Boekverslag : John Grisham - The Runaway Jury / In Het Geding
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The Runaway Jury

Dell Publishing

The story is a little complicated, but it goes like this:

There is a huge trial coming up. Celeste Wood against the tobacco companies, the Great Four.

Mrs. Wood lost her husband when he died of lung cancer. Now she is suing the tobacco companies.

But before the trial, experts are investigating, watching, manipulating and harassing 196 potential jurors. Only twelve of them will actually become juror, so it’s very important for both sides to know whom they’re dealing with.

Take Nicholas Easter, 27 years old, working in a Computer Hut. He claims to be a student, but they can’t find a college within 300 miles where he’s enrolled.

After numerous hours of discussing the matter, the consultants decide to have him as a juror.

And this happens. Along with eleven others, Easter will be in the jury for what should be Biloxi’s biggest trial ever.

Wendall Rohr is lawyer for the plaintiff, while Durwood Cable represents the tobacco companies. Much is at stake. If it becomes a plaintiff’s verdict, then other people too will sue the tobacco companies and then they will probably go bankrupt.

But Rankin Fitch, a specialist in being corrupt hired by the defence, has already been involved in eight similar trials, and he hasn’t lost a single one. Of course he is definitely not willing to lose this one.

So it’s up to both sides to tell how bad the other one is, and to be corrupt. Nothing is too dirty for Fitch or Rohr. They use up all their filthy tricks on the jurors’ relatives and friends, just to make sure they would pressure the jurors to vote right.

But everything changes when Marlee shows up. She is different. She contacts Fitch and tells him something that only Easter can know. She tells him what he will wear tomorrow. Of course, Fitch doesn’t appear interested, but when he sees how Easter is dressed the next day, then he is interested. She keeps playing games with him. For example, she tells him she is doing the same with Rohr.

After a while, she says that Easter is the leader of the jury. That his vote is the same as the verdict. The she tells Fitch what she really wants. She wants to sell the verdict for 10 million dollars. Fitch accepts to wire the money to her bank.

But then, we are told as a reader that Marlee, real name Gabrielle Brant, planned this together with Easter four years ago and that finally their plan is working. They sell their verdict to Fitch, but instead of making sure that the defence wins, Easter comes up with a plaintiff’s verdict.

Marlee ran away with the money, and she spends it all on Wall Street. She buys and sells stocks from the tobacco companies, who have lost some value.

Thus she is earning money with Fitch’s ten million. But then, after some time, she returns to Fitch and she gives back his money.

She only intended to borrow it, and that’s what she did. Their plan worked out pretty well.
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