When my friend read this book last year she was literally glued to it. I don’t know how about you, but for me, this is the best recommendation for a book, especially when you know that you two have very similar taste in books. So as you can imagine, I was very keen to put this book on my (ever-expanding) ‘to be read’ pile. I read one or two of Grisham’s books years ago and I was really glad that this one appeared on my book club list. Well, truth to be told, I helped it to appear… Yep, killing two birds with one stone ;)
So what do I think about the book? Apart from few minor criticisms, I thought that the book was very good, thrilling, fast paced and gripping. I don’t know whether Grisham’s seasoned readers would agree with me as I am not in a position to judge whether this book is better/average/below average than his other books. But as I said before, I don’t read Grisham that often and maybe that is why I totally enjoyed the book.
Without giving you any spoilers here, I would like to say, that all parts of the book have their merits and I didn’t expect to invest as many emotions into reading the book as I did (and I was ready to invest quite a few :)). I think it is fair to say that the book will leave you with more questions than it gives answers and leaves you thinking about the story long after you finish the book. For me, the description of the Texan death penalty system and it’s ins and outs was eye-opening. I know that the book is fiction, but I can easily see how something similar can happen in real life.
Little snippet from the book:
“… but as he watched the preliminaries unfold, he was struck by the coldness, the ruthless efficiency, the sanitized neatness of it. It was similar to killing an old dog, a lame horse, or a laboratory rat. Who, exactly, gives us the right to kill? If killing is wrong, then why are we allowed to kill? As X* stared at Y*, he knew the image would never go away. And he knew that he would never be the same.”
(* I deliberately left out the names as not to give you any spoilers.)
Now the criticisms. Well, for once, I just thought that all the characters were too neatly cut – good guys on one side, bad guys on the other. Everything seemed black and white (literally) not only in the characteristics of the people involved in the story, but also the society was clearly divided by colour. I think that this also had impact on the fact that for me the characters felt bit two-dimensional. We are given a bit of background information about some of the characters, but we could have been given a little bit more. That still didn’t stop me to ponder what would I do and how would I feel if I was in the shoes of each of the mums, the priest and the defence lawyer.
So, if you fancy a decent read that would challenge your perceptions and opinions then go ahead, you will enjoy this one!