, while continuing to pen his legal thrillers.

Publishers Weekly declared Grisham "the bestselling novelist of the 90s," selling a total of 60,742,289 copies. He is also one of only a few authors to sell two million copies on a first printing; others include Tom Clancy and J.K. Rowling. Grisham's 1992 novel The Pelican Brief sold 11,232,480 copies in the United States alone.

Grisham returned briefly to the courtroom in 1996 after a five-year hiatus. According to his official website, he "was honoring a commitment he made before he had retired from the law...representing the family of a railroad brakeman killed when he was pinned between two cars...Grisham successfully argued his clients' case, earning them a jury award of $683,500." Another tie to the legal community that he continues to hold is his seat on the Board of Directors for the Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to exonerating the innocent through DNA testing after they have been convicted.

The Mississippi State University Libraries, Manuscript Division, maintains the John Grisham Room, an archive containing materials generated during the author's tenure as Mississippi State Representative and relating to his writings.

Grisham's lifelong passion for baseball is evident in his novel A Painted House and in his support of Little League activities in both Oxford, Mississippi and Charlottesville, Virginia. He wrote the original screenplay for and produced the baseball movie Mickey, starring Harry Connick, Jr.. The movie was released on DVD in April 2004. He remains a fan of Mississippi State University's baseball team and wrote about his ties to the university and the Left Field Lounge in the introduction for the book Dudy Noble Field: A Celebration of MSU Baseball.

Grisham is also well known within the literary community for his efforts to support the continuing literary tradition of his native South. Grisham has endowed scholarships and writer's residencies in the University of Mississippi's English Department and Graduate Creative Writing Program, and was the founding publisher of the Oxford American, a magazine devoted to literary writing and famous for its annual music issue and copies of which include a compilation CD featuring contemporary and classic Southern musicians in genres ranging from blues and gospel to country-western and alternative rock.

In an October 2006 interview on the Charlie Rose Show, Grisham stated that he usually takes only six months to write a book and that his favorite author was John le Carré.

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The Rainmaker (John Grisham)

The Rainmaker is a 1995 novel by John Grisham. It was turned into a film in 1997. It is different from most other novels and books in that it is written completely in the simple present tense.

Rudy Baylor is a law graduate from Memphis State Law School. He secures a position with a Memphis law firm, which he then loses when the firm is bought out by another larger firm. As one of the few members of his class without a job lined up, Rudy is forced to apply for part-time and poorly-paid law positions. He gets an offer from a large Memphis law firm, but it falls through before he has even begun. Desperate for a job, he reluctantly allows "Prince" Thomas, the crooked owner of a sleazy bar where he's been working part-time, to introduce him to J. Lyman "Bruiser" Stone, a ruthless but successful ambulance-chasing lawyer, who makes him an associate. But to earn his fee, Rudy is required to hunt for potential clients at the local hospital where he must pick up injury cases and sign them up. He is introduced to Deck Shifflet, a less-than-ethical former insurance assessor, now "paralawyer" (having failed to pass the Bar examination after six tries).

Rudy already has two cases which he passionately believes in. One case putting together a will for an old woman who becomes his new landlady after he is evicted from his former home, and another a case of insurance bad faith. He represents a poor family, Dot and Buddy Black whom he met through a class visit to a community center. The case could be worth several million dollars in damages, but his personal life is falling to pieces and he is about to declare himself bankrupt. With his employer about to be raided by the police and the FBI, he and Deck set up practice themselves and file suit on behalf of the Blacks, whose son Donny Ray is dying of leukemia but almost certainly could have been saved with a bone marrow transplant because he has an identical twin brother. This would almost certainly cure the boy due to the perfect genetic match. The procedure should have been covered and paid for by their insurance company, Great Benefit Life Insurance.

Rudy, having just passed the bar exam, has never argued a case before a judge and jury - but he now finds himself up against a group of experienced and ruthless lawyers from a large firm, headed by Leo F. Drummond. It is daunting but he has several supporters and a sympathetic newly-appointed judge to sustain his commitment. Whilst preparing the case while waiting in the local hospital, he meets and later falls in love with Kelly Riker, a battered wife healing from her latest injuries.

