Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Confession by John Grisham

John Grisham's latest was the first book of 2011 for me. I'll be honest, I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I believe The Client was the last book I had read by Grisham other than The Painted House and Skipping Christmas. I just haven't been into his legal thrillers since then. I read The Appeal and was very disappointed by it. I had heard that The Appeal was "old school" Grisham, but I felt it fell far short of his first books.

So I was leery to say the least going into The Confession. And really, the only reason I did read it was because my husband's uncle gave me a copy of the e-book and I wanted to play with my new e-reader.

Turns out the book was pretty good! Now, I'm not sure if that's because I went in with really LOW expectations or if it just intrigued me.

Keith, a Lutheran pastor receives a mysterious visitor in his office. Travis Boyette, a convicted serial rapist, claims that he killed a girl nine years earlier and now the state of Texas is going to execute an innocent man. Boyette has a deadly brain tumor and wants to come clean at the last minute. He wants Keith's help and guidance on how to proceed. Keith struggles with what to do next. Meanwhile, in Texas we meet Donte Drumm, the man who has been on death row for all this time vigilantly holding on to the belief that he his innocent.

The first two thirds of Grisham's book describe a race against the clock to prove Drumm is innocent before they execute the wrong man. All of this kept my attention and I "turned" each page as fast as I could to see if the execution would happen. Now, I'm not going to give away what happens. All I'm going to say is that I wish Grisham would have written a slightly shorter book or pushed off the climactic scene. Having one-third of the book left seemed a bit much and I found myself skimming through the pages. I felt the very end was satisfactory and I'm really glad that Grisham didn't reek more havoc on the pastor's life toward the end of the book.

This would make for a really great vacation or beach read (ah, the beach, doesn't that sound nice right about now?).

Source Disclosure: This e-book was shared with me by a family member.


Mary said...

I REALLY enjoyed this book and didn't mind the climax so early because I liked the denouement so much. I thought Grisham a bit preachy about the death penalty but since I agree w/him, he was definitely preaching to the choir.

Lisa said...

I've heard people say this is like the 'old' Grisham from earlier days. I used to read every book he wrote, then grew tired but I've been thinking of picking this one up. Great review!!

melovemyfamily said...

Hi Holly

Wouldn't you know. This is the very book I chose to read on vacation on the beach. Good tip. I agree. Really good reading for the beach. Just looking at your review on your blog for my next pick. Almost done with The Confession (20 pages or so). Thoroughly enjoying it! Great book! Thanks for your review.

Luxembourg said...

This one will arouse many emotions as the peek into how the system works and could very well not work and put a lot of innocent people away or allow a guilty person to go free. This is a frustrating look into human nature at its best and at its worst. This can be a frightening book for some to swallow but that's not to say that the reader will not be totally entertained and totally enlightened to things he may not have been exposed to before. The reader will taste every human emotion, a lot of ugly ones, but I guarantee that this book won't be put down for very long. Very well done!