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Summary Case

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In the beginning of the book two justices of the US Supreme Court, the most important court in the USA, are murdered. The police assume a hitman to be responsible but there are no clues that could lead to the identity of the killer or his principals. So the court, the FBI, the CIA, the White House and also a constitutional law professor and his student and lover try to figure out the motive for the deaths.

The two victims are exactly the two of nine justices who didn't want FBI protection and so they got killed within hours. Abraham Rosenberg was the oldest judge and disabled and very stubborn. The second was Glenn Jenson, the youngest of all justices and he got killed in a gay theater and at a first glance they had nothing in common. In public the White House shows itself shocked but in reality the president and his brain trust are very happy because of the possibility to nominate two new archconservative and restructure the court before the general election in the following year in which the democrats could come to power.

In the meantime Darby Shaw, the 24-year-old law student is the first who recognizes something that could be a motive and she writes an essay that will be known as the "Pelican Brief" in which she describes her suspicion. But after she has finished her work she rejects her own idea because she thinks it would be too unlikely to happen. However her professor for constitutional law Thomas Callahan who is at the same time her lover is very impressed and shows the brief to his friend Gavin Verheek. Verheek is Special Counsel to FBI Director Denton Voyles and in this way the paper makes circles inside the FBI until it reaches the White House. The President is concerned because he is named in the file and so he decides to ask Voyles not to trace the Pelican Brief. After the journalist Gray Grantham has published an article about two possible nominations for succession he is even more worried and starts an unofficial CIA investigation to oversee the FBI which he doesn't trust.

Meanwhile Grantham gets an anonymous call by a frightened lawyer who names himself Garcia. He wants to inform Grantham about information about the murderer that he found out.

24 hours after the brief reached the White House the Porsche of Professor Callahan explodes and kills him. Darby survives with luck. She flees and tries to hide in the French Quarter in New Orleans but her followers are on the brink of catching her. So she decides to phone Verheek but refuses the FBI protection that he offers her because she doesn't trust the FBI anymore.

Even though Verheek comes to New Orleans to the funeral of his friend and after that he tries to find and protect Darby because he feels guilty for Callahan's death.

In Washington Grantham is looking for Garcia who is so scared that he doesn't call him anymore. But Grantham needs his information for



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