It has been a while since a new John Grisham was published, though it hasn’t been too long since I last read one (I finished The Innocent man just a few weeks ago). I was eagerly anticipating this read and when it started off jargony and slightly hard to follow I persevered as it is not unusual for a JG book to throw a big bucket load of context at the reader in the first quarter of the book. However, this one took until the final third to really get going….having said that, there was one giant plot twist towards the beginning.
The story is of a whistle blower (Dur) submitting information about a dodgy judge working with an Indian reservation casino. The back story involves crime and murder and the actual story involves crime and murder.
I love JG, I have read far too many of his novels to simply be a casual fan of his, but this one I feel let me down. It had a sense of rushness about it, and was a little on the placid side. I guess it just failed to really get my heart racing like to many of his others. It has 4 stars as I did read it, and wanted to and to be honest the 4th star was achieved simply because its JG.
I did like that the protagonist was a female, but I felt she was a bit too overly strong and lone wolf style in that she lived alone, was unmarried and loved her life that way. Why can’t a strong female character have a family, or a boyfriend or even be a single mum and still be rocking at her job? Why does she have to be female but own so many typically male traits? I wasn’t impressed.
If someone was to ask me what JG book they would recommend, this wouldn’t be in the top 5…..maybe not even the top 10. But having said that, I am grateful there is a new book to even review.
A few months before reading this I read The Confession for the second time within less than 12 months. I never re-read books (unless it is Harry Potter). So when I discovered Grisham had a new book out I was stomach butterfly excited!
I downloaded Sycamore Row as soon as I could and completely devoured the book like a lioness who has gone without zebra for weeks. The book followed Jake Brigance, a solicitor introduced in an earlier book ‘A Time to Kill’. I haven’t yet read A Time to Kill, however I happened upon the film one evening and was emotionally gripped, one of the best films I ever seen due to a dramatic storyline and a brilliant acting.
Back to Sycamore Row, it follows the aftermath of the death of a wealthy cancer stricken Southern man, Seth Hubbard, leaving his estate to his black house cleaner and naming Jake Brigance as the estate’s solicitor. Big sparks fly as Seth’s children and Grand children contest the decision made in his last, hand written Will claiming he was under duress or that he was too poorly to be in his right mind.
What is so superb about this story, is the way that Grisham can have you gripped to every word on the page as you eagerly urge the characters to discover just a thread of information. A truely captivating read that once again draws on the racial segregation of Southern America.
I think the ending is the best part, you must read it!
I recently re-read The Confession and I rarely read any book twice let alone within a year of finishing the book the first time. I am pleased to say the book was just as gripping the second time round and I think I even appreciated it more.
Then, a few weeks ago I watched Time to Kill by John Grisham. It was superb, one of the best films I have ever seen. Pure acting with plenty of famous faces to add even more credit.
The story of a black man shooting two white men dead as they rapped his daughter, a white lawyer defending in a racially segregated southern American town. A gripping watch that had me on the edge of my seat and in tears.
This is an unlikely choice for me as I am not a massive fan of crime novels, but it was recommended as being a good book and I am sure you can gather by now that if someone suggests a book….I read it!
I did some homework before taking the kindle storefront plunge and found that it had hugely mixed reviews on Goodreads, many people saying they thought it was really poor, how they could foresee events etc. However, I trusted my informant and decided to make my own decision.
The book started off quite slow, took me a little while to get into the story and his style of writing. But it picked up, both story line and pace. What makes this book so different is that the climax of the story is actually half way through, meaning a big run up and run down. I liked it, events occurred that as a reader I believed they wouldn’t and I feel John was successful in being unpredictable.
It is obvious that John had conducted extensive research when writing The Confession as the book was accurate in terms of Texas laws and protocol. I felt as though it could have been a true story, I kind of wish it was! I liked this book, I don’t think it is amazing, but I still think I would recommend it….and I think that is the most important thing about reviewing a book, right?