Before the trial commences, the Blacks' son dies. The case goes to trial and Rudy uncovers a scheme Great Benefit ran throughout 1991 to deny every insurance claim submitted, regardless of validity. Great Benefit was playing on the odds that the insured would not consult an attorney. A former employee of Great Benefit testifies that the scheme generated an extra $40 million in revenue for the company. The trial ends with a plaintiff's verdict of $50.2 million which is somewhat symbolic because it is the total of the $200,000 transplant Donny Ray should have received, the $10 million Rudy originally sued for and the $40 million the scheme that killed Donny Ray generated.

Great Benefit quickly declares itself bankrupt, thus allowing it to avoid paying the verdict. There is no payout for the grieving parents and no fee for Rudy, although Dot Black was never concerned with the money from the trial. In fact she testified that if awarded any money from Great Benefit, she would donate all of it to the American Leukemia Society.

During the Black trial, Rudy continues to pursue Kelly, and ends up in a violent fight with her husband while helping her retrieve items from her home. At the end of the fight, with Rudy about to beat the husband to death, Kelly intervenes and tells him to leave. Kelly then finishes Cliff off with a final blow which is not shown but heard. Kelly spends some time in jail before Rudy gets her charges thrown out. Rudy is shaken by these events and becomes wary of the practice of law. He and Kelly leave the area, heading for someplace where Rudy can let his law license expire and then become a teacher, and Kelly can go to college.

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A Time to Kill (film)

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A Time to Kill is the name of the 1996 feature film adaptation of John Grisham's 1989 legal thriller A Time to Kill. The movie was regarded as a commercial success, taking nearly $110 million at the box office.

Set in Clanton, Mississippi, the film revolves around the rape of a young girl and the subsequent arrest and assassination of the rapists by the girl's father, Carl Lee Hailey. The remainder of the film then focuses on the trial of Carl Lee Hailey for murder.

Two white racists (Nicky Katt and Doug Hutchison) come across a 10-year-old black girl named Tonya (Rae'Ven Larrymore Kelly) in rural Mississippi. They violently rape and beat Tonya and dump her in a nearby river, after a failed attempt to hang her, she survives to report the crime and the men are arrested. Word spreads of the brutal rape. Tonya's father, Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel L. Jackson), seeks out Jake Brigance (Matthew McConaughey), an easygoing white lawyer. Carl Lee is worried that the men may be acquitted, due to deep-seated racism in the Mississippi Delta area. Brigance admits the possibility. Hailey acquires a M-16 rifle, goes to the county courthouse and opens fire, killing both rapists and unintentionally injuring Deputy Looney (Chris Cooper), with a ricochet. Carl Lee is soon arrested without resistance.

Brigance agrees to provide defense for Hailey for a much smaller amount of money than such a trial would usually require. He intends to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of temporary insanity. The rape and subsequent revenge killing gain national media attention, and the Ku Klux Klan begins to organize in the area. A brother of one of the dead rapists, Freddie Lee Cobb (Kiefer Sutherland), calls Brigance and his family with death threats and organizes the formation of a Klan chapter in the county. The district attorney, Rufus Buckley (Kevin Spacey), decides to seek the death penalty. Presiding Judge Omar Noose (Patrick McGoohan) denies Jake a change of venue. Jake seeks help for his defense team from sleazy divorce lawyer and close friend Harry Rex Vonner (Oliver Platt). He seeks guidance from long-time liberal activist Lucien Wilbanks (Donald Sutherland), a once great civil rights lawyer who was disbarred for violence on a picket line. Jake's secretary, Ethel (Brenda Fricker), is wary of the racially explosive case.

