Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Summer Novels to Keep You on the Edge of Your Seat

The Testament: A NovelThe Testament: A Novel

Summertime Reading is a long enjoyed habit.

Let's review some titles that could be interesting stories to fill those hours on the beach or relaxing in on the porch. When there are a few hours in the day that aren't filled with family obligations, it's really nice to grab a good book and just enjoy losing yourself in a story.


Four Titles that I Thoroughly Enjoyed!

These titles will keep you turning pages. John Grisham is a master story teller. He grabs your attention at the beginning of every book and takes you on a journey with the characters he masterfully creates.
Grisham does not shy away from controversial issues either.  Quite often he will be bringing you into the story of an underdog who has everything going against him. Yet with his skill as a writer, he makes you see both sides of an issue and makes you take a stand too.

Getting into the mind of Lawyers and their ilk

Most of Grisham's works involve the law, lawyers, and some unsavory characters, someone who has been "railroaded" by the judicial systems in place, and all of the characters in between. These four books that I have listed here are just a few of the books I have read in the last 2 weeks.  Each one of them tells a story that will draw you into the back counties of many states from Texas to Kansas, Missouri and Mississippi and more.  I love that he can give details for  small towns with charming vignettes that make you see this place in your mind's eye.  You don't have to dream too much to get the picture clear in your head.  The characters are also so well developed that in a sense, while you are reading, you think you know these people. