Feb 4, 2011

The Weeknight Book Club. The Confession by John Grisham.

I read The Confession a few months ago and have been meaning to write about it here on the blog.  Despite John Grisham's impressive list of number one bestsellers and the fact that he writes crime fiction (one of my favourite genres), this is the first of his novels I've read.

What prompted me to write my thoughts about the novel was last night's episode of The Good Wife.  Yes, I know, there wasn't enough of Alan Cumming as Eli Gold but something had to be sacrificed for the scenes featuring Alicia's calm and measured parenting of a couple of teenagers in 2011.  How anyone can calmly parent teenagers in the current world of media and sensory overload I do not know.

But I digress.  The episode was about a man on death row, wrongly accused of a crime.  His guilt was based upon outdated scientific evidence.  After a tip off, Alicia and the team obtained new evidence and saved the man from execution.  They also managed to reconnect him with his estranged daughter moments before he would have been executed.  The same theme of execution of an innocent man is at the heart of The Confession.  A plot summary and thoughtful review is provided here.

The Confession is a cracking good read.  I thought I'd be bored to tears about a legal thriller but this novel shone on so many levels.  I was surprised at every plot twist yet despite the fast pace of the novel, was moved to tears by Grisham's protrayal of families grieving and suffering.  This was played out on the background of wry references to popular news media and their ability to milk ratings from every angle of a tragedy as well as politicians' ability to wring votes and public support in the midst of the anger and grief of their electorate.

The Confession was one of those novels I couldn't put down.  I raced through it on my Kindle at the same speed as the crazy road trip undertaken by a priest and a paedophile with a brain tumour that is one of the crucial sub plots of the novel.

This all sounds random and completely disparate doesn't it?  The thing is, everything comes together in the novel.

So now I'm a born again John Grisham fan.  How about you?  Read much Grisham lately?


  1. Thanks for this book review, it sounds great, you have inspired me to revisit Mr Grisham. Read him in the old days - loved The Firm , and liked all the films. Best film was the one with Matt Damon - the Rainmaker, I read the book in French to help my legal French vocab - one French friend was v sniffy about that when I proudly showed her what I was reading "Mais cette une traduction" she pronounced, damningly..I should have been reading Racine I suppose...

  2. Gosh Blighty! I ,for one, am very impressed. I am learning french and only pure stubbornness keeps me going. I will be positively gloating if I ever get to the stage where I am reading even nursery age books in french.

  3. I always need more book tips...
    So thanks for sharing..have a great day.

    Greetings from Norway.

  4. I don't think I've ever read a John Grisham. Crime novels are not what I'm drawn to most of the time - this review has made me think otherwise though. It reminds me of a story I saw on CI recently a man who proclaimed his innocence right up until the day he was executed. The evidence used to find him "guilty" seemed watery, I don't know if he perpetrated the crime or not but he was executed either way.

    I'm looking forward to reading this book, going to look on the book depository now.


    p.s hope you are feeling better these days. xoxox

  5. I rather love John Grisham, especially when travelling - well the boring parts of travel, getting into transit. I really enjoyed The Client too along with Rainmaker. I have read quite a bit of his stuff too. I haven't read The Confession though. I suppose I like him because he is pretty formulaic - which is kind of nice.. "routine is soothing", a la FF.

    Goodness Blighty, you are one clever possum to have read it in French!

  6. You know I don't think I've read one of his books yet but I like this genre. Thanks for reminding me!

  7. Greetings SSG, please read The Innocent Man. I have read most of Grisham's others, but this one really struck a nerve. Will add The Confession to my reading list.

  8. I really enjoy John Grisham. I agree that his books are clever and well written.

    Haven't read any of his stuff for a little while. May need to browse the kindle store!

    Have a good weekend SSG.

  9. I have this but haven't read it. I used to avidly descend on any Grishams as a teenager but as I grew older, I found more authors and kinda neglected him as some weren't so good. Glad this one was enjoyable! I'll grab it for the ereader.

  10. Blighty: the blog salutes your command of French!

    Margaret: The Innocent Man is next on my list. Thanks for the suggestions.

    samstillreading and AFW: it's a great one for e-readers.

    SSG xxx


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