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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER First time in paperback An innocent man is about to be executed. Only a guilty man can save him.   In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, Travis Boyette 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 #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER First time in paperback An innocent man is about to be executed. Only a guilty man can save him.   In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, Travis Boyette 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?


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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER First time in paperback An innocent man is about to be executed. Only a guilty man can save him.   In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, Travis Boyette 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 #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER First time in paperback An innocent man is about to be executed. Only a guilty man can save him.   In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, Travis Boyette 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?

30 review for La confession Audiobook PACK [Book + 1 CD MP3]

  1. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    ***If you have not read the book, but intend to, do not read my review.*** I loved the first half of the book because of the race to correct an injustice - to do the right thing. I hated the second half of the book because they didn't make it on time. Donte Drumm, an innocent man, was put to death because of the need of the racists in his town to exact revenge. And that happens in real life, not just in books. Innocent people are put to death and the state just basically says, "oops". That is ***If you have not read the book, but intend to, do not read my review.*** I loved the first half of the book because of the race to correct an injustice - to do the right thing. I hated the second half of the book because they didn't make it on time. Donte Drumm, an innocent man, was put to death because of the need of the racists in his town to exact revenge. And that happens in real life, not just in books. Innocent people are put to death and the state just basically says, "oops". That is never, ever acceptable. The death penalty does not deter criminals. They don't think they are going to get caught. The death penalty does not punish criminals - it's an easy escape. The death peanlty only works for people who are alive and breathing and need to take out their hate and anger on another person. Another thing in the book that made me very sad was that Donte was blamed for the crime primarily because of his race. As if the pigmentation of a person's skin makes them more apt to commit a crime?! This attitude also exists in the real world. How I wish I could live in a world where the color of a person's skin truly didn't matter. Why must we divide ourselves into groups of "us" and "them"? I can't believe that I am the one that suggested my book club read this book - it has so deeply disturbed me. As a result of reading it I have joined the TCAPD - the Texas Coalition for the Abolition of the Death Penalty. I think that the organizations mentioned in the book are fictitious. I truly hope that I see a change in my lifetime so that Texas is more focused on correction and rehabilitation than on revenge.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    I feel so cynical, but seriously at times I felt like I was reading a political persuasion book, not a novel---"forget the story for a moment: let me persuade you to oppose the death penalty then we will go back to what happens next in the story"... Ever notice that all those on the left were painted as great protaganists with kindness, honor and glory and those on the right were made out to be selfish, stupid pigs that wouldn't lift a finger for anyone but themeselves? OK, maybe that's a little I feel so cynical, but seriously at times I felt like I was reading a political persuasion book, not a novel---"forget the story for a moment: let me persuade you to oppose the death penalty then we will go back to what happens next in the story"... Ever notice that all those on the left were painted as great protaganists with kindness, honor and glory and those on the right were made out to be selfish, stupid pigs that wouldn't lift a finger for anyone but themeselves? OK, maybe that's a little much. Let's just say he disappointed me. And has disappointed me for quite some time. I am a big fan of Grisham. I used to wait for every February for his latest book to come out. My favorites are The Firm (GREAT SUSPENSE!!!), The Client (Awesome) and The Pelican Brief(Yeah!)---all 3 of these are in my opinion his greatest works and each one made me hold my breath! This one made me expel my breath in frustration. Can I persuade you to agree that his greatest works have already surfaced, and now he's just depositing regular checks in the bank?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    Dunno why he even bothered having a plot to this book, the veil over the pontificating isn't even thin. This book is basically a treatise on why the Death Penalty is eviller than anything man ever ever did I swear to you really, it's bad nasty evil. It's even got the balls to try to make you actively sneer at and hate the mother of a brutally murdered rape victim. As unfair and unbalanced as FOX news. Grisham is a good writer and draws you into a story, and while his books often have a Dunno why he even bothered having a plot to this book, the veil over the pontificating isn't even thin. This book is basically a treatise on why the Death Penalty is eviller than anything man ever ever did I swear to you really, it's bad nasty evil. It's even got the balls to try to make you actively sneer at and hate the mother of a brutally murdered rape victim. As unfair and unbalanced as FOX news. Grisham is a good writer and draws you into a story, and while his books often have a ham-handed message to impart, like "help the homeless" (The Street Lawyer) or "lawyers are evil"; this book is a punch in the face with a book attached. It's like a Kanye West tirade.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Johnrh

    Read The Confession. As in 'red', past tense, or 'reed', you read this. I'm referring to John Grisham's The Confession: A Nove l, published in 2010. I devoured it over a 48 hour period, fast reading for me, but it was a page turner and page burner. Totally engrossing. Only once, briefly, did I think "Oh yeah, another Grisham novel". Multiple story lines, where will they converge? Grisham is a master at this. He can weave a taut tale, getting into a character's being and making him seem very Read The Confession. As in 'red', past tense, or 'reed', you read this. I'm referring to John Grisham's The Confession: A Nove l, published in 2010. I devoured it over a 48 hour period, fast reading for me, but it was a page turner and page burner. Totally engrossing. Only once, briefly, did I think "Oh yeah, another Grisham novel". Multiple story lines, where will they converge? Grisham is a master at this. He can weave a taut tale, getting into a character's being and making him seem very real. It was nicely wrapped up too, IMO, completing all the story lines thoroughly. Too many popular authors these days seem to churn out a great story, then realize they've got to conclude before it gets too long and they rush to a quick, unsatisfying conclusion. Tsk tsk. This is a work of FICTION but it will give you plenty to think about re: death row and the death penalty. I highly recommend this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Eric_W

