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The Confession: A Novel by [Grisham, John]
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The Confession: A Novel Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 2,277 customer reviews

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Length: 434 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Grisham's recent slump continues with another subpar effort whose plot and characters, none of whom are painted in shades of gray, aren't able to support an earnest protest against the death penalty. In 2007, almost on the eve of the execution of Donté Drumm, an African-American college football star, for the 1998 murder of a white cheerleader whose body was never found, Travis Boyette, a creepy multiple sex offender, confesses that he's guilty of the crime to Kansas minister Keith Schroeder. With Drumm's legal options dwindling fast and with the threat of civil unrest in his Texas hometown if the execution proceeds, Schroeder battles to convince Boyette to go public with the truth--and to persuade the condemned man's attorney that Boyette's story needs to be taken seriously. While the action progresses with a certain grim realism, Schroeder's superficial responses to the issues raised undercut the impact. As with The Appeal, the author's passionate views on serious flaws in the justice system don't translate well into fiction. (Oct.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


"The Confession is the kind of grab-a-reader-by-the-shoulders suspense story that demands to be inhaled as quickly as possible. But it's also a superb work of social criticism in the literary troublemaker tradition of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle....Brilliant"--Washington Post

"Grisham is the master of the legal thriller."--USA Today


“The secrets of Grisham’s success are no secret at all. There are two of them: his pacing, which ranges from fast to breakneck, and his Theme—little guy takes on big conspiracy with the little guy getting the win in the end.” —Time magazine
“The law, by its nature, creates drama, and a new Grisham promises us an inside look at the dirty machineries of process and power, with plenty of entertainment” —Los Angeles Times
“With every new book I appreciate John Grisham a little more, for his feisty critiques of the legal system, his compassion for the underdog, and his willingness to strike out in new directions.” —Entertainment Weekly
“John Grisham is about as good a storyteller as we’ve got in the United States these days.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Grisham is a marvelous storyteller who works readers the way a good trial lawyer works a jury.” —Philadelphia Inquirer
 “A mighty narrative talent and an unerring eye for hot-button issues.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“A legal literary legend.” —USA Today

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3353 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Reprint edition (October 26, 2010)
  • Publication Date: October 26, 2010
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0042XA37Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,157 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G. Haneke on October 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am an avid reader and have read countless legal thrillers over the years. As a retired Federal Judge with 24 years of experience, I can tell you that you will never find a more realistic portrait of how the legal system works and, more importantly, how often it does not. Run do not walk to your bookstore and grab this one. You won't be sorry.
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Format: Hardcover
Less than a week before the scheduled execution of Donté Drumm, convicted ten years ago for a murder he did not commit, the real killer steps forward. Travis Boyette, a convicted serial rapist on parole, approaches Keith Schroeder (a Christian minister) in Topeka and confesses to the murder. Boyette has an inoperable brain tumour, and feels bad about sending an innocent man to his death.

Reluctantly, Keith Schroeder agrees to drive Boyette to the town where the murder occurred in the hope that a confession will stop the scheduled execution of Drumm. Keith Schroeder joins forces with Donté Drumm's defence lawyer, Robbie Flak in the hope that they can at least halt the scheduled execution until Boyette's story is checked.

I enjoyed the first two thirds of this novel. While character development was sketchy, the urgency of the situation kept me turning pages. The facts about the case, the flimsy `evidence' upon which Donté Drumm was convicted all heightened the tension, especially when one of the witnesses admitted that he had falsely testified and as Boyette's claims are tested.

But then the narrative changed. The fiction became a vehicle against the death penalty and thriller became propaganda. This diminished the impact of the story, reduced my enjoyment of it and is reflected in my rating.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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Format: Hardcover
Reviewers should keep their own political views on the back burner when they review books. Bashing a book when you disagree, or lavishing it when you agree misses the point. I read these reviews mostly to find out one thing: is this a good book, or not?

The Confession is a legal thriller by an accomplished writer, one who became famous by writing legal thrillers. I loved Grisham's early books, reading each one eagerly, glued to the pages, and disappointed when I finished, realizing that I had to wait a long time for the next one. Somewhere along the way Grisham lost his mojo, and, unfortunately, he hasn't fully regained it. Maybe I am not the same reader that I was when I read The Firm in 1991. Try as I might, I couldn't get excited about this one.

This story was written as a political statement. Fiction that serves to prove a point requires a skillful narrator, or it risks becoming tedious. There are some great writers who wrote great novels as a form of political expression, like Dickens, Warren and Ellison. Grisham is not in their league. Grisham's talents as a writer are good enough to bring this readable novel to fruition, but it has some problems: The plot is not believable enough for my liking, and characters on one side of the issue are created as likeable, basically good people, while those on the opposite side are completely bad. The story lacks realism.

Donte , who is at the center of the novel, is a sympathetic figure, but he remains a figure, not a person whom the reader really knows. Keith , the well intentioned pastor who brings the killer to Texas, may be the best described personality, but he is bland and boring. The story builds suspense in the second half, and I willingly read to the end, although I was pretty sure where it was going. This was just a fair novel, with the story in the back seat, and the message driving. I prefer the opposite.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you've read John Grisham in the past, then it's fairly obvious where he stands on the subject of capital punishment. Perhaps you agree with his position, and perhaps you do not. I, for one, will not dismiss and actor or musician or an author because of politics. In my opinion, a good movie is a good movie , a good song is a good song, and good book is a good book. This is a good book. Fast-paced, and with some very entertaining characters, I found myself unable to put it down.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of John Grisham's writing style, and The Confession was the first e-book I purchased for my new Kindle. Like his previous novels, The Confession is a smooth read; I finished it in just over a day. Grisham has a knack for interspersing engaging dialogue and narrative, and he knows how to end a chapter leaving you with a desire to read the next.

But with all due respect to Grisham's writing ability, reading The Confession is a lot like riding a carousel. It has all the expected ups and downs and turns, which sometimes make for a pleasurable experience. But it doesn't take you anyplace new, and you know how it's going to end. And all the characters are plastic.

For a subject as complex and multi-faceted as the death penalty, you would expect a little nuance from an author as intelligent as Grisham. Alas, there is none to found in The Confession. I would describe the theme of the book as: "If you support the death penalty, then you are ignorant, racist, and un-Christian. If you oppose the death penalty, you are a saint and a hero. Period." Nearly all the villains in this book work for the government: from the unscrupulous detective to the conviction-hungry prosecutor to the corrupt judge to the uncaring appeals courts to the cocky demagogue of a governor. Heck, even the front-line police officers and the National Guard are portrayed as Jim Crow-era goons who stand ready to trample the civil rights of the poor townfolk. I say that "nearly" all the villains work for the government because Grisham saves some castigation for the FAMILY OF THE MURDER VICTIM. The mother of the victim is portrayed as a fame whore who cares nothing about finding justice but only wants a painful death for the man she's convinced killed her daughter.
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