Either I just ran twenty miles, Gabrielle Union just kissed me, or I just finished John Grisham’s new book. Seeing as I haven’t run since high school and Gabrielle doesn’t know me from Adam’s housecat, I’ll have to assume that this book is the cause for this unremitting, incessant beating of my heart. From the start you could tell that this wasn’t one Grisham’s “regular” novels. This was written with the same pain and passion as his first, but with a different soul. It’s is physically impossible to read this book and not get pissed. Yes, this book is about race relations and the South, that’s par for the course. What incensed me were Travis Boyette and the inept smugness of the judicial system in Sloan. The write-up about this book is a tad bit misleading. It implies that Mr. Boyette wants to confess to his crime after nine years of being a silent coward because he has an inoperable brain tumor. He wants to do the “right thing” before he dies. So he says. One problem… this guys wafts between stupid and unsure, almost like he’s a pathetic personification of both.
John Grisham doesn’t need any more weapons (than he already has) to make his stories memorable, but when you add brazen emotion to the mix it’s almost unfair. I enjoyed this book more than I probably should have. Am I the only one that compares his books to heroin? You wait for your fix, you get your fix, you savor your fix, and then you wonder how long you have to wait for your next fix and more importantly, why you were so stupid to rush through your current fix. Grisham paints a very disturbing picture of the “justice” system in Sloan, TX and how it could so blatantly and blindly push through the conviction of a man, even though they KNEW the confession was as fake as the chest on Pam Anderson. While some people take issue with Grisham preaching on the issue of the death penalty, I don’t. Make no mistake, I don’t agree, but when you write this well I can deal.
Travis Boyette and the Texas legal system combine to make a pile that you can smell all the way in Canada. We all know the system is flawed because humans are flawed. But when the idiots in Sloan deliberately chose to ignore certain halogen glaring facts, the justice system went from inadequately bad to feckless worse. Travis crawls from under his maggot filled sexual assault infested life FOUR days before Donte’ is scheduled to be executed to admit to the crime, and with a straight face wonders why no one believes him. The mad dash to clear Donte’s name while trying to piece together all the crap coming from Travis’s mouth is what really makes this book fun reading magic. Yeah, there is still that seething anger created by the story and her characters but you’ll keep reading because it’s impossible not to.
You feel the simmering hatred of the Black community toward the police, the monumental arrogance of the Governor, the shocking attitude of the Texas courts, and meet some unlikely heroes. You wonder what will happen and when something happens that you didn’t expect, you wonder what will be the next thing you didn’t expect to happen, happens. Suspense, anger, bitterness. You’ll feel it, you’ll taste it, you’ll be turned off by it, and you’ll grate your teeth at it. But one thing you won’t do is quit reading it. I’m a fan of Grisham’s books, yes, but I’m in admiration of THIS book.