    The problem with reading clubs is that occasionally someone suggests a dud and one feels forced to finish the book out of courtesy to the other participants. That's what happened here. I abhor the death penalty. I approve of Grisham's message 100%, but my goodness this book is repetitive and tedious. Not to mention I felt bruised and battered by being hit over the head constantly by the message. I listened to it and found the FF button to be incredibly useful. The irony was I could fast forward The problem with reading clubs is that occasionally someone suggests a dud and one feels forced to finish the book out of courtesy to the other participants. That's what happened here. I abhor the death penalty. I approve of Grisham's message 100%, but my goodness this book is repetitive and tedious. Not to mention I felt bruised and battered by being hit over the head constantly by the message. I listened to it and found the FF button to be incredibly useful. The irony was I could fast forward 15 minutes and think I hadn't moved forward at all. The characters are stereotypical cardboard cutouts. Their speeches (they don't talk, they proclaim,) are all cookie-cutter, but the dough gets stale quickly. The book would have been much stronger had there been some shades of gray, some ethical tensions. There just are none here. For example, did the prosecutors and cops set out to kill an innocent man? Of course, not. They were subject to cultural, racial, and political pressures. An examination of the force of those pressures would have made a much more interesting book. And what if there had been no confession? How about an examination of the legal hurdles that prevent uncovering police malfeasance? Or an examination of the Supreme Court's reasoning that innocence is not a defense? (See Connick v Thomson.) To quote Reason Magazine: "Scalia has written in the past that there's nothing in the Constitution to prevent the government from executing an innocent person. He also apparently believes there's no duty for the government to preserve or turn over evidence that would prove a person's innocence. Finally, from Connick we learn he also believes that prosecutors and municipalities shouldn't be held liable to people who are wrongly convicted and imprisoned, either, even if prosecutors knowingly concealed the evidence that would have exonerated them." Now *that* would have made a fascinating book. I don't like giving negative ratings and usually don't review books I didn't like, but in this case I resent the time spent listening to this; it was like trying to move through quicksand. Be interesting to see what the rest of the group thinks, especially since they are a particularly high-minded literary group. Do you suppose the moderator got it wrong and it should have been Augustine's Confessions?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rex Hammock

    Something about Grisham novels make them my go-to books for reading on flights -- his expertise is pacing, I've decidied This is pure soapbox Grisham -- an anti death penalty diatrabe. However, I think anyone who's ever watched a few episodes of Law and Order could have done a better job keeping the accused off death row. [Later: Okay, I've added an extra star to this book since reading this article in the New Yorker from 2009 about Cameron Todd Willingham. Apparently the Texas criminal justice Something about Grisham novels make them my go-to books for reading on flights -- his expertise is pacing, I've decidied This is pure soapbox Grisham -- an anti death penalty diatrabe. However, I think anyone who's ever watched a few episodes of Law and Order could have done a better job keeping the accused off death row. [Later: Okay, I've added an extra star to this book since reading this article in the New Yorker from 2009 about Cameron Todd Willingham. Apparently the Texas criminal justice system can be as bad as Grisham describes.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Annet

    3.5. Used to love reading Grisham. He's a master in writing page turners. The Client is one of my favorites. But then the storylines are generally the same. A case of injustice, good legal guys fighting for client or a worthy cause. Bad guys, including high government or police officials. Lots of stuff happens, the good guys win, at least morally and usually at some cost. I stopped reading Grisham for some time as I lost interest. This is my first adult Grisham in some time ( read a junior 3.5. Used to love reading Grisham. He's a master in writing page turners. The Client is one of my favorites. But then the storylines are generally the same. A case of injustice, good legal guys fighting for client or a worthy cause. Bad guys, including high government or police officials. Lots of stuff happens, the good guys win, at least morally and usually at some cost. I stopped reading Grisham for some time as I lost interest. This is my first adult Grisham in some time ( read a junior Grisham, Theodore Boone, earlier this year), picked this one up at the airport, and I liked it, although the storyline is still the same as described above. No doubt, Grisham is a skilled storyteller. The story topic is tragic, it's about an innocent guy on death row. Creepy killer who did the crime is out there, wanting to confess as he is terminally ill. Legal guy fighting fiercefully for Donte, the innocent guy and a minister unwillingly gets involved. Bad government guys oppose... And the story goes. A heartbreaking story at points... Grisham is 'can't put down the book', but also, skipping sentences to move on for me. Yes, I did enjoyed it after a long time returning to Grisham.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Duffy Pratt

