Related to: 'Witness to a Trial: A Short Story Prequel to The Whistler'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Whistler

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham
Hodder & Stoughton

Camino Island

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham

The Sunday Times 'Thriller of the Month', Mail on Sunday 'Thriller of the Week' and Sun 'Best for Mystery-Lovers'.John Grisham's novels have sold over 300 million copies worldwide. CAMINO ISLAND is both an unputdownable beach read and a thriller for book lovers, beginning with a literary heist and finishing with a cat and mouse duel between a beguiling criminal and the woman set to uncover his guilt.The most daring and devastating heist in literary history targets a high security vault located deep beneath Princeton University.Valued at $25 million (though some would say priceless) the five manuscripts of F Scott Fitzgerald's only novels are amongst the most valuable in the world. After an initial flurry of arrests, both they and the ruthless gang of thieves who took them have vanished without trace.Dealing in stolen books is a dark business, and few are initiated to its arts - which puts Bruce Kable right on the FBI's Rare Asset Recovery Unit's watch list.A struggling writer burdened by debts, Mercer Mann spent summers on Florida's idyllic Camino Island as a kid, in her grandmother's beach cottage. Now she is being made an offer she can't refuse: to return to the peace of the island, to write her novel - and get close to a certain infamous bookseller, and his interesting collection of manuscripts . . .'This story takes you into the dark underworld of the black market for rare books. Think Da Vince Code meets Sherlock Holmes' Sun'The gripping plot will have you devouring the chapters in such a frantic fashion you'll begin to wonder if you are somehow complicit in this perfect crime' Heat

Hodder Paperbacks

Theodore Boone: The Scandal

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham
Hodder Paperbacks

Rogue Lawyer

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham

'The best thriller writer alive' - Ken Follett Sometimes you have to fight dirty to get clean.Sebastian Rudd takes the cases no one else wants to take: the drug-addled punk accused of murdering two little girls; a crime lord on death row; a homeowner accused of shooting at a SWAT team. Rudd believes that every person accused of a crime is entitled to a fair trial - even if he has to cheat to get one. He antagonises people from both sides of the law: his last office was firebombed, either by drug dealers or cops. He doesn't know or care which.But things are about to get even more complicated for Sebastian. Arch Swanger is the prime suspect in the abduction and presumed murder of 21-year-old Jiliana Kemp, the daughter of the assistant chief of police. When Swanger asks Sebastian to represent him, he lets Sebastian in on a terrible secret . . . one that will threaten everything Sebastian holds dear. Gritty, witty, and impossible to put down, Rogue Lawyer is the master of the legal thriller at his very best.

Hodder & Stoughton

Partners: A Rogue Lawyer Short Story

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham
Hodder & Stoughton

Theodore Boone: The Fugitive

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham

He was supposed to be having fun with his friends, not playing detective and stalking a serial killer.Theodore Boone - teenage lawyer and courtroom hero - is on a class trip seeing the sights of the capital city. But he hadn't counted on seeing the most wanted man in the history of his home town, Strattenberg.Suddenly Theo is caught in the hunt for an accused murderer, alongside the FBI. Theo knows he's getting in deep - and things could become even more dangerous. Because if this case goes back to court, it will be down to him. Will justice finally be done...or will the killer's criminal allies be out for revenge?

Hodder & Stoughton

The Brethren

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham
Hodder & Stoughton

A Painted House

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham
Hodder & Stoughton

The Summons

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham
Hodder & Stoughton

Gray Mountain

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham

America's greatest storyteller brings us a new masterpiece of legal courage and gripping suspense - and his finest heroine since The Pelican Brief.Donovan Gray is ruthless and fearless. Just the kind of lawyer you need, deep in small-town Appalachia.Samantha Kofer is a world away from her former life at New York's biggest law firm. If she is going to survive in coal country, she needs to start learning fast.Because as Donovan knows only too well, the mountains have their own laws. And standing up for the truth means putting your life on the line . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

A Time To Kill

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham

The multi-million copy bestselling thriller that introduced Jake Brigance to Clanton and inspired a sequel, Sycamore Row.When Carl Lee Hailey guns down the hoodlums who have raped his ten-year-old daughter, the people of Clanton see it as a crime of blood and call for his acquittal.But when extremists outside Clanton hear that a black man has killed two white men, they invade the town, determined to destroy anything and anyone that opposes their sense of justice.Jake Brigance has been hired to defend Hailey. It's the kind of case that can make or break a young lawyer. But in the maelstrom of Clanton, it is also the kind of case that could get a young lawyer killed"Grisham is an absolute master!" - The Washington Post(P)1992 Random House, LLC

