Santrauka: Whenever a new John Grisham legal thriller hits the bookstores, there's bound to be a buzz about it. Most readers can't wait to get their hands on another tale of the less-than-stellar law professionals and the twisted legal system that are Grisham's forte; other readers complain that it doesn't begin to measure up to his first and still most popular book, A TIME TO KILL, and proceed to nitpick the storyline to pieces. Frankly, I've never understood what the problem is --- I've thoroughly enjoyed every single one of them for their individuality, underlying humor, and the ironic sense of justice that emerges in surprising ways. THE SUMMONS is another superbly entertaining romp through the field of legal maneuvers and a prime example of Grisham's talent for drawing characters who represent our human fallibility. Enter the fallible human, Ray Atlee, a law school professor and the son of a prominent Mississippi judge. Life in Virginia, far from his father's influence, is fairly sedate except for his recent, unexpected divorce. The painful truth was that Ray's wife preferred a marriage with wealth, to a marriage without it. Naturally, Ray views the whole affair from the lofty moral plane of one who believes his values are more grounded. Even the advances of a comely student that has the entire male faculty on edge, is a pitfall he avoids. But his convictions are about to take a disquieting tumble. Ray's father, the curmudgeonly Judge Atlee, is near death and sends a formal summons to both Ray and his ne'er-do-well brother, Forrest, to return home to discuss the final arrangements for his estate. Since neither of his sons followed in their father's professional footsteps, which led to a lifetime of strained relations all around, Ray isn't particularly thrilled at the prospect of a family reunion. Reluctantly, he packs his bag and makes the long drive to his ancestral home of Clanton, only to find that his father has already passed away. But while awaiting his brother's arrival, Ray accidentally discovers something even more shocking. The honorable Judge Atlee, revered for his unwavering commitment to integrity and justice from the bench, has a secret stashed away in his library. Boxes of hundred dollar bills. Lots of boxes. And Ray is the only one who knows about them --- or is he? THE SUMMONS is a tale of the consequences that befall a man faced with an overpowering temptation. Like other Grisham characters who are neither completely the hero nor the villain, Ray is thrown an ethical curve which he could not possibly be prepared to handle. And despite his conviction that he's doing the right thing for the right reasons, it's inevitable that his flimsy rationale will fall apart, disaster soon to follow. It's at this point, that Grisham will have readers squirming just a bit, knowing that given the same circumstances, they might make the same self-serving decision. While we might not find ourselves driving helter skelter across the countryside, evading the law and the lawless, hoping we'll live to enjoy our good fortune; THE SUMMONS is certainly a story with a moral. It's also hugely entertaining and another Grisham bestseller you should add to your collection.
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