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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

Try not to yell...

I always enjoy John Grisham's storytelling. The narrator is great--Excellent character portrayal and you can easily separate them. The subject matter makes you crazy, and I found myself yelling at the characters. Great job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Marilyn
  • Petaluma, CA, United States
  • 11-12-10

Good Grief ...

Grisham has made a enormous name for himself with legal thrillers, fascinating characters, and plot twists that make your head spin.

You will not find much of this in his latest book, The Confession. I reread the 4 and 5 star ratings and wondered how those readers felt good about this book. I expect to be entertained, and treated like the intelligent reader that I am. I wasted a credit and am very sorry to all the others who feel the same way. What else can you do?

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • NCKitkat
  • Goldsboro, NC, United States
  • 11-06-10

one of Grisham's best

This is one of the best books I have read by Grisham. The descriptions he gives of people, places and situations put the reader right in the thick of the action. You find yourself feeling compassion for characters, disbelief, and a host of other emotions. Regardless of your politics, the writer definitely catches your attention, and it is hard to put the book down. The reader, Scott Sowers, is perfect for this book.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sherrill
  • WOODRUFF, SC, United States
  • 11-06-10

Boggs down in detail.

The story was more about Texas' death penalty and not enough storyline. Was really boring.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Smart people doing dumb things -- boring

We learn as much in the first hour as in the first 10 hours. The characters are not believable and say so many things that they would never say. And smart people are constantly making dumb decisions because the story line requires it. Tedious and meaningless filler throughout. I liked The Partner but hated this one.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ed
  • Saint Augustine, FL, United States
  • 06-07-11

Hyperbole lost this a star

Grisham is such a good author that he can get away with the heavy political undertones in books like this one. He also managed to include examples of most every political stereotype that rears its ugly head surrounding death penalty stories. Still the characters were good and there were no ridiculous twists. Not Grisham's best, but he's written a lot of books. Good narration by Sowers. Have a listen if you like Grisham.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 11-20-10

The Confession

I am a fan of John Grisham but have been disappointed in the last few books. The story was interesting but I felt it repeated itself to often via different people. The book came across to me with a strong political agenda against the death penalty and against some aspects of Texas criminal law. It was an okay book but fell short of the "Pelican Brief". So I only rated this book a four.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Gut Wrenching - Must Read!

The only people that don't like this book are the people that are pro death penalty. To those of you that aren't stuck on the right so far and can have an open mind this book is a well written, well read and thought provoking book. I'd recommend this book to everyone, but would say do NOT drive while listening to parts of it as it will rip you up. This book will make you cry, make you angry and make you think, and you will like the characters... again, unless you're pro death penalty. If you're pro death or you're a bigot and do not have an open mind you will not like this book.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Almost great...

This book has good narration with the exception of the overly expressed impersonation of the killer. I thought the book was engaging and fairly fast paced, but the ending of the book wasn’t as dramatic as it could have been. There could’ve easily been more twists added to improve the climax. I think the emphasis of the book was on the objection of the death penalty and not as much in the story telling itself. Too bad. I feel it would make a great movie if the screenwriter had some liberty. It was worth the credit however.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nancy
  • Lake Elsinore, CA, United States
  • 10-29-10

Big Grisham Fan - Very Disappointed

I'm a big Grisham fan and have read many of his books numerous times. The Confession, however, was a huge disappointment. The book takes forever to get off the ground and seems more like a narrative in opposition to the death penalty than a legal thriller. If you're new to this author, read some of his earlier material and skip this one.

44 of 70 people found this review helpful