Scott Grisham. US author of low-brow legal thrillers, often confused with John Turow. Novels include: 'The Formula' (2003), 'Presumed Indifferent' (1984).
Extract from 'The Formula'. Portly middle-aged Harry Rex Horgan- a fearless litigator with a brutal work-schedule, four brutal ex-wives and a drink problem- is conducting a brutal cross of the defendant, a dignified elderly personage accused of libelling famous author Scott Grisham. The case is being heard under Mississippi state law by Judge Hiram Oldenshaw in the ceremonial court in Clanton, Kindle County...
Harry Rex nodded doubtfully at the defendant in the witness box. 'So, Professor, if I understand you correctly you are asking us to believe that in dismissing my client's books as...' Harry read from a paper in his hand...'"formulaic, over-padded, cliché-ridden junk that no self-respecting person should be seen dead reading", you are expressing a genuinely-held belief."
'And the we can take it, therefore, that you are not a fan of my client's work?'
Harry Rex paused for a moment, staring reflectively at the rich patina of the old oak panelling in the majestic courtroom. Every one of the jurors was watching him. The pause seemed entirely natural, as if the burdened mind of a dedicated lawyer was struggling to divine the truth. But the pause, its timing and its duration, like the rest of the cross was the product of more than $1million of research and rehearsals. Before the trial had even started an abandoned warehouse near Clanton had been converted by a team of movie-set constructors into an exact facsimile of the court room. Proxy jurors had been hired and psychologically profiled. Actors had been made up to resemble the judge and the defendant. Every aspect of the trial had been thoroughly rehearsed again and again by the claimant's legal team. Even the pause Harry Rex was now making had been tried in several variants of duration, with the proxy jury asked to say which seemed the most convincing. Nothing was left unconsidered. The budget for the legal work was limitless, as at stake was something priceless- the ego of an author.
used to mimic the l had all bee duration and its He appeared to make a decision, and nodded at Pamela Swikowitz, his beautiful young paralegal. Swikowitz passed over a manila envelope from which Harry Rex extracted a glossy 9 by 7 of what seemed to be a luxuriously appointed bathroom. The area around the toilet appeared to be strewn with books. He held the photograph in front of him and addressed the defendant.
'Professor, do you recognise the subject of this photograph?'
The Professor shifted uneasily in the witness box. 'I do.'
'Would you please tell us what it shows?'
The Professor cleared his throat. 'It shows one of the bathrooms in my Central Park apartment.'
'One of the bathrooms?' Harry's eyebrows were raised, as was the incredulous tone of his voice. 'Is it just one of the bathrooms in that apartment?'
The Professor ignored the question and stared out across the crowded courtroom with a look of regal defiance.
'I have a deposition here from Matilda de Morta, a member of the domestic staff at your Central Park apartment. In it she states that the bathroom appearing in this photograph was you own personal bathroom, and I quote "reserved exclusively for the