My Review (4 stars out of 5)
When Carl Lee Hailey kills the two white racists who raped his daughter, he has a lot of support from the people of the town, Clanton, Mississippi. But there are others who want to see him dead, and the case becomes a focus for extremists, corrupt lawyers and the KKK. Hired to represent him, local boy Jake Brigance finds he too is a target as the trial date draws near.
First published in 1989, it’s fair to say that this is not one of John Grisham’s best works. Though it’s a great story, Grisham regularly slides away from what’s important to focus on backstory that really should have been left outside with the trash. Also, there are some truly clunky expressions that any editor worth their salt should have sorted out a long time ago, along with a host of adverbs and passive phrases that distract from the story. Admittedly this was the author’s debut novel, but as any indie author knows, books can easily be updated and this one really needs another look.
Having said that, I liked the characters and the difficult position the hero finds himself in. If the writing were more inline with Grisham’s later novels, I’d have loved it.