I've been reading John Grisham novels since I was a teenager and he was one of the first authors who wrote books I just had to have as soon as they came out. Over the years however, I've lost interest. I'm not sure at what point, sometime after A Painted House, it just didn't do it for me anymore. Then there was The Innocent Man, Grisham's endeavor at non-fiction, and my interest temporarily returned only to be quickly lost again with Playing For Pizza which hasn't even gotten more than a read of the cover from me. Now there is The Confession and once again, John Grisham has captured my attention.
Donte Drum was convicted of the brutal rape and murder of a high school cheerleader, and sentenced to death. For nine years, Donte claims he is innocent. His lawyer repeatedly points out the lack of evidence, the abuse during questioning that eventually led to Donte's confession, the lies told by his accusers, one of them being a bloodhound, and the lack of a body that proves the cheerleader is even dead. Now, Donte is 4 days away from execution, with no chance of appeal left, when the real killer, who is dying of a brain tumor, walks into a Kansas minister's office and confesses. He even claims to know where, and how, the body is buried. The question is, can the truth convince the lawyers, politicians, and powers that be that they are about to kill an innocent man?
When the book originally came out last year, I could have sworn I read it was based on a true story, I can't find anything about that now, but I have to admit, I don't find the prospect too far fetched. I'm sure we have killed innocent people with the death penalty, just as I'm sure there are guilty people that get off scott free. It goes both ways. What the book demands we think about is how that happens, and the social injustice that goes with it.
For more information about any of John Grisham's books, his web site is here, and you can find The Confession at Amazon