Legal thriller  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The legal thriller is a sub-genre of thriller and crime fiction in which the major characters are lawyers and their employees. The system of justice itself is always a major part of these works, at times almost functioning as one of the characters. In this way, the legal system provides the framework for the legal thriller much as the system of modern police work does for the police procedural.

Usually, crusading lawyers become involved in proving their cases (usually their client's innocence of the crime of which he is accused, or the culpability of a corrupt corporation which has covered up its malfeasance up until this point) to such an extent that they imperil their own interpersonal relationships and frequently, their own lives.



Some consider William Shakespeare's play Othello to be a legal thriller;

Major authors

Category: Category:Legal thriller novels

Major authors of this genre include John Grisham, Scott Turow, Lisa Scottoline, Sheldon Siegel, Richard North Patterson, James Grippando, Steve Martini, Bill Blum, Nancy Taylor Rosenberg, Brad Meltzer, John Lescroart, Phillip Margolin, Perri O'Shaughnessy, Michael Nava, William J Coughlin, William Bernhardt, Kate Wilhelm, Michael Connelly, Linda Fairstein, William Lashner, Jeremiah Healy, Sydney Bauer,Arthur Train,Mark Gimenez.

Top ten Legal Thriller books

Top 10 legal thrillers- (from A Fiction of Law, Narayan Radhakrishnan)

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  2. Presumed Innocent - Scott Turow
  3. A Time to Kill - John Grisham
  4. Eyes of a Child - Richard North Patterson
  5. Compelling Evidence - Steve Martini
  6. Primal Fear - William Diehl
  7. The Seven Minutes - Irving Wallace
  8. The Best of Rumpole - John Mortimer
  9. The Firm - John Grisham
  10. The Chamber - John Grisham


A 2007 legal thriller film, Michael Clayton, was nominated for multiple and won one Academy Award in the 80th Academy Awards ceremony.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Legal thriller" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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