    Grisham is an astonishingly lazy writer. This from the Author's Note at the end of the book: "Some overly observant readers may stumble across a fact or two that might appear to be in error. They may consider writing me letters to point out my shortcomings. They should conserve paper. There are mistakes in this book, as always, and as long as I continue to loathe research, while at the same time remaining perfectly content to occasionally dress up the facts, I'm afraid the mistakes will Grisham is an astonishingly lazy writer. This from the Author's Note at the end of the book: "Some overly observant readers may stumble across a fact or two that might appear to be in error. They may consider writing me letters to point out my shortcomings. They should conserve paper. There are mistakes in this book, as always, and as long as I continue to loathe research, while at the same time remaining perfectly content to occasionally dress up the facts, I'm afraid the mistakes will continue." Here's one small example of the sorts of mistakes he makes. At one point he says that the Supreme Court denied two petitions for writ of certiorari, both by a vote of 5-4. What are the problems here? First, the Supreme Court does not say what the vote is when there is a denial of cert. The only time that there is an indication of a split in the vote is when one of the Justices files a dissent from the denial of cert, and that happens very rarely. If it happened here, it would be worth noting as part of the novel. That's not the bad part, though. The court will grant a cert petition if there are four votes to consider the case. Thus, if there had been a 5-4 vote in th court, the petitions would have been granted, and not denied. Again this seems like a very small detail and one that Grisham could pass over without hurting his book. But it's worse. It only takes four votes to grant cert. However, it takes a full five votes to grant a motion for a stay of execution. Thus, its perfectly possible for the Court to grant a petition for cert, but fail to stay the execution. Only about 1% of cert petitions get granted, so when one does, it's pretty extraordinary. But in death cases, the Court can decide that the case is extraordinary enough to merit a hearing, but not enough to delay the execution. And, of course, once the execution gets carried out, the case becomes moot, and is thus dropped. Grisham wrote an anti-death penalty polemic thinly disguised as a novel. He went to law school. But he cannot be bothered enough to gather tidbits that would help him make his case, like the Court agreeing to hear the case because its so important, but at the same time letting the prisoner and the case die. That's part of what comes from his "loathing" of research. This would be a bit less troublesome to me except that Grisham was trained as a lawyer and really should know this stuff without doing research. The laziness, however, goes further than just research. This book has two kinds of characters: paper thin stereotypes and cyphers. The stereotypes tend to be either loathsome or saintly. The cyphers are almost totally empty. Not only is he lazy about finding out the details of the system he critiques, he is lazy about inventing the people who inhabit his work. Furthermore, he's lazy in his plotting. Another example. The real killer jumps parole and leaves Kansas to go to Texas to confess his crime and try to stop the execution. He's dying of a brain tumor. The attempt to stop the execution fails, but if he can lead authorities to the body he could prove that his story is true. At this point, the prosecutor and the police detective know that they might be in deep crap. So does the governor. What do they do? Nothing. I don't know what would happen in real life, but the villains in the book should at least have tried to get Kansas to issue an arrest warrant for the guy for jumping parole. They could then try to arrest him, and get him shut away so that he can't lead anyone to the body. Without the body, he would still plausibly be just another crackpot. With these guys trying to prevent the discovery of the body, while the "good" guys are trying to find the body, there could be some interesting storytelling going on, with people acting out of real motives. Is this plausible? There are cases where prosecutors have made legal efforts to destroy backlogged evidence so that it could not be DNA tested, years after everything is made moot. I don't know if it's entirely plausible, but it could make for some good storytelling, something that does not appear to interest Grisham. Why does this bother me so much? For one thing, it makes for a bad novel (although somewhat engaging and very easy to read). But my main objection is that it seems obviously to have a polarizing effect. Reading the reviews, it seems pretty obvious that people who dislike the death penalty like the book, and people strongly in favor of the death penalty hate it. I haven't seen any review where someone claimed that the book made him think, or convinced him to change his mind. It's just preaching, and preaching to the choir. For what it's worth, I agree with Grisham about the death penalty. I spent some time working in death penalty defense. But I don't think this kind of sloppy book does the "cause" any good. Instead, it delivers exactly what people expect and are comfortable with, no more and no less. Thus, its easy for those in favor of the death penalty to shrug it off.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Loved it. As a criminal defense attorney, I appreciated Grisham's expression of certain insights into how criminal justice actually works. It's far from perfect. Innocent people do get arrested, convicted, even executed. Innocent people do make false confessions. When defense attorneys lose, they often do suffer the burden of second-guessing their strategies and tactics. I myself have not tried a capital (death penalty) case, but I have assisted at a murder trial which resulted in a sentence of Loved it. As a criminal defense attorney, I appreciated Grisham's expression of certain insights into how criminal justice actually works. It's far from perfect. Innocent people do get arrested, convicted, even executed. Innocent people do make false confessions. When defense attorneys lose, they often do suffer the burden of second-guessing their strategies and tactics. I myself have not tried a capital (death penalty) case, but I have assisted at a murder trial which resulted in a sentence of life without parole. For a defendant age 19. Grisham does a fine job bringing in a many dimensions of a criminal case -- how it touches upon a great many people. And he well understands how,the urgency of our need to have answers very easily leads to incomplete and erroneous investigations, where once a theory of the case is hatched, police and detectives often lose their self-discipline, their critical edge. Instead, they launch headlong, uncritically, into the selective amassing of "evidence" to fit their presumptive theory. An excellent story -- one that really could, alas DOES happen!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    If you're in the mood to read 400+ pages of liberal preaching, then go ahead and pick this book up. I usually love John Grisham's brand of legal thrillers. I heard this was going to be his best work since "The Firm" and was very excited to read it. However, the preaching ruined it for me. Every character that was on the "right" was painted to be an absolute idiot, a bad person, a naive moron, etc. Every character on the "left" was painted to be the most intelligent individual anyone has ever come If you're in the mood to read 400+ pages of liberal preaching, then go ahead and pick this book up. I usually love John Grisham's brand of legal thrillers. I heard this was going to be his best work since "The Firm" and was very excited to read it. However, the preaching ruined it for me. Every character that was on the "right" was painted to be an absolute idiot, a bad person, a naive moron, etc. Every character on the "left" was painted to be the most intelligent individual anyone has ever come across. It was so obviously slanted it made me not want to read it. Of course, by the time the heavy preaching comes, you're more than halfway through the book and want to know what happens to the characters. Speaking of the characters, they were poorly developed (all of them), and really more of a channel through which Grisham preached his political point of views. I found it extremely insulting to readers that Grisham thought that anyone would want to read several straight pages about various anti-death penalty groups under the guise that the "character" was "reasearching" them online. It was so transparent, and like I said, it was insulting. Unfortunately, it is hard to find authors that don't use their supposedly fictional works as a platform for their own political views. This is something that does not impress me, and I don't enjoy reading it. If you want to write a book about politics, then go ahead. Don't tell me this is a fictional legal thriller and then use it to get on your soapbox. If I wanted to research the death penalty to come up with a stance to take on it, I would. I don't need John Grisham to paint a slanted picture for me. I'll continue to be interested in any new works that Grisham puts out, but I'll tread carefully and look for reviews to find out if it's another liberal rant first.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karl Marberger

    A very strong and evocative book. Thought-provoking.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    When you pick up a Grisham book its like taking a big gamble. I find his books to be either amazing or just plain awful. For me this one leans towards the latter. Im not going to go into too much detail about what the novel is about as there are plenty of reviews already written about it. I will say that this novel deals with the highly controversial issue of the Death Penalty. I have to say that this book did not move slowly but fast. Too fast at times. Grisham goes back and forth from the When you pick up a Grisham book it’s like taking a big gamble. I find his books to be either amazing or just plain awful. For me this one leans towards the latter. I’m not going to go into too much detail about what the novel is about as there are plenty of reviews already written about it. I will say that this novel deals with the highly controversial issue of the Death Penalty. I have to say that this book did not move slowly but fast. Too fast at times. Grisham goes back and forth from the present to the past and also between so many other characters, a lot of whom just felt like fillers for the book. When I finished the book I couldn’t help but wonder if he based the novel on real events with elements of fiction or if he just wanted to portray his thoughts and opinions on the issue. I also felt the book was way too long, the characters were not fully developed, you’re given just the bare minimum and as for being a legal thriller, it was anything but that. Reading a book like this novel, one would only hope for some suspense and drama, both of which was clearly lacking. There were a lot of things going on throughout but because of its simplicity they were completely boring. I have to say I don’t think I’ll read any of his books again.

