Saturday, May 7, 2011

Just a novel

Over the years I have read all of John Grisham's legal thrillers. Most I have enjoyed and think the best two are probably The Testament and The Runaway Jury. Over the past decade he has started to write in other genres and found most of these rather disappointing and so don't bother to read them anymore. This week I read his latest legal novel, The Confession. I found it also disappointing: there are few surprises in the plot, and the characters are not as rich or endearing as in some of his novels. This is somewhat similar to The Appeal: you keep waiting for justice to be done and the "good guys" to win, but they don't.

The novel does make a good case for abolition of the death penalty, expose problems in the US criminal justice system [particularly where prosecutors, judges, and sheriffs are democratically elected]. But, the novel does have some good Christian content as the hero is a Lutheran minister.

I also kept thinking of various issues highlighted in Exclusion and Embrace because the novel does explore issues associated with justice, victimhood, forgiveness, forgetting, revenge, and racial conflict.

For a more positive review of The Confession see the review in the Washington Post by Maureen Corrigan.

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