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 am a huge Grisham fan, and I thought that this was possibly his best ever. Yes, his best ever. It probably helps that I'm anti-death-penalty (at least the way it's applied), but I also found the characters compelling and the storyline gripping. I didn't want to put it down! From the perspective of an entertaining novel, this had everything I want - suspense, great character development, and everything didn't turn out rosy at the end. I also appreciated the reality check about an important issue. I thought Grisham did an absolutely great job of pointing out the issues with the death penalty in states like Texas without sounding like a textbook. And yes, folks, those really ARE the issues. This is not just political posturing. Grisham mentioned Cameron Todd Willingham, executed in Texas for allegedly setting a fire that killed his children. Evidence has since been discovered that casts serious doubt on the claim that the fire was arson at all, let alone set by Willingham. It's a virtual certainty that factually innocent people have been put to death. So thank you, Mr. Grisham, for using your status as a popular author to bring even a little attention to this issue.
Oh, also - I'm an attorney, and I thought that the procedural stuff was just fine.
Mr. Grisham never lets me down. His detailed research and empathy never cease to keep me from living in the story. If you enjoy him this is a must listen. It is also well narrated by Mr. Sowers.
This is on of those audiobooks that stops your world and you just have to listen to it all day every day!!!
Scott Brick as narrator could have made this book better (or anyone who put inflection into it, rather than just seeming to read it); but the plot was tedious and drawn out much longer than necessary on the mundane.
This book was great start to finish, it was a nail biting roller coaster of a story...I could not stop listening and would take my player everywhere with me so I can keep listening. Gives a good look at our judicial system, and moreover the politics involved when egos get in the way of the truth. A+
First of all, I agree with the abolition of the death penalty so the politics of the book not only did not bother me but actually bolstered my beliefs. The story is very well crafted and although there are quite a few stereotypical characters, those characters accurately reflect the culture of that region. I grew up in East Texas and, trust me, the attitudes and prejudices of the people are real. The book did seem to go on when it could have ended, but overall, I was thoroughly entertained and at times, touched.
John Grisham again delivers a real "page turner." I could not put my earphones down. Great detail, description, and character development. I had no idea what to expect, other than I enjoy his writing and always look forward to a new novel. This story stays with with you. These characters live with you as you are "reading." It is almost as if they are standing over your shoulder. At first though, I must admit, I thought, not another book about the death penalty, please. But then I was seeing these arguments from a very different perspective. I thought I had made my mind up about where I stood on this topic a long time ago. I had felt that the death penalty was a justifiable punishment. I had believed in an "eye for an eye." It wasn't that Grisham swayed my opinion. He did, however, allow me to think again via the perspectives of many different characters. I was able to reevaluate my own arguments. And I confess, that I no longer believe in the death penalty and I am very glad that I "read" this book.
This was my first book in a while, I liked the reader and the book kept my interest. I thought the author could have done more the ending seemed to be lacking, it left me a little disappointed.
I love Grisham and often re-read his earler works. I've been disappointed with some of his more recent novels, though. When I began reading The Confession, I was excited. John Grisham back in full form--another gripping, can't-put-it-down novel--right up to the....middle? Yes, it seems Grisham forgot that the climax goes at the end of the novel, not in the middle. After that, it just fizzled out. Very disappointing.
I think Grisham began this novel years ago, put it up and recently dusted it off and finished it. The clue came when a character stopped to get gas and worried that he didn't have enough cash to pay for it. I immediately thought, "What? You pay with a card, not cash," but 10 to 15 years ago, it would have been cash.
My theory makes sense since The Confession started out to be a gripping tale (like his earlier novels) and ended up being a soap-box (like some of his recent stuff).
That being said, the first half of The Confession was good enough to make it worth the read, as long as you understand that the second half isn't worth the effort.
A fun, quick read. Typical Grisham. A good book to exercise with, doesn't matter if you miss parts. The character, Travis, is not very believable.
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