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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

Average Customer Ratings


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  • 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.

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  • Tim
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina United States
  • 01-21-11


I loved the audio edition of The Confession. Well written book and the narration was outstanding. I enjoyed the story very much. I am glad I purchased this one, it will not dissappoint you...

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  • Chuck
  • odessa, TX, United States
  • 01-18-11


If I could give this story less than a star, I would. The audio production was just fine. Scott Sowers did a great job reading. It is just a shame that there was not more of a book for him to read. I enjoy many thriller/mystery books and I expect to be manipulated by the author. Grisham shoves this story down his reader’s throat. It is particularly distasteful how he writes the victim’s mother and her feelings, (the rape victim). It is clear that Grisham’s intended victim is the wrongfully executed character and his preferred victims are written very sympathetically. I found myself rolling my eyes during the more ‘suspenseful’ moments and thought that the chance was missed to build a layered plot when the author simply wrote, “It’s Texas, what do you expect?” I lost count after about ten of those. Spend your money on something else.

  • Overall
  • Geralyn
  • Freeburg, United States Minor Outlying Islands
  • 01-18-11


The book was twice as long as it needed to be. I felt like I was on the long car ride with them and that it would never end

  • Overall

Not Grisham's best work

While I am a long-time fan of John Grisham, he likes to use his talent and reputation to write propaganda loosely disguised as literature. His caricature of Texans is amateurish, and his obvious ignorance of Christianity is proudly displayed. Every portrayal of someone with conservative values and beliefs lacks any depth at all, establishing strawmen that are easily beaten down. I expect better.

  • Overall


John Grisham pulls it off again~ A great listen, well worth the time. I found it hard to turn off my Ipod!