The Books I Read – The Confession – John Grisham

The Confession is yet another ‘legal thriller’ from John Grisham. John Grisham has written legal thrillers of various kinds but recently in last few years his books have taken a certain theme of promoting certain causes which he himself is keen follower in real life. One of the causes he advocates is abolishing death penalty and in this book presents a fictional case which justifies the cause.

The book has a very good premise of an innocent black man Donte Drumm all of 19, caught for a crime he did not commit, tried in courts, fake evidences presented, erroneous testimonies and he is sent on the death row to be executed by the state of Texas. Just a few days before his execution the real killer Travis Boyette confesses his crime to a pastor in the church in Kansas. The book describes the 4 days in which the pastor, the real killer and the defense attorney Robbie Flak try their last minute effort to save the innocent man caught for the murder he didn’t commit. There is a race to file petitions and appeals and gather evidence including the dead body,  the story clearly asks its readers to think about the morality of the capital punishment.

The book describes the events in quite details and sometimes provides information more than that is needed as well. The author establishes a solid back story for most of the characters and goes in details of the American  judiciary system and the racial divide in the American southern states. As like most Grisham novels the lead characters are almost super heroic and does all kinds of things expected from him but then its a minor fault.

The book at times becomes too much informative and doesn’t move at a rapid pace. The book’ plot is quite linear and with a very few twists and turns you already know what is about to happen at most times. The author highlights the racial divide in the society a bit too much as well. But no one knows the southern states more than Grisham and the detailing of judiciary and police system provided by the author is unmatched. Morality of Death Penalty is the question in reader’s mind and is answered quite well by the end of the book.

I would recommend this only to die-hard John Grisham fans. Quite slow at times and you can easily skip some pages and do not miss much. It is certainly not as good as some of his best.

My Ratings : 7/10 – for Die hard Grisham Fans only

Books I Read – Theodore Boone

John Grisham has been writing legal thrillers for last 2o plus years. This is his first ‘legal thriller for kids’. The book is the first of a new series started by the author about a ‘kid lawyer’.

Theodore Boone is a 13 year old eighth grader in a small town America, whose only problem in life is that he cannot decide whether he wants to be a lawyer or a judge when he grows. He is a legal whiz kid who lives and breathes law, visits courthouse everyday, knows every lawyer, judge, policemen and legal clerk in the small town, has his own law office inside his parents law firm, advises his school friends on legal issues ranging from bankruptcy, drunk driving and parents divorce.

The first novel on the series features a big murder trial and Theo accidentally coming across a vital witness whose testimony could affect the outcome of the trial.

The plot is bit too simple and hardly has any twists. The story in the end does not fully conclude and will have some continuation in the next part of the series. The reader learns a lot about the American Legal system in a very simple language.

The novel is a very easy read and is carefully written in simple english, clearly targetting the younger age group. The author intends to publish further parts of this series very soon and perhaps one every year. The story reminds you more of a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys story than a John Grisham Legal Thriller.

My Ratings :  6.5/10 –  Grisham is never bad even when he writes for kids.