Pelican Brief Summary

John Grisham: the Pelican Brief Summary: Two Supreme Court Justices, Rosenberg and Jensen, are murdered. Darby Shaw starts an investigation in different libraries for some days and opens a file about her theory why Rosenberg and Jensen could have been killed.
She thinks that Victor Mattiece is responsible for the two deaths because Rosenberg and Jensen prevent him of gaining the oil in South Louisiana and in fact, her theory is completely true. Characters: ·Darby Shaw: She is a 24- year- old girl from Tulane University, New Orleans and the main Character in the novel.She is a good- looking, very intelligent woman who has graduated with magna cum laude with a degree in biology and planned to graduate magna cum laude with a degree in law and afterwards she wants to defeat chemical companies for polluting the environment. She has an affair with Thomas Callahan, who is her law professor at University. Darby Shaw is the author of the “Pelican Brief. ” ·Thomas Callahan: He is a liberal, handsome law professor, 45 years- old and interested in much younger women. Thomas Callahan has good connections to the FBI because of his old friend Gavin Verheek.
He is the first person who gets interested in the “Pelican Brief. ” ·Gavin Verheek: One of Thomas Callahan’s best friends from law school, Gavin has dropped out from privacy practise to work as a lawyer for the government. He is special counsel of the FBI- Director F. Denton Voyles. He gets the “Pelican Brief” from Thomas and passes it on to the other FBI- Agents. ·Gray Grantham: He is a journalist with the Washington Post. Together with Darby Shaw, Gray is one of the main protagonists in the book.

