An innocent man is about to be executed. Only a guilty man can save him.
For every innocent man sent to prison, there is a guilty one left on the outside. He doesn't understand how the police and prosecutors got the wrong man, and he certainly doesn't care. He just can't believe his good luck. Time passes and he realizes that the mistake will not be corrected: the authorities believe in their case and are determined to get a conviction. He may even watch the trial of the person wrongly accused of his crime. He is relieved when the verdict is guilty. He laughs when the police and prosecutors congratulate themselves. He is content to allow an innocent person to go to prison, to serve hard time, even to be executed.
Travis Boyette is such a man. In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, he abducted, raped, and strangled a popular high school cheerleader. He buried her body so that it would never be found, then watched in amazement as police and prosecutors arrested and convicted Donté Drumm, a local football star, and marched him off to death row.
Now nine years have passed. Travis has just been paroled in Kansas for a different crime; Donté is four days away from his execution. Travis suffers from an inoperable brain tumor. For the first time in his miserable life, he decides to do what's right and confess.
But how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges, and politicians that they're about to execute an innocent man?
©2010 John Grisham (P)2010 Random House, LLC
A great story and a great storyline, this book is full of characters with real depth. Dealing with the topic of the death penalty, the characters explore the different passions that motivate people to take a stand for or against it. The story explores the relationship between love and hate, it looks at justice and injustice, race and racial prejudice, hope and hopelessness. The story examines the consequences of the actions each character takes based on their views about the death penalty and justice. A man's life is in their hands they can make a difference, a girl's life had been lost, they have the power to seek retribution, the choices that they make, and the impact of those choices will be played out in this story, which will grip you and draw you in right to the end.
I enjoy Grisham’s novels and his cynicism over the justice available in US legal system, particularly for the disadvantaged in society. This novel epitomises this as a young black man, Donte Drumm, is accused of a brutal murder on little evidence other than a confession, later retracted, got out of him by dubious police tactics. He is convicted by an all white jury and sentenced to death. After four years on death row and numerous appeals his execution day is imminent. At the 11th hour a confession to a clergyman by a serial sex offender just released from prison leads to a hectic race to try and stop the execution. It’s gripping stuff: depressing too as politicians motivated by a desire to be re-elected, in a Texas with majority-opinion in favour of the death penalty, are hell-bent on ignoring any evidence that exonerates the prisoner. Although this is fiction it exemplifies what can happen to those without the funds to get professional legal representation.
It’s a gripping and thought-provoking novel that made me feel angry at times but nevertheless a great listen that is admirably narrated.
Grisham at one of his best pieces. The confession touches on very sensitive topics across race and moral values. It's grips you from start to finish. No regrets recommending.
Performance of narrator Improved deeper in the story.
Avid listener and reader.
I loved the premise but after the conviction the rest of the book drooped. Usual great characterisation, subjects of death row, appeals, etc were interesting. It almost seemed as though it was two stories.
Love to read John Grisham, so was a little concerned about an audio book. There was absolutely no need, the story as always was great and the narrator was fantastic, I even forgot he as ALL the characters.
My only concern now, is will the other narrators of John Grisham be as good???
OK having not had the opportunity to read or listen to Grisham for a little while , this book definitely brought me back into the fold. Whether you are anti or pro life with the death row philosophy /belief in some parts of the globe, the novel involves you in the emotional roller coaster of the argument for and against those personally facing it. It challenges in a gentle way the futility of the system whilst maintaining an interesting and worthwhile story. Not for everyone but it involved those social and political issues for which Grisham well known, I enjoyed this very much.
I love it when Grisham tells his legal tales from a slightly different perspective. This time it's from the viewpoint of a Lutheran minister. It works well.
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