Jake is approached by Ellen Roark (Sandra Bullock), a fiery liberal law student from Massachusetts who belongs to the ACLU. At first Jake is reluctant to accept Ellen's cooperation, but later agrees to let Ellen help with the case. The trial begins amid much attention from the media and public. The Klan, who has a member inside the sheriff's department, burns a cross on Jake's lawn, forcing Jake to send his wife and young daughter away while the trial continues. As the trial begins, the KKK march down Canton's streets, meeting a large group of mostly black protesters at the courthouse. Chaos ensues outside the courthouse as the police lose control of the crowd. A black teenager hits the KKK Grand Dragon (Kurtwood Smith), with a Molotov cocktail, burning him to death.

Jake's attraction to Roark grows, and they nearly begin an affair before Jake gains his wits and goes home - to find that arsonists have burned down his house. The next morning, Jake sits on the still-smoking steps of his house and meets with Harry Rex, who says it is time to quit the case. Jake refuses, saying that to quit now would make his sacrifices meaningless. When the jury secretly discusses the case in a restaurant, against the judge's instructions, all but one are leaning toward a guilty verdict, and Carl Lee's fate looks sealed. Soon after, Freddie Lee Cobb shoots at Jake as he exits the courthouse, but misses and hits a national guardsman policing the demonstrations. That evening after leaving Jake's office, Roark is abducted by Klansmen; she is beaten, tied to a stake in the wilderness, and left to die. She is saved by an informant "Mickey Mouse," whose identity is revealed as one of the Klansmen, Tim Nunley (John Diehl), working with Cobb.

Out of options, Jake goes to see Carl Lee in his jail cell and advises accepting a lesser guilty plea. Carl Lee refuses, telling Brigance that his views on justice and race are wrong. The courthouse is packed to see the attorneys' closing arguments. Jake tells the jury to close their eyes and listen to a story. He describes, in slow and painful detail, the rape of a young 10-year-old girl, mirroring the story of Tonya's rape. His final comment to the jury is to tell them to imagine the victim was white. Hours later, after deliberation, an African-American child runs out of the courthouse and screams "He's innocent!" Jubilation ensues amongst the supporters outside. Sheriff Ozzie Walls (Charles S. Dutton) arrests Freddie Lee as well as his racist deputy. Jake brings his wife and daughter to a family cookout at Carl Lee's house. Carl Lee is surprised and standoffish. Jake explains, "Just thought our kids could play together," and Carl Lee smiles.

John Grisham has worked with director Joel Schumacher before on the film adaptation of The Client with Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones. While only his book was the basis for his involvement with that film, Grisham took an active role in this film's production as a producer. The reason, as Grisham explained it, was that A Time to Kill was his first book and the favorite one out of all of his works, and he wanted to see its adaptation done to his standards.

Before the part of Jake Brigance went to Matthew McConaughey, other actors, such as Val Kilmer, John Cusack, Robert Downey Jr., Aidan Quinn and Brad Pitt, were considered. Woody Harrelson had lobbied for the part and Kevin Costner was close to being cast, but Grisham axed Costner because the actor wanted complete control of the project. McConaughey was originally going to play Freddie Lee Cobb, but put his hat in the ring by speaking to Joel Schumacher and convincing him to let him audition. Schumacher videotaped the audition and decided that McConaughey was right for the part. He then approached Grisham and showed him the audition, which sold Grisham on casting him.

Bruce Dern was the original choice for the role of Judge Omar Noose. However, Patrick McGoohan was cast when Dern proved unavailable.

According to, the movie performed well earning over $108 million domestically. Among other Grisham films, only the The Firm had a bigger box office gross.

Samuel L. Jackson recieved a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

The line "Yes they deserved to die, and I hope they burn in hell!" was the last sentence uttered by Samuel L. Jackson (played by Dave Chappelle) in a Samuel Adams beer commercial parody on Chappelle's Show.

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The Last Juror


The Last Juror is a novel by John Grisham first published by Doubleday on February 3, 2004. The book is a legal thriller and is written in the first person.