He is a workaholic, loves his job and is of course very interested in politics.He lives alone and becomes the protector and friend of Darby Shaw. In the novel, he is kind of a symbol figure of the honourable, real American ·Abraham Rosenberg and Glenn Jensen: They are two Supreme Court Justices who are killed by a professional killer called “Khamel” in the beginning of the story. Their death causes the whole case. Especially Rosenberg is a Supreme Court Justice who is hated by lots of people because of his simple ideology: Government over business, the individual over government, the environment over everything. “Khamel”: He’s a killer who works for Victor Mattiece and is responsible for the deaths of Abraham Rosenberg, Glenn Jensen, Thomas Callahan and Gavin Verheek. He also tries to kill Darby Shaw because of the “Pelican Brief” ·The President of the United States: Darby Shaw and Gray Grantham want to prove that the President is involved in the Pelican case and that he has influenced the investigation.
·Fletcher Coal: He’s the Chief of Staff and the assistant of the President. The President appreciates his advice and in fact, he’s the one who pulls the rope in the background whenever there is a decision to make. F. Denton Voyles: Director of the FBI ·Giminski: Director of the CIA ·Victor Mattiece: A tycoon from Lafayette who has drilled for oil in South Louisiana and has found a large amount of oil in 1779 and quickly has started buying this land. Because Mattiece had money, he is a popular man with the politicians and bureaucrats. Then a lawsuit has ordered them to stop the dredging and drilling. The plaintiff is an environmental organisation called Green Fund that argued that Mattiece would destroy a natural refuge for waterfowl especially for the Louisiana Brown Pelican.
After 30 years of contamination by DDT and other pesticides, the Louisiana Brown Pelican would be eliminated then. First Green Fund has lost the trial but then Judge Rosenberg and Jensen kept the injunction in place. Mattiece starts to fight for the right to get the oil with hundreds of lawyers, he know that it will take him a long time to win the trial but that lots of money and the President will help him to win it. He is so sure that the President will help him because he has contributed the President’s campaign with four million two hundred thousand dollars, all trough legal channels.Mattiece is not interested if the way to reach his aim is legal or illegal he even pays killers like “Khamel. ” He hides his illegal activities behind an impenetrable maze of limited partnerships and corporate associations. Very expensive law- offices like White;Blazevich, helps him to win the trials.
·Randy Garcia alias Curtis D. Morgan: He is a source of Gray Grantham who gets killed in the end. However, he is an important character because with his help, Gray is able to verify the “Pelican Brief. ” Summary: In the beginning of the story two Supreme Court Justices, Rosenberg andJensen, are murdered. Darby Shaw starts an investigation in different libraries for some days and opens a file about her theory why Rosenberg and Jensen could have been killed. She thinks that Victor Mattiece is responsible for the two deaths because Rosenberg and Jensen prevent him of gaining the oil in South Louisiana and in fact, her theory is completely true. She calls her dossier, “Pelican Brief” and show the document to Thomas Callahan.
He hands the brief over to his friend Gavin Verheek (he is special council of the FBI Director).That’s the way the “Pelican Brief” goes the round through the FBI, the CIA and of course the White House. The president now has to restructure the Court because of Rosenberg and Jensen’s death. That is Victor Mattiece’s aim. He knows that the president will chose conservative justices who will vote for his plans of gaining the oil. Mattiece also becomes aware of the “Pelican Brief” and decides to kill everyone who is involved in it to keep his plans secret. He hires the killer “Khamel” who also killed the two justices to murder Darby Shaw and Thomas Callahan.
One night after they had visited a bar, Callahan is rather drunk, and on the way home, they start quarrelling because Darby does not want him to drive. He insists on driving and she resists on getting into the car with him. That is her luck because when Callahan starts the engine, the car explodes. Darby is brought to the hospital but she is very suspicious because she knows that Thomas was killed and that his murderers follow her. By now, she is on the run. Darby phones Gray Grantham a reporter of the Washington Post about whom Callahan spoke often because he regarded him as a good journalist.She asks him for a list of the people who have contributed the President’s campaign three years ago.
She tells him that she is the author of the Pelican Brief and that someone is behind her but she does not know who. She hopes to find it out with the help of the list. Gray asks her to meet him but she denies. In the meanwhile, Gray Grantham has another telephone call from a so-called Garcia who tells him that he knows who has murdered Rosenberg and Jensen and tells him some details, which show him that Darby has told the truth.In the following time, Darby has to change her locations and appearance very often but she cannot get rid of her followers. She calls Gavin Verheek and tells him about Callahan’s death and they decide to meet each other at a safe place. He describes his look and she asks him to wear special clothes, so that she will know who he is.
A bug records this telephone conversation and it’s again Khamel’s turn. He shots Verheek and meets Darby as “Gavin” in order to kill her too. In the last moment, Khamel gets shot himself.Her secret rescuer is a CIA-Agent how Darby learns in the end. She can run away again and decides to ask Gray Grantham for help. She calls him and they meet each other in a hotel in New York. There she tells him everything she knows and they both start looking for Garcia, who is the only one who can verify Darby’s dossier so that Gray can write a story about it and nail Victor Mattiece.
They find out that Garcia’s right name is Curtis D. Morgan and he is one of the lawyers of “White&Blacevich” whose client is Mattiece.Darby and Gray decide to go to Washington to meet Curtis Morgan. There they find out that Garcia is already dead. Probably Mattiece’s people murdered him. So they visit Morgan’s wife to tell her that her husband has not committed suicide and to ask for her help. She gives them a key to a lockbox in the “First Columbia Bank.
” In the lockbox, they find a video cassette and an envelope with some papers in it which enables them to proof that Darby’s theory is correct. Darby and Gray go to the office of the Washington Post where Gray writes his story.After that they drop the bomb and contact Denton Voyles, Mattiece’s lawyers and the White House. The White House decides to order an investigation to tell everyone what Mattiece has done and denies any connection between Mattiece and the President. FBI Director Voyles helps Darby to leave the country unknown because she feels not safe anymore in the U. S. A.
In the end, Mattiece and his people have been indicted, the president’s image is badly hurt so that he won’t win the re-elections and Darby and Gray are safe at the island of St. Thomas.

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