  13. 4 out of 5

    J

    Very disappointing. Grisham has some writing power, but he uses it for evil in this book... liberal lawyer nonsense at its finest. An innocent man that the system failed is on death row, while Grisham's heros struggle to bring truth and justice to light. And it is a black man wrongfully accused of attacking a pretty white woman to boot. As offensive as it is cliche. My editorial: Lawyers aren't the good guys - especially defense lawyers (i.e. Jeffrey Figer) - they are educated criminals in Very disappointing. Grisham has some writing power, but he uses it for evil in this book... liberal lawyer nonsense at its finest. An innocent man that the system failed is on death row, while Grisham's heros struggle to bring truth and justice to light. And it is a black man wrongfully accused of attacking a pretty white woman to boot. As offensive as it is cliche. My editorial: Lawyers aren't the good guys - especially defense lawyers (i.e. Jeffrey Figer) - they are educated criminals in suits, who know enough about the law to keep themselves and their clients out of jail. They are without souls or moral compasses. They pump themselves up with self-righteous nonsense about defending innocence, when really they are enabling evil and clogging up the justice system - denying real victims their justice. The writing is pointed and points in the wrong direction. Everyone who supports the death penalty is portrayed negatively and shown to be lazy, have blood lust or be crazy. Hating Texas and "red states" is portrayed as a virtue. Religion is shown overwhelmingly negative. The victim's mother is treated especially cruelly by the author and openly mocked in the story. And by victim I mean the murdered cheerleader - though the author seems to want to disregard her except to set up the story for his intended martyr/victim - the aforesaid innocent black man. Offensive to law enforcement and real victims of violent crimes, who appreciate the good guys in blue. Also, offensive to all those who toil in the justice system. Their work to protect society from criminals is demeaned by the author's assumption that they are incompetent at best and, at worst, actively assisting in the persecution of innocent people. And the entire justice system is also undermined by the seed the author purposely plants that there could be an innocent man on death row. Readers, remember this is a work of fiction and it was crafted to make a political point. There are a hundred checks and balances built into our legal system and the system is biased towards finding people not guilty. (OJ Simpson, need I say more?) This novel is NOT based on real life or things that actually happen in real life - beyond a defense lawyer's delusion crusade to justify his own morally corrupt profession. Badly done, Grisham.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Very enjoyable and exciting thriller. I actually gasped out loud twice during this book, and I never got bored reading it. I haven't read a Grisham novel in years - - - I really liked this and found it to be an engrossing and quick read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    James Thane

    In The Appeal, John Grisham took on the important issue of electing state judges and allowing them to collect huge campaign contributions from people and institutions who might have business before the courts to which they are elected. Now, in The Confession, he takes on an even more important issue in the death penalty. Keith Schroeder, a Lutheran minister in Kansas, is working in his study one morning when Travis Boyette, a career criminal currently out on parole and residing in a local In The Appeal, John Grisham took on the important issue of electing state judges and allowing them to collect huge campaign contributions from people and institutions who might have business before the courts to which they are elected. Now, in The Confession, he takes on an even more important issue in the death penalty. Keith Schroeder, a Lutheran minister in Kansas, is working in his study one morning when Travis Boyette, a career criminal currently out on parole and residing in a local half-way house, asks to see him. Boyette had attended services at Schroeder's church the previous Sunday and had been impressed by the minister's sermon on forgiveness. Boyette claims to be suffering from a terminal illness and has something that he'd like to get off his chest before he shuffles off into that long good night. He's decided that Keith is the man to hear his confession. Boyette claims that nine years earlier, he had kidnapped, raped and murdered Nicole Yarber, a popular high school cheerleader in the small town of Sloan, Texas. He left Texas shortly thereafter and then was arrested, convicted and imprisoned for a subsequent crime. In the meantime, officials in Sloan arrested a young black man, Donte Drumm, a classmate of Nicole's, who confessed to the murder that Boyette claims to have committed. Complicating matters is that fact that Nicole's body was never recovered. Donte Drumm quickly repudiated his confession, claiming that it had been coerced. He was defended by a bulldog of an attorney, Robbie Flak. But in spite of all of Flak's efforts and in spite of the fact that there was no body and no proof that Nicole was even dead, a judge and jury convicted Drumm of the killing on the basis of his confession and sentenced him to death. For the last nine years, Flak has done everything possible to delay the execution, but all of Donte's appeals have been exhausted and he is scheduled to die within days. After his confession to Keith Schroeder, Boyette suggests that he might be willing to go to Texas and tell his story in the hope of saving Donte. But then again, maybe he wouldn't. He vacillates back and forth while the minister attempts to determine whether Boyette is telling the truth or if he is just another one of the nutcases or publicity seekers who turn up on such occasions looking for their fifteen minutes in the limelight. The story takes off from that point as the clock rapidly ticks down toward Donte Drumm's execution, and as the story progresses, the reader gets a vivid look at the death penalty and the machinery by which it operates, especially in the state of Texas, which executes far more people than any other state in the Union. Irrespective of how one might feel about the issue, this book is bound to provoke some soul-searching on the matter. In truth, while this is a very good book, it does lag at some points. Grisham obviously feels strongly about this issue and he sometimes overloads the reader with a bit too much detail and slows the momentum of the story. Some of the characters are also a bit one-dimensional in service of the argument that Grisham wants to make. Still it's a compelling story and once it grabs your attention, you're likely to keep reading well into the day or night in order to see the conclusion.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bren

    Death row is a nightmare to serial killers and ax murderers. For an innocent man, it's a life of mental torture that the human spirit is not equipped to survive. John Grisham, The Confession This remains the ONLY Grisham book I skimmed. I could not help it. I just couldn't get into it. Or maybe it was that I just got impatient and wanted to know how it would all end. I do not know what it was but I think it is the only Grisham book that was not a page turner for me. It is still very well written. “Death row is a nightmare to serial killers and ax murderers. For an innocent man, it's a life of mental torture that the human spirit is not equipped to survive.” ― John Grisham, The Confession This remains the ONLY Grisham book I skimmed. I could not help it. I just couldn't get into it. Or maybe it was that I just got impatient and wanted to know how it would all end. I do not know what it was but I think it is the only Grisham book that was not a page turner for me. It is still very well written. I just got sort of impatient reading it and did not have the self discipline to continue on without skimming. I'd still say read it if you are Grisham fan. It is still fast moving and there really is not anything wrong with The Confession.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    John Grisham took an unfortunate approach in his effort to use fiction to turn his readers against the death penalty. I have nothing against didactism in fiction if it's well done, and I'm not resistant to the political position Grisham clearly hopes his readers will take, but this novel ultimately fails in its obvious mission to persuade readers to oppose capital punishment. It may have the opposite effect. The problem is that his cast of characters -- a black Texas high school football star John Grisham took an unfortunate approach in his effort to use fiction to turn his readers against the death penalty. I have nothing against didactism in fiction if it's well done, and I'm not resistant to the political position Grisham clearly hopes his readers will take, but this novel ultimately fails in its obvious mission to persuade readers to oppose capital punishment. It may have the opposite effect. The problem is that his cast of characters -- a black Texas high school football star convicted of a rape and murder he didn't commit, his maverick defense attorney, the real killer who mysteriously decides to come clean on the eve of execution, and the Kansas pastor who hears the real killer's belated confession -- are caught up in such a perfect storm of wrongheaded prosecution and judicial incompetence that this is really a book about wrongful conviction, not capital punishment. That would be fine if Grisham were telling, as he has in other books, a story about wrongful conviction. But his singular focus on the horror of execution in this book makes the entire message backfire, and the reader may actually depart with the opposite sentiment from the one Grisham plainly desires -- that is, the reader may conlude that it takes such a fanciful set of circumstances to cause the execution of an innocent man that the risk of it happening in the real world is exceptionally low indeed. Grisham never really connects the dots between wrongful conviction -- a very real problem -- and his opposition to capital punishment, and the result is that it often looks like he's straining to use a real problem to bootstrap opposition to a different problem. This book is occasionally entertaining, and the character of the real killer is particularly well drawn, but a book that tries this hard to teach a lesson needs to do a better job of it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    ☮Karen

