Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Confession by John Grisham

Like Grisham's stellar first novel, A Time to Kill, The Confession, which tackles the death penalty, is fraught with racial tension and will trouble the heart of its readers.

In Sloane, TX, black football player Donte Drumm is wrongly accused of raping and murdering cheerleader and fellow student Nicole Yarber, who happens to be white. Even though her body was never found, the police bullied Drumm into signing a confession. In Texas this was enough to put him on death row, where he has been awaiting execution for 9 years, but his time is running out. His lawyer, Robbie Flak, has done every possible appeal, but to no avail.

In Topeka, Kansas parolee Travis Boyette, who is dying of terminal brain cancer, enters Lutheran Minister Keith's office to confess to the murder of Yarber. After verifying Boyette's background, Keith tries to convince Boyette to come forward before the wrong man is put to death, but Boyette is resistant.

The novel did not shed a positive light on Texas's justice system. After reading this book, you will question how many times the wrong man has been executed. Despite the much debated and heated topic, I loved, loved this book and it reminded me why Grisham is the master of legal thrillers. The characters were so well-developed that I was emotionally attached to Donte and his family by the end, and it was definitely a page-turner. I think this latest should please many of Grisham's fans.

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