The story is set in the fictional town of Clanton, Mississippi. The timeline of the novel is from 1970 to 1979. Clanton is also the venue for John Grisham's first novel A Time To Kill which was published in 1988. Some of the characters appear in both novels with the same occupation and characteristics. Although A Time to Kill was published sixteen years before The Last Juror, it was set in the present, so presumably it took place in 1987 or 1988. Therefore the characters which appear in both novels, such as Lucien Wilbanks and Harry Rex Vonner, have matured. Harry Rex Vonner also appears in the novel The Summons, published in 2002, as an advisor of the protagonist Ray Atlee. Like most John Grisham novels, it starts with a description and then introduces the main character, in this case Willie Traynor, only a couple of pages into the novel. The novel is divided into three parts of approximately equal length.

In 1970, a 23-year-old college drop-out by the name of Willie Traynor comes to Clanton, Mississippi for an internship at the local newspaper, The Ford County Times. However the editor, Wilson Caudle, drove the newspaper into bankruptcy through years of mismanagement. Willie decides to buy the paper spontaneously through money from his wealthy grandmother and becomes the editor and owner of The Ford County Times. Shortly after this, a member of the notorious and scandalous Padgitt family brutally rapes and kills a young widow named Rhoda Kassellaw. The murderer, Danny Padgitt, is tried in front of a jury and is found guilty. Prior to being sentenced, Danny threatens to kill each of the jury members, should they convict him. Although they do find him guilty, the jury cannot decide whether to send him to life in prison or to Death Row, so Danny is sentenced to life in prison at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, also known as Parchman.

After only nine years in prison, Danny Padgitt is paroled and returns to Clanton. Immediately, two jury members are killed and one is nearly killed by a bomb. Jury member and close friend of Willie, Miss Callie Ruffin, reveals that the recent victims were the jurors who were against sentencing Danny to Death Row. Callie Ruffin is black, and was the first black on a jury trying a white criminal in Ford County. With her husband, she has a family of highly accomplished adult children, who live outside of Mississippi. Convinced that Danny is exacting his revenge, as promised, the judge of Clanton issues an arrest for Danny Padgitt. The novel comes to a startling end when a former lover of Rhoda Kassellaw, Hank Hooten, guns down Danny Padgitt in the courtroom by positioning himself on the balcony. Willie later discovers that the assassin is also a schizophrenic and would often hear the voices of the victim's children in his head, convincing him to murder Danny and the three jurors who voted against his conviction to Death Row (however, he only got two of the jurors). After nine years of ownership Willie Traynor sells The Ford County Times.

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A Time to Kill

A Time to Kill is a legal suspense thriller authored by John Grisham in 1989. Grisham's first novel, it was rejected by many publishers before Wynwood Press eventually gave it a modest 5,000-copy printing. After The Firm, The Pelican Brief, and The Client became bestsellers, interest in A Time to Kill grew; the book was republished by Doubleday in hardcover and, later, by Dell Publishing in paperback, and itself became a bestseller. It is unusual for being the only one of Grisham's legal novels not to begin with the word "The," as has been Grisham's usual naming convention.

The story takes place in the town of Clanton, a fictional Mississippi town.

In 1984 at the De Soto County courthouse in Hernando, Grisham witnessed the harrowing testimony of a 10-year-old rape victim. According to Grisham's official website, Grisham used his spare time to begin work on his first novel, which "explored what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants." He spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987.

In Clanton, Mississippi, 10-year-old Tonya Hailey is viciously brutalized by two white racists -- James Louis "Pete" Willard and Billy Ray Cobb. Shortly thereafter, Tonya is found and rushed to a hospital, while Pete and Billy Ray are heard bragging in a roadside bar about what they did to Tonya.

Carl Lee is later arrested at his home by black sheriff Ozzie Walls and charged with capital murder. Despite the efforts of the NAACP and his old military friend Cat to persuade Carl Lee to retain their high-powered attorneys, Carl Lee elects to be represented by his friend Jake Tyler Brigance. Helping Jake on the case are his former boss Lucien Wilbanks, fellow attorney Harry Rex Vonner, and law student Ellen Roark, who has prior experience with death penalty cases. The prosecuting attorney is a man named Rufus Buckley, and the judge who will preside over the trial is white judge Omar Noose. Buckley hopes to win the case so as to gain the publicity that a win would generate, in hopes of being elected to a higher public office (governor). Like Buckley, Judge Noose lacks sympathy for Carl Lee, and he accordingly denies both bail and Jake's petition for a change of venue.

