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 Belfry Holdings, Inc (P)2010 Random House Audio
This book is awesome. I've read most of Grisham and like more of his books than not. This one is quite different, however. It gives a fictional look at how screwed up our court system is. Yes, it is about the death penalty and I suspect most who didn't like the book were either pro death penalty or Texans. Too bad - this book lays it all out. This is a topic that needs to be shouted from the roof tops. And Texas IS (right next to FL) notorious for their stand on this issue. It's heavy and there are parts that are hard to listen to. Yet it is very well written and and suspenseful to the very ending.
This was a great story wih many twists and turns. Some that you don't like but make the story intrigiung and artistically unexpected. Great listen and very captivating.
Story was good, keeps you going. Sometimes though it becomes simply unbelievable that there are that many stupid people in the judicial system in Texas! So with that, Mr. Grisham's political views definitely come through in the book.
Scott Sowers is best with the narration portion, however, most of the characters voices he attempts to create are simply irritating to listen too! Overall, worth the credit.
Electrical Engineer, 51 years old father of 3.
Readers will either love or hate this story; there is no middle ground on this. All will enjoy the writing even if not the story. Grisham does another great job of telling a story that draws you in and make you reflect on your position regarding this topic. I think a must read allowing one to reflect on a very heated topic.
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.
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.
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