Sometimes Grisham wants to tell a great story. Other times he wants to expose another seamy underbelly of the legal profession. Rarely, he writes both at the same time. I put this effort Gray Mountain, somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. It is indeed a polemic against the coal mining industry, and he does it without too much speechifying. The protagonist, a lawyer (surprise!) moves the story as she is exposed to some of the wretched workings of the coal industry, and her reluctant transformation from Big City lawyer to hard working Appalachian lawyer.
It is not his finest work, but it is an enjoyable, quick read,.