I thoroughly enjoyed this Grisham novel. Know going in that this book has a bias against the death penalty. I noticed in other reviews that many people were perturbed by this and also felt that this was a soap box novel. I wasn’t bothered by any of these aspects. This was one of the better Grisham novel for several reasons.
Usually, his novels run 300+ pages and at times have ended abruptly. Grisham did not limit himself this time and the story unfolded over 515 pages. The size was necessary to the story and had he tried to edit it to less pages and words, I think the telling of the story would have suffered.
In this book, unlike others, there were a few more twists and I would say, more of a realistic reflection on what happens in the system. The day was not saved. An innocent man was put to death despite the race against time in the first third of the book. There were also some story lines that were set up and got you thinking that something might happen that did not play out. A little bit of mystery.
There were a lot of characters – more than average for one of his novels. Paths converged but there were enough characters that left you with some to like and to some to hate and some not to feel anything about. Like many books, there were a few things that happened that were either unbelievable or unlikely but these did not detract from the bigger story.
Having worked for many years in the legal business I enjoyed the truth of justice not being black and white. I also enjoyed the truth that there are a lot of corrupt people in this business. Many cops, many attorneys and many judges. Don’t be fooled into thinking idealistically about those who are supposed to uphold the law. More often than not, they are driven by self interest and politics, egotistical narcissism and in some cases, corruption. The bigger the legal issue, the more likely to find these qualities and they were all on display in The Confession.
Grisham is my little escape between other reads because I know it will be a fast read and I will be fully engaged. 48 hours well spent. If you can enjoy a biased opinion on the death penalty, you will probably really enjoy this book. If an opinion that doesn’t jive with yours drives you crazy – give this one a miss and read The Firm. It’s my other favorite Grisham.