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 hadn't read John Grisham for a few years, and decided to get this one. I am so glad I did, because it was one of the best books I've listened to in a while. I kept thinking this was a true story, and what is scary is that it very well could happen. Definitely worth time time and money to listen to.
I enjoyed both the reader and the story in Grishom's novel The Confession. As an opponent of the death penalty, Grishom blames the wrong element - the penalty prescribed for heinous crimes. Certainly Grishom's novel makes one rethink their own position in regards to the death penalty.
In the end, using only Grishom's story as the argument, it is not the penalty that fails but rather the system. Regardless of the penalty, the system allows wrongful convictions especially when prosecutors, investigators and judges worry more about win records, play judge and jury themselves and use trickery to convict.
With no death penalty, these wrongfully convicted persons merely languish hidden away in prison. Grishom's character found his treatment in prison unbearable. With no death penalty bring forth an eventual time table, even less would be done to exonerate those wrongfully convicted.
I'm not happy with this book. If I had examined it in a bookstore I would have known this probably. I don't understand many aspects of this book. I got a sense of cynicism from reading this - directed towards me. The plot points were mostly diluted to zero just as the reader reached them.
I have never been disappointed in a John Grisham book yet.
I wasn't this time either.
Good audio, good reader, and good plot.
Despite some reviews that said the book was not a good one, I bought it anyway and was pleasantly surprised. It is a typical good Grisham book.
Listening to this book reminded me of why I love the law and why I want to do this type of work for a living. I found the book captivating. Grisham puts you right in the middle of a death penalty case. He uses very few literary devices and twist mainly because the subject manner on its own is engaging enough. It is true that Mr. Grisham clearly has an anti-death penalty bias but I believe that even a death penalty proponent should have been provoked to think about why they believe the death penalty should exist in the United States.
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