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innocence under the gun
on August 7, 2012
John grisham who is about to publish this fall an interesting work the racketeer,the same title as famed carole lombard's first film,in one of his early works deals with one of his favorite themes:innocence. All the trademarks are here the alleged criminal and how he is dealt with in the legal system,by lawyers,judges,the medical community and others in the legal profession. Here there is a twist and a change..just for your discomfort. Although the author draws on his experience with the black-white community in chicago,he transports that mental conflict to the fictional town of clanton,as in the clanton gang and ford county,with the sheriff and the posse,personified as the mob,and does innocence have any chance to shine through...and what do people really want? This is one of his longer efforts,his recent works have been shorter,and he is a much filmed and celebrated author,almost like he writes a novel with movie like characters for a coming adaption. We also have here a trauma as a young black girl is raped by two men,a murder,vigilante like,but the author finds that justified. Are vigilante murders or wars justified..I recall years ago a group of clerics in the u.s. with much media exposure doing a study in which war,and murder,are justified as moral concepts,from a religious perspective...and here we have a black religious community in part,and all ford county is abuzz. The author also has a way with names which serve as puns,clanton as a city(the clanton gang,which i recall in my youth gene l coon wrote an interesting but violent,the violence turned people off at t he time,under the pseudonym lee cronin 'spectre of the gun' on the old Star trek)and also a character Buckley,like the old conservative writer,an ambivalent figure,whoose deeper insights on human nature people didnt always take well on the right,so we have all these ideas in this novel...and a psychiatric panel diagnosing the client,which as a group are a pet peeve for him,not the field,or the science,but just how the process corrupts them. That is the theme of a Grisham novel...in the legal system,who do people,learned and insightful,become bad and unethical?
In fact practice a kind of mental torture...as the innocent are often done away with..this is a legal drama and the action is there,he really doesnt go into psychological or sociological examination....a novel of innocence as portrayed in the legal system here in ford county...a drama played out all too often close to you