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The Confession: A Novel [Mass Market Paperback]

John Grisham
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 19 2011

First time in paperback

An innocent man is about to be executed.
Only a guilty man can save him.

In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, Travis Boyette abducted, raped, and strangled a popular high school cheerleader. He buried her body so that it would never be found, then watched in amazement as police and prosecutors arrested and convicted Donté Drumm, a local football star, and marched him off to death row.
Now nine years have passed. Travis has just been paroled in Kansas for a different crime; Donté is four days away from his execution. Travis suffers from an inoperable brain tumor. For the first time in his miserable life, he decides to do what’s right and confess. But how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges, and politicians that they’re about to execute an innocent man?

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The Confession: A Novel + The Litigators: A Novel + The Racketeer: A Novel
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Product Details

Product Description


“[A] grab-a-reader-by-the-shoulders suspense story.”—The Washington Post

“[John Grisham] is a master at pacing. . . . The book starts fast and finishes faster.”—Los Angeles Times

“Packed with tension, legal roadblocks and shocking revelations.”—USA Today

About the Author

John Grisham is the author of twenty-two novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and a novel for young readers.  He is on the Board of Directors of the Innocence Project in New York and is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Innocence Project at the University of Mississippi School of Law. He lives in Virginia and Mississippi.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story but... Nov. 12 2010
By Sam9999
The Confession was an interesting read but it was so well padded, you would think John Grisham was being paid by the word
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classis Grisham Feb. 16 2011
By Deena
Really liked this book. Its been a while since I read Grisham books, and I remember why I liked them. The Confession is a great read, highly recommend if you are a JG fan.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grisham at his best April 7 2011
This is a book about which John Grisham clearly felt deeply - perhaps because he has recently become concerned about wrongful convictions, and the treatment of that theme here has a very passionate edge. Although Grisham has dealt with the countdown to an execution before in The Chamber, a similar plot device here has produced even more focused results. Grisham has translated his thoughts about what the real killer might be thinking and doing into an unsettling narrative, as the last hours of life ebb away for an innocent mann. The real killer's identity is given away at the beginning of The Confession.

Texas at the end of the last century: Travis Boyette is a deeply unpleasant man, unhappy with his worthless life. He is seduced by the thought that some small measure of comfort may be snatched by terrorising and subjugating another human being. His victim is to be a popular girl, a high-school student. He abducts, rapes and murders her before hiding her body.

But any fears that he might harbour about being tried for the crime vanish when an innocent man, Donté Drumm (where does Grisham find his names?), is arrested. Drumm, a local football star, finds himself the prime suspect and is convicted. Nine years pass on death row, and the stays of execution for Drumm are exhausted. He is to die in four days. The wretched killer, Boyette, has had a change of heart: a brain tumour and his own imminent death have persuaded him that he must make a clean breast of the murder. But is it too late?

The Confession is an airing for the beliefs of the author, but it is also a page-turner. Grisham is careful never to preach.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Jan. 18 2013
By c
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book!!! Couldn't put it down until I was done and I'm not that much of a reader! Worth every penny
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GRISHAM DOES IT AGAIN Dec 17 2012
By Jerlaw
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've read several of Grishams' novels over the years. This is not his very best, but close to it.It's 417 pages of great story telling, not of the caliber of James Mitchner or James Clavell, but if you like the legal scene, this is for you. It's written in three parts: "The Confession," The Punishment" & "The Atonement."

I won't be giving anything away when I tell you that an old convict, dying of a brain tumor, confesses to a minister that the tragic murder of a high school girl, for which a young African-American is about to be executed in Huntsville, Texas, for the crime.. The whole book takes place in a period of 4 or 5 days.

What follows is a frantic 400 pages of reading enjoyment.

If you like Grishams' series of prolific authorship, you'll enjoy this one.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Social Criticism than Legal Thrills Nov. 11 2010
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
"And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death." -- Acts 13:28 (NKJV)

If you ask most people whether they favor the death penalty, you'll get an opinion that's largely unrelated to the practical issues involved. The crusading death-penalty skeptic in John Grisham comes out in this novel, much as the social reformer in Charles Dickens can be found in David Copperfield and Oliver Twist.

If you are familiar with death penalty legal practice, you'll be impressed with the accuracy of the fictional portrayal here. Grisham knows what he's writing about.

If you read this book, you'll learn how easy it is for an innocent person to be convicted of murder in Texas, how expensive it is to put someone to death, and the various sordid agendas that can play out in death-penalty cases. As such, this book is a pretty good substitute for reading a nonfiction book on the same subject . . . the risk of the innocent being condemned to death. If you doubt that can happen, check out some Web site that shows how many convicted "murderers" have been found innocent through DNA testing, many years after the fact of false incarceration and much suffering.

But that's probably not why you pick up a John Grisham novel about the law. You probably want to read great stuff about how corrupt lawyers are. There's definitely some legal malpractice here, but there's also some unselfish legal practice. All in all, the book won't satisfy most people who want to see lawyers discredited.

I also didn't find that the book contained enough suspense to keep my interest at a high level. It seemed to me that the twists and turns of the plot were thoroughly telegraphed well in advance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The tic. The pause. July 9 2014
By Anakina
Format:Kindle Edition
Very legal and not very thriller. With this novel Grisham returns after "The Chamber" and "Innocent" to deal with the capital punishment and to denounce the American judicial system, of the states where it is still applied, for the manner in which it is too lightly used for political purposes.
The tagline on the cover ("An innocent man is days from execution. Only a guilty man can save him.") lets mistakenly think it is a thriller, although it is defined this way. In fact, this fictional, but entirely plausible (and that's what scares), story once again talks about the people, for good or especially bad. Its characters are damn real, starting with Travis Boyette, the one who confesses, who with his tics and pauses, his controversial personality of a criminal with feelings of guilt, because someone is paying for his crime, results in reader annoyance, disgust, but also pity. It isn't the classic villain, but a character who lives in the grey area between the light and the dark, someone in whom we can identify despite his story.
Here we see the talent of this writer, who with the achievement of a stable reputation is free of telling his stories, which do not have a final twist or a happy ending like in real life. But they are true, almost more than reality.
As the plot develops in an intentionally slow way, jumping from one place to another, you don't lose at all your concentration, but you are caught by it to the end. And even if it leaves with a bitter disappointment, at the same time there is something comforting, that makes you close the book with a sense of satisfaction. The one you feel after reading a good book.

Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli, author of Red Desert - Point of No Return
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good service.
Item as described. Good service.
Published 2 months ago by Shams Tejani
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good book
Published 2 months ago by Robert Ball
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable read,
I was happy to learn a lot about class-action lawsuits, because I was nearly killed by our medical system and mixed up medications, I just couldn't afford to get into it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by John Wiley
5.0 out of 5 stars Need a holiday...
Reread this book (first read on release in 2010) in almost one sitting. Story sets a tense & breakneck pace. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mealoaf
5.0 out of 5 stars Best read ever!
I literally could not put it down voluntarily. This has to be Grisham's best book.

5 - star for sure
Published 10 months ago by mickey maklin
3.0 out of 5 stars Kenneth Cressman
I presume that my wife read this book so i am unable to provide any review on this one. Sorry!
Published 11 months ago by K. Cressman
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy read
I was disappointed - the book seemed to be building to something but really ends about 150 pages from the end, then just continues on without really adding to the storyline. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Glee
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Grisham tale
I forgot how much I love John Grisham's books. He is one of my very favorite authors. He writes with such an easy-to-read style, with a compelling plot that keeps you up later at... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Diana E. Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to download to Kindle
Just started reading, great author. Love the ease to get this downloaded to my Kindle. Now ready to go on vacation and have a book or 2 to read
Published 17 months ago by Baba
4.0 out of 5 stars "She's So-o-o Cute..."
Travis Boyette sits in the waiting room of a Lutheran pastor's office in Topeka, Kansas. And watches the pastor's wife Dana working at the computer. Read more
Published 20 months ago by John M. Ford
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