John Grisham’s novels are almost always “solid” reads, invariably dealing with the legal profession in some way: lawyers, judges, and court room drama.
The Confession fits his mould. The story is about a young black man, a recent high school graduate, who has been accused of killing a white cheerleader from the same secondary school. No body has been found. Evidence against him is circumstantial at best, completely untrue at worst. Still, his confession, gotten by dubious means, is used as the chief means for finding him guilty. He is condemned to death and the state of Texas is carries out its death penalty responsibilities with unrelenting earnestness.
Our “criminal” claims his innocence to the very day of his scheduled execution. His lawyer, a bit of a dedicated powder keg, passionate about all his cases, believes his client completely and dedicates himself and his entire legal office to proving the innocence of the accused youth.
The story has a number of third parties clearly connected with the case and devoted to proving the accused’s innocence. The evidence of the young man’s innocence grows as the story unfolds and it becomes a suspenseful race against the clock, the scheduled hour of execution, and against the Texas judicial system, with judges, detectives, prosecutors and even the state governor steadfastly clinging to the believe that capital punishment is completely justifiable and that this youth is guilty.
Grisham writes a good story. His mechanics are flawless. His plot development is suspenseful and crisp. His book is a fast, exciting read which everyone seems to enjoy and rates highly as seen by its best seller status.
You can’t go wrong with this Grisham novel and you will become an advocate against the use of capital punishment once you finish reading it.