Within a week, Samantha is out of New York and has become an unpaid intern in a legal aid clinic in small town Appalachia, where for the first time she deals with real clients with real problems; those real problems start uncovering a sinister world of big coal, with its impacts on the environment, the health of its miners, but, as the only real industry in town, with an overbearing influence on a community and its people. Her character's intelligence and resourcefulness leads her deeper into this world, and, in the vein of many Grisham novels, leads her into deeper and deeper peril.
That a "big law" lawyer could end up in such a situation is spot on. Right during the big crash the economy could not even come close to bearing the quantity of lawyers who flooded the market during that time. I know quite a few young lawyers who were left utterly disappointed with the "big law" world and, post crash, ended up in public service. In fact, numerous big law firms actually helped place their underutilized associates in non-profit and legal aid positions to give them the "real world" experience with the hope that hey might be able to rehire them. That a highly intelligent, resourceful, and driven young woman could end up in deep Appalachia is not as far-fetched as one would think.
Gray Mountain has all of the characteristics of a Grisham classic with its pacing, twists, and turns. The novel does not disappoint. It is a genre that has worked well for Grisham, and is shows true here."