In the The Pelican Brief, you will find the most action-oriented story than in any John Grisham novel.
It begins with two Supreme Court Justices whom are murdered for no apparent reason. Well, young law student, Darby Shaw, takes a "stab in the dark" in a law brief she writes that explains why the two members of the Court were killed. After working on this document for hours, and upon completing it, she throws it away thinking it is irrelevant. Her law teacher - also her boyfriend - takes it out of the trash and realizes she is on to something. Well, from this point on it gets passed to his friend who works at the FBI, then to the FBI Director, to the President of the United States Himself. As it turns out, she's very accurate about whom she accuses - and it has potential to ruin the President. Well, the man she blames, as well as some men working under the President, decide to kill everybody (outside of the government) who has seen the brief. Namely: Darby, her boyfriend/ teacher, and his friend. Well, after the latter two die right away, Darby notices a pattern. She takes off with her life. Eventually, the only person she could trust is a reporter from the Washington Post, Grey Granthem. She slowly confides into him and they both decide it will be in both of their best interest to have him write an exposing story in the paper. However, he ca not do this until it is confirmed. So they both have to run around looking for witnesses, sources, etc., while, AT THE SAME TIME, she is being chased.
[Spoiler] Eventually, Grey and his co-workers protect Darby her until their story is released. She eventually tells it, and explains who is behind the murders and then she ties it to the President. The FBI and CIA eventually help her to gain a new identity and leave the country. Grey follows her a little while later and they live happily ever after. So is a lot more to this spoiler than what I have told. [End Spoiler]
The Pelican Brief is a very strong story in my opinion - although a bit fictional. The characters are developed fairly well (not perfect mind you! This is Grisham after all), and Darby and Grey make a great team.
Although the author did not portray the White House and the staff as accurately as a Tom Clancy novel does, it was enjoying to read a book by him while adding a different element into the story other than a courtroom setting. This book is similar to The Firm in that aspect.
In the novel, however, it is a typical story where the good guy always wins and everything is fine at the end, but then we come to expect that after a while in a Grisham story. In fact, it basically ends the same as The Firm, The Client, and The Runaway Jury.
Either way, there really is not much to complain about here. Overall The Pelican Brief is very good book.