An innocent man is about to be executed.
Only a guilty man can save him.
For every innocent man sent to prison, there is a guilty one left on the outside. He doesn’t understand how the police and prosecutors got the wrong man, and he certainly doesn’t care. He just can’t believe his good luck. Time passes and he realizes that the mistake will not be corrected: the authorities believe in their case and are determined to get a conviction. He may even watch the trial of the person wrongly accused of his crime. He is relieved when the verdict is guilty. He laughs when the police and prosecutors congratulate themselves. He is content to allow an innocent person to go to prison, to serve hard time, even to be executed.
Travis Boyette is such a man. 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 how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges, and politicians that they’re about to execute an innocent man?
"John Grisham is about as good a storyteller as we’ve got in the United States these days." (The New York Times Book Review)
©2010 John Grisham (P)2010 Random House Audio
I'm a huge Grisham fan, but this was easily Grisham's worst effort. I get that Grisham hates the Texas criminal justice system and that he hates most Texans. But to base a novel on such a one-sided, one dimensional perspective just doesn't work. This novel was as uninspiring and predictable as a used bus transfer.
Since Grisham appears to be working from an ethical soap box, I'm eagerly awaiting his expose of the Mississippi trial lawyer's cabal and his caricature of his ol' buddy Dicky Scruggs. However I'm not holding my breath.
I gave this one star because at least the narrator was good, even though the material wasn't worth his effort.
Long, boring and repetitive. Although I, like Grisham, oppose the death penalty this tome is painfully slow and adds nothing of interest to the debate. If I was reading rather than listening, I could not have finished. Grisham has tackled his opposition to the death penalty in his much more interesting The Chamber.
I started and stopped listening to this book three times!! Couldn't finish... I want to be entertained with some suspense, drama or mystery that is not predictable. After 10 chapters, I gave up on this one. I gave three stars because I love most of Grisham's books, Sycamore Row was good entertainment. I found that the narrator had long, dull, lackluster passages to read and it sounded like he was "reading" not Performing the novel. Boring
Books and music make my world go round, and I have 9 nieces and nephews and one chihuahua who rule my heart.
Yes. I am against the death penalty so it only affirmed what I believe. Against it or not, read this book. It might make you think.
In true Grisham fashion he takes the story all the way to the end. It is not expected for sure.
It involves Mrs. Drum and a suit. No book has ever evoked that kind of emotion from me before.
No he pretty much said all that needs to say about the death penalty.
This is a HEAVY book for Grisham. Not for the faint of heart!!!
I am a semi-retired psychologist who likes to listen to books, especially mysteries, as I drive in the car.
I listened to The Litigators before I listened to The Confession. I would describe the Litigators as a "Book of the Light" and The Confession as a "Book of Darkness". Maybe it was because I have to manage people who are as difficult as some of the people in this book or maybe I have worked in a system that was inexorably wrong, but I could identify with this book on so many levels. The suspense kept me listening and I listened as often as I could. I have read Grisham from his early work and I think he just seems to get better, often in different ways, as if his story-telling is still evolving.
It's been a while since I've read / listened to a John Grisham book. I've always enjoyed his stories, and while this was different than the last I recall, it was a 'good' kind of different. The unique plot pulls you in, and the narration was well done.
I am an entertainer...so I spend a lot of time on the road. I take my audio seriously. I appreciate great writing and outstanding narration.
I settled in when the book started, looking forward to an other solid Grisham story. I was still into it about one third of the way through when I started to yawn a little. Half way through I was wondering if I should just turn it off and move on.
Heavy on the "capital punishment is bad because sometimes bad things happen to good people" theme -- this one lacks the life so much of Grisham's other work has. It becomes more of a detail laden essay on the justice system in Texas, statistics that are irrelevant to anything that makes for an interesting book and endless editorializing.
The good guys and too good and the bad guys leave me...well...yawning.
Not the best use I ever made of a credit.
Whether you are for or against the death penalty, this is a well written NOVEL. Plenty of tension, good character development, interesting characters and kept my interest from beginning to end. Well worth the read. Also, it might make one think!
I was captivated till half way through when I felt the book had an ending. (Which I didn't like) The author's true ending seemed anti-climatic. None the less a worthwhile read (or listen)
I am an avid eclectic reader.
I am a fan of John Grisham but have been disappointed in the last few books. The story was interesting but I felt it repeated itself to often via different people. The book came across to me with a strong political agenda against the death penalty and against some aspects of Texas criminal law. It was an okay book but fell short of the "Pelican Brief". So I only rated this book a four.
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