The Confession by John Grisham, USA, 2010

The Confession by John Grisham, USA, 2010

Like most (or perhaps all) of Grisham’s novels the plot is firmly centred on the many-layered legal complexities of justice and injustice.

Donté, a black teenager living in Texas, is accused of a crime he did not do, and spends nine years on death row, waiting to be executed. When the story opens he is only days away from his execution and his legal team, led by Robbie Flak, is hoping for a miracle. At this point Travis Boyette, a man with a murky past and a brain tumour, lands on the doorstep of the Lutheran minister, Keith Schroeder, and informs him that it was he who carried out the crime for which Donté is about to die. He says that he has not long to live and his conscience is getting the better of him.

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From here the story lurches into an extremely suspenseful race against time with many unexpected twists, turns and roadblocks. A climax is reached about halfway through the book after which the story tends to descend slowly to a fairly obvious conclusion.

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I enjoyed the book, and the fact that Grisham is completely at ease with anything to do with the law made the story both interesting and authentic; however, I wonder if the second part of the book could have been slightly more condensed. This would have made the book somewhat shorter, but it would possibly have sustained the initial suspense, or a variation of it, right through to the last page.

One of the best Grisham novels I have read.

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