    Reading The Confession I learned, if Mr. Grisham has his facts right, and of course he does, that in Texas they will convict for murder even if there's no dead body, AND, they can and will sentence you to death even if no dead body or DNA or evidence of any kind to speak of!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe I need a few more exclamation points! In Grisham's (I think) second book dedicated to slamming the death penalty, the action is all last minute. A guy is just days away from execution in Texas when someone Reading The Confession I learned, if Mr. Grisham has his facts right, and of course he does, that in Texas they will convict for murder even if there's no dead body, AND, they can and will sentence you to death even if no dead body or DNA or evidence of any kind to speak of!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe I need a few more exclamation points! In Grisham's (I think) second book dedicated to slamming the death penalty, the action is all last minute. A guy is just days away from execution in Texas when someone else confesses to a Lutheran minister that he is the real killer. What to do and how to accomplish it, is there time, and does anyone care anymore? In Texas, what the officials really cared about was chalking up another successful execution, and not much more. There are a couple good guys working to pull off a last minute save, the requisite heroes of the novel; and since they were sharing that status here, I don't think Grisham fleshed them out fully enough for me. Always great to read a very straight-forward, concise rendering of a legal case--just a very good story--that would make sense to anyone choosing to read it. This author never fails me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Corey

    For the longest time as much as I enjoyed the story and the setting, there were many times I just wanted to get up and throw something when I got to the point of corruption and talk of putting an innocent man wrongly convicted to death. In the late 90's, in Texas, convict Travis Boyette abducted, raped, murdered High School cheerleader Nicole Yarber, and hid her body in a place that would never be found. Then Boyette sat by and watched as the Police arrested African-American High School Football For the longest time as much as I enjoyed the story and the setting, there were many times I just wanted to get up and throw something when I got to the point of corruption and talk of putting an innocent man wrongly convicted to death. In the late 90's, in Texas, convict Travis Boyette abducted, raped, murdered High School cheerleader Nicole Yarber, and hid her body in a place that would never be found. Then Boyette sat by and watched as the Police arrested African-American High School Football star Donte Drumm, who attended the same school as Nicole, and who everyone believes is Nicole's killer, which Donte repeatedly denies. Nine years later, Travis Boyette is out on parole for a different crime in the state of Kansas, and is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, and Donte Drumm in Texas is 4 days away from being executed by lethal injection. Now for the first time in his life, Boyette decides to come forward and confess, with the assistance of a young pastor Reverend Keith Schroeder, who has checked out Boyette's history and background, reluctantly agrees to take him across the state line (Which he can't legally do with Boyette being out on parole), to meet with Drumm's lawyer Robbie Flak (who years after Donte's conviction, still believes him to be innocent and hopes to learn the truth before it's too late) and have Boyette tell his side of the story and confess, and prevent the execution of an innocent man. But how can a guilty man convince the entire state of Texas that they're about to wrongfully execute the wrong man? An intriguing powerful story, sad and tragic at times. I feel it has a lot of similarities to the film Dead Man Walking with Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn, where one of the main topics is the death penalty.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    There was so much wrong with this book, and so little right with it that it's difficult to find a place to start the review. Although I am anti-death penalty and liberal and should have been Grisham's chosen choir to preach to, I couldn't finish the thing. It was beyond ridiculous. Every character on the defendant's side was good. All the others--even the victim's mother--were horribly, horribly bad. Example: Mother of the victim blubbers when she cries. When mother of defendant cries, her There was so much wrong with this book, and so little right with it that it's difficult to find a place to start the review. Although I am anti-death penalty and liberal and should have been Grisham's chosen choir to preach to, I couldn't finish the thing. It was beyond ridiculous. Every character on the defendant's side was good. All the others--even the victim's mother--were horribly, horribly bad. Example: Mother of the victim blubbers when she cries. When mother of defendant cries, her "tears fall like gentle rain". Gimme a break! This was bad enough, but when added to the fact that not a single one of the characters had any depth or dimension, it would have been laughable if it weren't so pathetic. The plotting was contrived and convuluted. You didn't know what was going to happen next because none of it made any sense. Example: (view spoiler)[ While the minister is driving bad guy to Texas, lawyer keeps telling him to hurry, hurry, hurry. Minister drives as fast as he can. Later it is revealed that the lawyer has access to a private plane. Duh! (hide spoiler)] The narrator in the audio version I listened to did his best to use different voices for the different characters, but even he couldn't do anything about the words. Grisham didn't bother to give different voices to his characters. He basically used one voice for the baddies and one voice for the goodies. The result is that the defendant used the same words and sounded exactly like the lawyer, and the governor sounded like the detective. And the preaching! Sheesh! Minutes and minutes (pages and pages) of nothing but ranting and raving about how terrible the death penalty is. Mr. Grisham, does the phrase show don't tell ring a bell? One thing I did learn from this book is that I will not be reading any more Grisham ever again. Never!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chase

    Another well-written Grisham novel. This one covers the suspenseful hours potentially leading up a man's execution in East Texas during which time we see if the true murderer, the pastor escorting him and the convicted man's defense attorney can convince the authorities they have the wrong man. Although it is darker in subject matter than most of his work (including a brutal murder, wrongful conviction and looming execution), the book is full of the typical Grisham characters including powerful Another well-written Grisham novel. This one covers the suspenseful hours potentially leading up a man's execution in East Texas during which time we see if the true murderer, the pastor escorting him and the convicted man's defense attorney can convince the authorities they have the wrong man. Although it is darker in subject matter than most of his work (including a brutal murder, wrongful conviction and looming execution), the book is full of the typical Grisham characters including powerful villains spinning a web of conspiracy versus an spunky team of underdog heroes risking it all in the fight for justice. It became readily apparent to me that Grisham wanted to convince the reader of the inhumanity of capital punishment (and I tend to agree, which perhaps made the novel more palatable for me.) Regardless of the author's social agenda, however, Grisham is a gifted storyteller who creates incredibly believable and gripping novels. This story was particularly compelling since it seems as if it could very well occur today (although admittedly in a less heart-pounding and climactic version).

