Despite the fact that John Grisham is one of the most famous writers of our time, he is still incredibly underrated. I would hope that 20 years from now the world will look back and look at Grisham as one of the greatest writers of the late 20th century and early 21st century. Every single book of his is beautifully written and crafted and always has a compelling message. One of Grisham’s most recent works, The Confession, is evidence that this gifted writer is not slowing down. If anything, he is getting better.
The basic premise for The Confession is that the state of Texas is about to execute an innocent man for the rape and murder of a high school cheerleader. The real perpetrator, a convicted rapist and all around bad guy, is beginning to feel something like guilt. He confesses his crime to Keith Schroeder, a Lutheran minister. Keith now has to find a way to get this guy to Texas and try to stop an execution. But its an election year, and the Texas governor is not going to let some wacko halt an execution. He can’t be looking soft when the polls open of course.
The characters in this thriller are some of the best Grisham has crafted. For myself, as one studying for ministry, I could relate extremely well to Keith, the primary antagonist. But other characters were strong as well. Travis, the convicted rapist and real criminal, is scary believable. Robbie, the defense attorney is a fun and diverse character as well. In fact, there is not a weak member of this cast.
The premise of The Confession hooked me instantly. John Grisham’s brilliant writing carried me a long. There are few books where I have hung on every word the way that I was able to with The Confession. The plot was brilliant and well executed. But it was the writing that stole the show. I’ll probably gain criticism for making the comparison but Grisham’s writing is at times comparable to that of the great John Steinbeck. And not only is the plot exciting and the writing brilliant but the message hits strong. There is no doubt where Grisham stands on the death penalty debate and I cannot argue that he brings up some strong points that need to be thought about.
Honestly, the only weakness in this book is that the final pages somewhat end up dragging on. The plot slows down dramatically with only 1/3 of the book left to go. However, this isn’t a major problem thanks to Grisham’s strong writing.
In conclusion, I have nothing but praise for this terrific thriller. Its entertaining, brilliant, and powerful all in one. It is everything that great novels were intended to be. Every John Grisham fan needs to pick up a copy of this book. And for those who have yet to give Mr. Grisham a try, there has never been a better place to begin.
Content: R for strong thematic elements