At the same time, Billy Ray Cobb's brother, Freddy Lee Cobb, is seeking revenge for Carl Lee's killing of his brother. To this end, Freddy enlists the help of the Mississippi branch of the KKK, which is led by Mississippi grand dragon Stump Sisson. Subsequently, a KKK member attempts to plant a bomb under Jake's porch, and Jake's secretary Ethel Twitty and her frail husband Bud are attacked by the KKK, killing Bud. On the day the trial begins, there is a riot outside the court building between the KKK and the area's black residents, and Stump Sisson is killed by a molotov cocktail. Believing that the black people were at fault, Freddy and the KKK increase their attacks. They begin to burn crosses throughout Clanton, and Jake's house is burnt down while Jake and his family are away. As a result, the National Guard is called to Clanton to keep the peace during the trial. Undeterred, Freddy continues his efforts to get revenge for Billy Ray's death.

The case proceeds, and in the end, Jake presents a powerful closing statement. After lengthy deliberations, the jury acquits Carl Lee by reason of temporary insanity. Carl Lee returns to his family, and the story ends with Jake drinking margaritas with Lucien and Harry in his office, then descending to face the mob of reporters waiting for him.

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The Pelican Brief

The Pelican Brief is a legal-suspense thriller written by John Grisham in 1992. The hardcover edition was published by Doubleday in that same year. Two paperback editions were published, both by Dell Publishing in 1993.

The story begins with the assassination of two philosophically divergent Supreme Court Justices. Liberal Justice Rosenberg is killed at his home, while the conservative Justice Jenson is killed inside a porn theatre. The circumstances surrounding their deaths, as well as the deaths themselves, shock and confuse a politically divided nation.

While the public speculates about who may have killed them and why, the main character, Darby Shaw, a Tulane University Law School student, decides to research the two justices' records and cases pending before the Court, suspecting the real motive might be simple greed, not politics. She writes a legal brief speculating that the assassinations were committed on behalf of Victor Mattiece, an oil tycoon wanting to drill for oil on Louisiana swamp land which is a major habitat of an endangered breed of pelicans. A court case on appeal, filed on his behalf to gain access to the land, is expected to make its way to the Supreme Court.

The two slain justices had a history of environmentalism — their only common view — and thus Darby surmises that Mattiece, who has a pre-existing business relationship with the President, hoped to turn the case in his favor by eliminating two justices, thus leaving his friend the President in a position to appoint new justices more likely to rule in his favor.

Darby shows the brief, which becomes known as the 'Pelican Brief' to her law professor/mentor/lover, Thomas Callahan, who shows it to his Washington-based friend, Gavin Verheek, a lawyer working for the FBI. Both men are killed soon after.

Afraid that she will become the next target, Darby goes on the run. Eventually, she contacts the Washington Post reporter Gray Grantham, and the two set out to prove her brief correct.

The various parties quickly take sides. The President and his Chief of Staff try to cover up his connection to Mattiece, which would be politically damaging. The FBI wants to bring in Darby to protect her and to verify her story. Allies of Mattiece try to kill her to make sure the cover-up holds.

Eventually, every piece of the story is in place. Grantham obtains videotaped testimony from a pseudonymous lawyer named "Garcia", as well as a document that points to involvement by Garcia's law firm which worked for Mattiece. With this evidence, Grantham and Darby approach the Post chief editor. The story appears in the next edition with front page photographs of Fletcher Coal (the aforementioned Chief of Staff), Mattiece, etc. FBI chief Denton Voyles is ecstatic and shows up at Coal's residence early in the morning to confront him.

Darby crisscrosses the country, then reaches an island in the Caribbean Sea, where Grantham eventually joins her.

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Source : Wikipedia