  22. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Vellacott

    "Death is death and in the end nothing else matters except your relationship with God." A truer statement would be tough to find anywhere in the world. It's sad that this isn't the focus of this book as Grisham once again uses his popularity as a platform for his anti-capital punishment views. Oh, and to highlight racist attitudes within the judicial system. This time, we have a convicted murderer on death row awaiting his fate. The victim's body has never been found, but that isn't a problem in "Death is death and in the end nothing else matters except your relationship with God." A truer statement would be tough to find anywhere in the world. It's sad that this isn't the focus of this book as Grisham once again uses his popularity as a platform for his anti-capital punishment views. Oh, and to highlight racist attitudes within the judicial system. This time, we have a convicted murderer on death row awaiting his fate. The victim's body has never been found, but that isn't a problem in Texas as the lad is clearly guilty. After all, he confessed. 400 miles away in Kansas, Travis Boyette, a low-life criminal with a serious of sexual convictions, interrupts the life of a country vicar with his own confession of guilt. He seems to know a lot of details and offers to lead authorities to the location of the body. Will anyone take him seriously this long after the crime or will they execute an innocent man? The first half of this book was interesting but it became somewhat repetitive and tedious after that. I wanted some twists and turns and less predictability, but sadly it wasn't to be. There was the usual amount of profanity; not a lot but it was there. There were details of murder and some sexual detail but I don't recall anything overly graphic. I guess the moral of this story is that your conscience will eat away at you if there are skeletons in your closet. Boyette thought he had gotten away with murder, and in reality he had because another man was awaiting execution for the crime. However, we will all have to answer to God for our crimes in the end; to escape justice here on earth means nothing in the eyes of the Ultimate Judge who sees everything and will repay. Boyette's conscience began to bother him as he realised he might be dying and he determined to try and put things right. Living with a troubled conscience isn't much fun as most of us can testify! There are better Grisham books, but this is worth a read. Check out my John Grisham Shelf!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sumit RK

    Just like the 'The Chamber' by the same author, 'The Confession' too deals with the highly controversial issue of the Death Penalty. But while the former had a plot, storyline, strong characters, this book reads a more like a political statement where the story, the characters,all have been relegated to the background. The book feels long, the characters feel one-dimensional,the plot is convoluted and the preaching gets repetitive till the point of boredom. Grisham uses the problem of wrongful Just like the 'The Chamber' by the same author, 'The Confession' too deals with the highly controversial issue of the Death Penalty. But while the former had a plot, storyline, strong characters, this book reads a more like a political statement where the story, the characters,all have been relegated to the background. The book feels long, the characters feel one-dimensional,the plot is convoluted and the preaching gets repetitive till the point of boredom. Grisham uses the problem of wrongful conviction to further his opposition to capital punishment and wastes an opportunity to present a thoughtful argument against the death penalty (which you may or may not agree). Overall, A disappointing read. 2/5 stars

  24. 4 out of 5

    Asha Seth

    An innocent man is about to be executed. Only a guilty man can save him. When? Who? What? But this never happened ! The innocent guy gets mercilessly executed while the criminal is still on the loose, hiding away. It is only when he realizes that he's got terminal brain tumor and will die soon anyway, that he thinks of THE CONFESSION, a change of his heart a little too late!! Painfully with tear-brimming eyes, I braced and watched(I could feel it) Donte getting executed, for nothing, spending An innocent man is about to be executed. Only a guilty man can save him. When? Who? What? But this never happened ! The innocent guy gets mercilessly executed while the criminal is still on the loose, hiding away. It is only when he realizes that he's got terminal brain tumor and will die soon anyway, that he thinks of THE CONFESSION, a change of his heart a little too late!! Painfully with tear-brimming eyes, I braced and watched(I could feel it) Donte getting executed, for nothing, spending every aching moment that someone, anyone will stop it from happening. Alas! A Time to Kill was the first Grisham novel I'd read and quite honestly, I loved it beyond measure. Needless to say, I plunged into The Confession with similar high hopes but was terribly disappointment. Travis Boyette is a racial criminal. 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 that is exactly what didn't happen. I prayed with tight shut eyes, with all the courage to see Donte saved. But it never happened. He was so cruelly executed, it would've melted Hitler's heart. I couldn't stop my tears from taking a continuous flow. I waited for that one miracle which never happened. And post Donte's execution I never had the heart to continue reading the book. So I abandoned it. Only to pick it up a year later to finish it. All through the plot, it was as though Grisham was struggling to link pieces together. The story was heading from one-no-meaning-point to another, leaving me as irritated as ever. Grisham seemed to be impressed with Boyette's character and too caught up with his brain tumor which made it seem as though he almost begged sympathy for Boyette from his readers which was just appalling. I couldn't really appreciate Grisham's efforts to make his lawyer seem to be trying to turn ever stone and pebble to save his innocent client. All efforts futile. The book was a real drag or maybe I was just too absorbed with Donte's execution that I saw no point in the latter part of the story. I mean, okay, we know that is what happens in real-life crime cases. Almost always, innocent people are dragged and made to pay for someone else's crime. The criminal is always one who has such high-level influences that it is almost impossible to get him. And then of course there are legal hurdles and the doings of top-level officers and politicians and society-rankers. But, wasn't there supposed to be some turn, some hopeful twist to keep the reader glued to the tale? As for the plot, I felt it was quite average and downright predictable which lacked the taste of Grisham crime thrillers. I am confused whether the book was okay or below that since there were a lot of areas that made me hate it totally. For example the poorly portrayed characters, a lot of degrading racial politics, the futile efforts to bring justice in the post-execution part etc. Now, reading the synopsis gave me an idea that it was perhaps, a fast-paced book but it was not. It actually just dragged and the story could've have been well covered in mere 200 some pages. I can keep going on and on like this forever if you asked me to. But let me stop it as I cannot really put it in words how much I hated this book. At the end of it, I felt Grisham was really just stretching himself too far to bring out another best-seller and with the quality (which is highly differing that his actual self) and some honest reviews(those who've rated it 5 stars I guess have been just too modest), it is evident he clearly failed. Surprising, it was to see many readers have rated it 5 stars. Makes me think, did I miss a catch in the story? I don't think so! Considering the book has received mixed responses, some have thoroughly liked it and some; like me, absolutely detest it. So whether you'd like it or otherwise, is an ambiguous matter purely based on your taste. About recommending, I would've blindly recommended A Time to Kill, but The Confession, I am not even half sure if I want to.

