It's not that long ago that I was writing reviews and complaining how a number of the established authors seemed to be churning out a lot of sub standard work; amongst these were Jeffrey Deaver, James Patterson and John Grisham, although the books they were producing were very good, they definitely weren't up to the same standard readers had become accustomed to. With this new novel I am happy to say that I can retract that statement, Grisham seems to have found his mojo!
The majority of the book focuses on the 4 days prior to when Donte Drum is due to be executed for a murder he didn't commit. I liked the way that the book didn't just follow one aspect of the storyline but moved between al of the central characters so one minute you'd be following the storyline of the Lawyer, then you'd be following the actual murdered and then you'd move on to the family of the victim, although not every chapter finished with a cliff hanger, each one left you wanting to know more and eager for that thread of the story to be picked up again.
The novel is very slanted against the death penalty, you would think that when someone's life was at stake everything would be done by the book to ensure no mistakes were made, although this is a work of fiction it does make you wonder how many decisions like this are made for the people involved to simply progress their careers (police, lawyers, DA's, judges, senators etc).
The book is worded in a very factual way, Grisham states what is happening throughout and isn't overly heavy on the emotion, I found that this added to the story rather than detracted from it, it definitely never stopped me from getting emotional when reading it. I think it's been very cleverly written as it is just as though events are being reported on without emotion, which leads you to your own conclusion that the death penalty is wrong, rather than pushing all the emotional buttons to try and get you to believe it's wrong.
I was really impressed with this book and struggled to put it down, it really is Grisham at his best, I'm just hoping that all the other authors that I used to love have learnt from him and will be producing the same high standard again shortly!