In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing president grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the president issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power-broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.
A Painted House
The hill people and the Mexicans arrived on the same day. It was a Wednesday, early in September, 1952. The Cardinals were five games behind the Dodgers with three weeks to go, and the season looked hopeless. The cotton, however, was waist-high to my father, over my head, and he and my grandfather could be heard before supper whispering words that were seldom heard. It could be a "good crop".
In his first collection of short stories John Grisham takes us back to Ford County, Mississippi, the setting of his first novel, A Time To Kill. Wheelchair-bound Inez Graney and her two older sons, Leon and Butch, take a bizarre road trip through the Mississippi Delta to visit the youngest Graney brother, Raymond, who's been locked away on death row for 11 years. It could well be their last visit.
Neely Crenshaw was once star quarterback for Messina High School's football team. His playing days ended with a sickening injury. Afterwards his life went nowhere: his marriage foundered and his real estate business drifted. For fifteen years he's been trying to forget his glorious past as sporting hero but hasn't been able to move on. But now the man who moulded him, Coach Eddie Rake, is dying and Neely returns to Messina. Rake has acted as football coach for 34 years at Messina High; his teams have won 13 state championships and been on an 84 game unbeaten streak.
Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded shops, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That's just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they'll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on the street without a rooftop Frosty the Snowman; they won't be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash; they aren't even going to have a tree.
Playing for Pizza
Rick Dockery was the third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. In the deciding game at the climax of the season, to the surprise and dismay of virtually everyone, Rick actually got into the game. With a 17-point lead and just minutes to go, Rick provided what was arguably the worst single performance in the history of the National Football League. Overnight, he became a national laughing stock and, of course, was immediately dropped by the Browns and shunned by all other teams.
The King of Torts
The Office of the Public Defender is not known as a training ground for bright young litigators. Clay Carter has been there too long, and, like most of his colleagues, dreams of a better job in a real firm. When he reluctantly takes the case of a young man charged with a random street killing, he assumes it is just another of the many senseless murders that hit D.C. every week.
He's their lawyer. He's their insider. He's their spy. Kyle McAvoy grew up in his father’s small-town law office in York, Pennsylvania. He excelled in college, was elected editor-in-chief of The Yale Law Journal, and his future has limitless potential. But Kyle has a secret, a dark one, an episode from college that he has tried to forget. The secret, though, falls into the hands of the wrong people, and Kyle is forced to take a job he doesn’t want - even though it’s a job most law students can only dream about.