  25. 5 out of 5

    J

    ***Please note: this review contains spoilers*** The subject matter of this disturbing book is the death penalty more specifically, wrongful prosecution and the miscarriage of justice. It is a story about a serial sex offender whose life is allegedly coming to an end because of an inoperable brain tumor. His confession, which could exonerate a young black man - erroneously accused, convicted and doomed to die in Huntsville, Texas - comes too late. Here is what the book made me think about: When we ***Please note: this review contains spoilers*** The subject matter of this disturbing book is the death penalty – more specifically, wrongful prosecution and the miscarriage of justice. It is a story about a serial sex offender whose life is allegedly coming to an end because of an inoperable brain tumor. His confession, which could exonerate a young black man - erroneously accused, convicted and doomed to die in Huntsville, Texas - comes too late. Here is what the book made me think about: When we are young, it makes sense to see the world in rather absolute terms. Because our experiences are limited, we rely on quick, easy answers as a matter of survival. With the passage of time our life experiences teach us there are few issues that are either ’black’ or ‘white.'. Consequences are measured and decisions are weighted. The greater good is balanced against personal gain and self-preservation. Adult decision-making is a matter of pragmatism versus dogma and reality versus the ideal. With age comes experience whose continual ebbs and flows slowly soften the boundaries between right and wrong. Our absolutist world segues into the realm where shades of gray predominate. The anticipation of youth molts into the reminiscence of maturity, a longing for a simpler time. Never is it so apparent than when we are facing times of crisis. Intuitively, we understand that when facing calamity, we ought to slow down. Experience tells us trying times are when reason ought to prevail. Sadly, something about the Human condition prevents such rationality and reliance upon logic. Despite how irrational it may be, in a world that seems ever unwinding and deteriorating - especially in times of stress and deep emotional turmoil – the quickest, the most definitive - the most sought answer lies in simplicity. And, that is where our problems begin. As a civilized society, our obvious remedy is to dole out justice through legally accepted venues. We have developed a legal system of codified laws prescribing punishment for breaking the law from the most mundane of offenses to the extreme. Understandably - with an eye focused on religion for guidance - we seek a means of how exactly to mete out that justice fairly, equitably and without prejudice. Taking of a Human life is a serious matter and arguments based on religiosity carry great sway over how we - as a society - deal with lethal Human transgressions via state-sanctioned execution. Now, if the media is to be believed, violence is rampant in America. There is little doubt that they have a powerful influence over the collective consciousness of those who tune in for the news coverage. It seems like there is no limit on just how cruel - even vicious - Humans can behave toward one another. Now I am not solely accusing 'the media' of perpetrating mass hysteria. There is a need and there is a need to feed. This symbiosis plays itself out on a more practical concern. The Media's primary motivation for patronage is ratings driven and the ever present, bottom line dictates of supply & demand. America is enthralled with violence. We can't get enough of it. Indeed, crime does pay. We love the 'shock and awe.' Couple the ratings-driven pimping of violence and the unlimited supply if politicians who pander to the American public by clamoring for law & order, inciting fear and it is no wonder that God-fearing Americans have become fluent in the double-speak of religion where they can simultaneously lament the murder of a fetus and fervently abide in their belief of the sanctity of Capital punishment all in one fell swoop. Perhaps I am giving into my own reminiscences here but nowadays, there seems to be a great void in leadership both politically and in houses of worship. I am not only talking about American society. It is being played out all over the planet. Humanity throughout the world - owing to the maladies of emotionally driven responses, swathed in religiosity - account for the more predictable Human condition where vengeance and fear take precedence over rationality, compassion and forgiveness. We opt for the immediate - the dramatic. Personally, I fail to draw any clear distinction between the Sarah Palins and the Muqtada al Sadrs of the world - well maybe Sarah is right - the difference comes down to lipstick like lipschtick. I am convinced that is precisely why Cable News and Faux news networks have become so popular: they focus on problems and offer sound-bite solutions. Like snacks, the messages being proffered for complex, difficult issues the solutions are filling, even tasty but completely lacking in nutritional value. Junk news is society’s junk food, its pre-processed agenda. Grisham weaves a decent story that reveals less-than-honest ambitions and motivations of key players in the process of pursuing justice. Grisham’s character, Robbie Flak – the pugnacious defense attorney - sums it up very well when he says; “Death binds people in odd ways…” The first killer in this story’s most immediate victims were Nichole Yarber, the seventeen year-old cheerleader he stalked and her classmate, Donté Drumm – the fall guy slated to die. The second story carries larger implications; society is the ultimate victim, and ironically, the perpetrator, the second killer. I suppose the most disturbing part of this story is how, through legal processes and religious appropriation, something as sacred and high-minded as justice can be meted out so rationally and, with so much slight-of-hand. In order for society to move forward, it does so with a conventionality of thought and unquestioned respect for a process that everyone assumes is working flawlessly and free of the taint of personal agendas. This is a story about process rum amok. Despite America’s best efforts to assure fairness and lack of bias, meting out justice in such a routine manner, there are countless points along the way where rules can be bent, manipulated and ignored outright as a means of affecting the outcome. The Confession explores the motivations of killers, how they differ individually and how they share a certain commonality. It is an exploration of how the individual offense touches off a cascade of events where posterity reveals, we collectively become killers. The characteristic ideal of blind justice is usurped through winks, blinks, nods and squints; it is anything but just. Capital punishment is something I do not agree with for reasons philosophical, religious, spiritual, moral and even fiscal considerations. I understand that such a stance nowadays is unpopular because, contrary to exhaustive research, swift and terrible punishment is popularly perceived to be a powerful deterrent for would-be rapists and murderers. Violence is infectious, it is self-perpetuating. Its beginnings are almost imperceptible. However, once seeded, it lies in wait - like some inoculated virus awaiting the right conditions to manifest itself. It wears many masks - some brutal and others cloaked in righteousness. But, let's not deceive ourselves; it is still violence. Aristotle said,“Anyone can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person at the right time, and for the right purpose and in the right way - that is not within everyone's power and that is not easy." There is a time to be indignant and injustice is something to be indignant over. Robbie Flak is right to be angry just as society is right to be upset at the violence perpetrated upon the innocent. But, we can never forget that - with rare exception - society's monsters are often a product of their environment just as the self-righteous and the indignant are. People who feel powerless relish it wherever and whenever they happen upon it and its intoxicating effects are difficult to restrain, confine or relinquish. Perhaps that is the greatest reason we need to be reminded that we are all connected. I agree with the Poet John Donne, "Each man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind..." [For Whom the Bell Tolls], and that is the lasting thought I can take away from this book which serves to remind the reader that extreme reactions, fueled by moments of passion where fear and anxiety are stoked by the desire for revenge - while regrettable, cannot be reversed I am reminded of a cartoon series character named Pogo, created by Walt Kelly back in the seventies. Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” I think this is what Grisham is trying to get across in his story line. I haven't read all of Grisham's books. He has touched upon the topic of the Death Penalty in two other books, “An Innocent Man” and “The Chamber.” The former actually chronicles a real-life miscarriage of justice and I have not read it yet. I have read the latter and I did like it, despite the ending. Thus far, I have read seven Grisham books and for me, The Confession ranks in the top two.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer (JC-S)