Hodder & Stoughton

The Street Lawyer

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham
Hodder & Stoughton

The Testament

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham

Troy Phelan is a self-made billionaire, one of the richest men in the United States. He is also eccentric, reclusive, confined to a wheelchair, and looking for a way to die. His heirs, to no one's surprise--especially Troy's--are circling like vultures.Nate O'Riley is a high-octane Washington litigator who's lived too hard, too fast, for too long. His second marriage is a shambles, and he is emerging from his fourth stay in rehab armed with little more than his fragile sobriety, good intentions, and resilient sense of humour. Returning to the real world is always difficult, but this time it's going to be murder.Rachel Lane is a young woman who chose to give her life to God, who walked away from the modern world with all its strivings and trappings and encumbrances, and went to live and work with a primitive tribe of Indians in the deepest jungles of Brazil.In a story that mixes legal suspense with a remarkable adventure, their lives are forever altered by the startling secret of The Testament.(P)2001 Random House, LLC

Hodder & Stoughton

Sycamore Row

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham

In the long-awaited successor to the novel that launched his phenomenal career, John Grisham brings us the powerful sequel to A Time to Kill. As filled with page-turning twists as it is with legal mastery, Sycamore Row proves beyond doubt that John Grisham is in a league of his own.Jake Brigance has never met Seth Hubbard, or even heard of him, until the old man's suicide note names him attorney for his estate. The will is dynamite. Seth has left ninety per cent of his vast, secret fortune to his housemaid. The vultures are circling even before the body is cold: the only subject more incendiary than money in Ford County is race, and this case has both. AS the relatives contest the will, and unscrupulous lawyers hasten to benefit, Jake searches for answers to the many questions left by Seth Hubbard's death: What made him write that last-minute will leaving everything to a poor black woman named Lettie Lang? Why did he choose to kill himself on the desolate piece of land known as Sycamore Row? And what was it that Seth and his brother witnessed as children that, in his words, 'no human should ever see'?(P)2013 Random House Audio

Hodder & Stoughton

Theodore Boone: The Collection (Books 1-3)

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham

Collecting the first three of John Grisham's bestselling Theodore Boone series together for the first time, Theodore Boone: The Collection showcases three classic mysteries. In the small city of Strattenburg, there are many lawyers, and though he's only thirteen years old, Theo Boone thinks he's one of them. Theo knows every judge, policeman, court clerk - and a lot about the law. He dreams of being a great trial lawyer, of a life in the courtroom. In Theodore Boone: Young Lawyer, Theo finds himself dragged into the middle of a sensational murder trial when a cold-blooded killer is about to be set free. In Theodore Boone: The Abduction, Theo's best friend April disappears from her bedroom in the middle of the night. As fear ripples through his small hometown and the police hit dead ends, it's up to Theo to use his legal knowledge and investigative skills to chase down the truth and save April. Theodore Boone never expected to be the victim of crime himself. But, in Theodore Boone: The Accused, stolen computer equipment turns up in Theo's school locker. The police start leaning on him hard, and Theo is the only suspect. What if he is found guilty? What about his dreams of becoming a lawyer?

Hodder Paperbacks

The Racketeer

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham
Hodder Paperbacks

Calico Joe

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham

An unforgettable novel about childhood, family, conflict and guilt from America's greatest storyteller John Grisham.Thirty years have passed since eleven-year-old Paul Tracy watched his troubled father, Warren, a pitcher for the New York Mets, clash with his childhood hero, the Cubs' golden-boy Joe Castle, in a contest from which no winners emerged.Now the news that his father is dying brings the memory of that day flooding back. Deciding that it's time to face up to what really happened on that baseball field in 1973, father and son make their way to Calico Rock, Arkansas, where either redemption or rejection awaits them.

Hodder & Stoughton

Theodore Boone: The Accused

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham

THEODORE BOONE is obsessed with the courtroom, justice and prosecuting the guilty. But now thirteen-year-old Theo stands accused.Stolen property has been found in his locker and soon Theo is under investigation. Somebody is sabotaging his reputation and framing him as a criminal.As the evidence against him mounts, Theo must use all of his legal powers to chase down the real thief. Can Theo convince the police he's the victim of a crime he did not commit?(P)2012 Penguin Group USA

Hodder & Stoughton

The Litigators

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham

Oscar Finley: street cop turned street lawyer.Wally Figg: expert hustler and ambulance-chaser.David Zinc: Harvard Law School graduate.Together, this unlikely trio make up Finley & Figg: specialists in injury claims, quickie divorces and DUIs. None of them has ever faced a jury in federal court. But they are about to take on one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the States.David gave up his lucrative career at Chicago's leading law firm for this: the chance to help the little guy stand up to the big corporations. But if Finley & Figg have right on their side, why do his new partners feel the need to carry guns in their briefcases? David thought he was used to cut-throat law from his days at Rogan Rothberg, but this is something else.He knows he was right to get out. He just may live to regret his new choice of firm...

Hodder & Stoughton

Theodore Boone: The Abduction

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham