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Grisham's first work of nonfiction focuses on the tragedy of Ron Williamson, a baseball hero from a small town in Oklahoma who winds up a dissolute, mentally unstable Major League washout railroaded onto death row for a hometown rape and murder he did not commit. Judging by this author-approved abridgment, Grisham has chosen to present Williamson's painful story (and that of his equally innocent "co-conspirator," Dennis Fritz) as straightforward journalism, eschewing the more familiar "nonfiction novel" approach with its reconstructed dialogues and other adjustments for dramatic purpose. This has resulted in a book that, while it includes such intriguing elements as murder, rape, detection and judicial injustice, consists primarily of objective reportage, albeit shaded by the now-proven fact of Williamson's innocence. The absence of dialogue or character point of view could make for a rather bland audio. Boutsikaris avoids that by reverting to what might be called old-fashioned round-the-campfire storytelling, treating the lengthy exposition to vocal interpretations, subtle and substantial. He narrates the events leading up to the 1982 rape and murder of a young cocktail waitress with a mixture of suspicion and curiosity, moving on to astonishment at the prosecution's use of deceit and false testimony to convict Williamson and Fritz and, eventually, elation at the exoneration of the two innocent men. Throughout, he maintains an appealing conversational tone, an effect made all the more remarkable by the book's nearly total absence of conversation.
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“A gritty, harrowing, true-crime story.” —Time
“A triumph.” —Seattle Times
“Grisham has crafted a legal thriller every bit as suspenseful and fast-paced as his best-selling fiction.” —Boston Globe
From the Paperback edition.
I love all Grisham's fiction but this venture in non-fiction was excellent. How such a travesty occurred is a terrible indictment of people who worked so hard to prosecute two... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Andy Leathwood
It was quiet the story Kept ones attention Enjoy all his books i have readPublished 4 months ago by Ervin Falk
Until two thirds of the way through the book when I googled the characters. Very well researched in true Grisham style. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sloan Ranger
I had not heard of this crime, or read a non-fiction Grisham before, so I was amazed that this was non-fiction. Hard to believe something like this still happens in the USA. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Brian