    Its very simple. You have the car, the gas, the drivers licence. I have nothing but the truth. Less than a week before the scheduled execution of Donté Drumm, convicted ten years ago for a murder he did not commit, the real killer steps forward. Travis Boyette, a convicted serial rapist on parole, approaches Keith Schroeder (a Christian minister) in Topeka and confesses to the murder. Boyette has an inoperable brain tumour, and feels bad about sending an innocent man to his death. Reluctantly, ‘It’s very simple. You have the car, the gas, the driver’s licence. I have nothing but the truth.’ Less than a week before the scheduled execution of Donté Drumm, convicted ten years ago for a murder he did not commit, the real killer steps forward. Travis Boyette, a convicted serial rapist on parole, approaches Keith Schroeder (a Christian minister) in Topeka and confesses to the murder. Boyette has an inoperable brain tumour, and feels bad about sending an innocent man to his death. Reluctantly, Keith Schroeder agrees to drive Boyette to the town where the murder occurred in the hope that a confession will stop the scheduled execution of Drumm. Keith Schroeder joins forces with Donté Drumm’s defence lawyer, Robbie Flak in the hope that they can at least halt the scheduled execution until Boyette’s story is checked. I enjoyed the first two thirds of this novel. While character development was sketchy, the urgency of the situation kept me turning pages. The facts about the case, the flimsy ‘evidence’ upon which Donté Drumm was convicted all heightened the tension, especially when one of the witnesses admitted that he had falsely testified and as Boyette’s claims are tested. But then the narrative changed. The fiction became a vehicle against the death penalty and thriller became propaganda. This diminished the impact of the story, reduced my enjoyment of it and is reflected in my rating. Jennifer Cameron-Smith

  27. 4 out of 5

    Appleblossom45

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A good plot, but it was ruined for me by the predictable political liberal bias. Every one in the book was characterized as a bad stereotype except the self proclaimed "radical" liberal lawyer (his main character) and those who Grisham deemed worthy. There was only one right answer in this book, and everyone else was not just wrong, but evil. And I'm not sure what role Keith's Christianity played in this story, but everyone else's Christianity was demonized, which was offensive to me. The mother A good plot, but it was ruined for me by the predictable political liberal bias. Every one in the book was characterized as a bad stereotype except the self proclaimed "radical" liberal lawyer (his main character) and those who Grisham deemed worthy. There was only one right answer in this book, and everyone else was not just wrong, but evil. And I'm not sure what role Keith's Christianity played in this story, but everyone else's Christianity was demonized, which was offensive to me. The mother of the victim was like a one dimensional cartoon character, embodying everything distasteful in a person. I mean, what was the point? Everyone in this story was made to look bad, corrupt, and evil, except the main characters. Other people's motivations were never explored, discussed or mentioned, other than they were just disinterested, bad, and corrupt people. To me, this showed a shocking lack of depth, and as such, to me, the writing was almost child like. Nothing, and I mean nothing went into character development for any of the characters that were on Grisham's apparent hit list. I couldn't even finish the book. I don't care how it ended. This was my first Grisham book since The Partner, which I loved. If this is indicative of where John Grisham's writing is, count me out. I really don't want to be manipulated politically when I read a fiction novel, and I felt this was nothing but political manipulation on his part.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dick

    I have read or listened to almost every one of John Grisham's books. This is the first book that he's written that has literally scared the crap out of me. If the book is based on reality, then our legal system is seriously flawed and Texas should be removed from being one of the 50 states of the USA. Unlike many other men who will talk at the radio or TV, I am a fairly calm and level headed person who generally keeps his opinions to himself. This book had me yelling at the reader to stop with I have read or listened to almost every one of John Grisham's books. This is the first book that he's written that has literally scared the crap out of me. If the book is based on reality, then our legal system is seriously flawed and Texas should be removed from being one of the 50 states of the USA. Unlike many other men who will talk at the radio or TV, I am a fairly calm and level headed person who generally keeps his opinions to himself. This book had me yelling at the reader to stop with what he was saying because what was happening was so egregious that it terrified me. If this is truly fiction and not based on fact, good for you John. You had me going there for a while. If however, it is based on fact, then shame on the USA. We need to get up in arms about the various ways that the legal system is flawed. Black and White, Asian and Hispanic, Gay and Straight, we all need to pay more attention to what is happening in our courts - especially in areas that still have the death penalty. This book just pissed me off

  29. 5 out of 5

    Evyn Charles

    IMHO skip this book. It nothing but cheap cliches about anti death penalty arguments. No nuances here: Death penalty=bad and inexcusable in all cases. Granted, many death row inmates have been later exonerated with DNA evidence, etc. There was the potential for a thoughtful anti death penalty argument here; however, this book is not it. It is painted with way too broad a brush, none of the characters are sympathetic. Research time seems to have been zero. The story--if you can call it that--describes IMHO skip this book. It nothing but cheap cliches about anti death penalty arguments. No nuances here: Death penalty=bad and inexcusable in all cases. Granted, many death row inmates have been later exonerated with DNA evidence, etc. There was the potential for a thoughtful anti death penalty argument here; however, this book is not it. It is painted with way too broad a brush, none of the characters are sympathetic. Research time seems to have been zero. The story--if you can call it that--describes a wrongfully convicted young black man with no prior criminal record. The victim's body was never recovered; witnesses lied; cops beat (or forced) confession out of him--mind you, he is a healthy strong football player. I am currently reading Stephen King's new book of short stories "Full Dark, No Stars." From the opening paragraph, it is clear to see the difference between a masterful writer who has developed his craft and someone who is clearly not in that league. A very disappointing read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    This book is filled with tension as a group of people try to stop an execution. An excellent book that really makes you question the death penalty.

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