I sat down the other night and watched the second half of The Pelican Brief. (I had meant to watch the whole thing, but the DVD I had only had the second half on it, and that was entertaining enough for me in the end.) I enjoyed watching this utterly satisfying relationship between reporter and informant, how vicariously safe it feels to have someone totally on her side, willing to believe her, able to back her up.
And when it was over, I realized that this reporter reminded me of the Aunt and Uncle in Pride and Prejudice, and Admiral and Mrs. Croft in Persuasion. I realized that Grisham puts his characters both in physical peril and emotional peril, but Austen's characters are also often in emotional peril; she is one of the best authors I know at writing emotionally unsafe families.
And, in the end, they get away; they end up safe. SO satisfying. Not quite sure, yet, what I can learn and apply to my own writing, but it was nice to be able to figure this little thing out.