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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

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  • Overall
  • Stachowski
  • East Troy, WI, United States
  • 01-27-11

Grisham gone bad

Did not like this story. I am a Grisham fan and was quite disappointed - a bit too political at the close, would have liked a bit more character focus as opposed to a review of death penalty. Was always waiting for it to get better, it didn't.

  • Overall
  • Carl
  • West Palm Beach, FL, United States
  • 01-27-11

John Grisham Does It Again

It amazing how long John Grisham has been writing and still be masterful, relevant, and exciting. John has two general types of attorney books. There are the ones were the attorneys are or become cynical of thier profession and in smaller number the ones where there are the ones that love the law and try to use it for good. He has also started wrting a few that are not just thriller but also say a lot about a current important issue. This is one of the good attorney stories and capital punishment.

No matter what your view on the issue John tuggs at your heart strings, teaches you a lot, and makes you care for the characters while still giving you a exciting read that is heard not to listen to all at once. Most writers powers ebb after they have been writing as long as John but he just keeps getting better. Terrific. The reader is awesome also.

  • Overall
  • Cheryl
  • Allen, TX, United States
  • 01-26-11

very politically motivated

As a Texan, I felt the majority of this book was very offensive. It gave the impression that every person on death row is innocent. I am confident this is not the case. Grisham's other books are much better. I would skip this one.

  • Overall

Death penalty on trial

I thoroughly enjoyed this thought provoking story of a man unjustly sent to the death chamber and the efforts of his attorney and the real killer to stop the execution. Somewhat predictable ending but overall another good Grisham novel.

  • Overall

Gripping (mostly!)

Classic Grisham, a few more surprising twists than usual, a fast read, riveting in several places, a little too in-your-face self righteous about the death penalty, but well worth the read

  • Overall

A death penalty narrative

A dedicated Grisham reader, this is the first I've experienced in the audio format. And it sucked me in, just like the books. Not only is it a good story, it's a thought-provoking look at the death penalty. Although for me, none of his books have been as good as "The Firm", this one is definitely enjoyable.

  • Overall

Soap Box

Usually writes authentic stories but this was more like fantasy. The author was so desperate to castigate the death penalty that he failed to create a believable story.

  • Overall

Is this based on actual events? Painfully real...

Another great Grisham story ala A Time to Kill. It is definitely reflective of his famous writing style which introduced him to the world . It is also apparent that a great deal of research went into developing the plot. There has to be some bits based on actual events. This was a story that caused me as much anxiety and hope as the characters within the story. I don't want to say much as it would spoil for others. It is a very good story which identifies events that could and probably have happened in any one of the 50 states. It is a must, a must listen. The narrator was also very good.

  • Overall
  • Dawn
  • Carnation, WA, United States
  • 01-22-11


This is my first John Grisham book. I will never read another. The plot, is extremely tired, the story took entirely too long to tell. In summary it was a short story inflated by much to long narrations and unnecessary detail. It went way past the small exciting part of the plot into horribly boring, also the narrator should never produce another audio book. Ever.

  • Overall
  • Carolyn
  • Proctorville, OH, United States
  • 01-22-11

Super, as usual

I think I have read or listened to every book Grisham has written. I eagerly look forward to each new publication. I listened to the unabridged book "The Innocent Man" and this novel is very similar in plot. In both books, I found myself shaking my head at the injustices - both real and imagined - and wondering how the law could be so blind. Loved this book - but missed Scott Brick.