Cape Times - - LIFESTYLE - AP

John Gr­isham (R272) DOU­BLE­DAY

AUTHOR John Gr­isham takes read­ers on a jour­ney to the Deep South

in 1946 in The


The main char­ac­ter, Pete Ban­ning, was a pris­oner of war in World War II. He was pre­sumed dead at one point, so when he came home, the en­tire town cel­e­brated. That makes it all the more shock­ing when he heads to his church one morn­ing and kills the Rev­erend, Dex­ter Bell. He does noth­ing to hide the mur­der, so it isn’t a sur­prise when he’s ar­rested. Ban­ning’s de­fence at­tor­ney de­mands an­swers as to why he shot Bell, but he re­fuses to talk. He doesn’t want to plead in­san­ity, and he replies to ev­ery ques­tion with: “I have noth­ing to say.” His fam­ily has no idea what hap­pened to prompt such dras­tic ac­tion, but he won’t even talk to his wife and chil­dren. There’s a sus­pi­cion that Bell might have been a lit­tle too friendly to Ban­ning’s wife while Pete was over­seas.

The quest for jus­tice is only the be­gin­ning in this South­ern-fam­ily saga. Read­ers ex­pect­ing Gr­isham’s usual themes of jus­tice and cor­rupt lawyers won’t be dis­ap­pointed. Gr­isham takes a snap­shot of a chaotic time and show­cases the world of law, and the lack of equal­ity for ev­ery­one, and wraps it in a fam­ily-saga pack­age. |

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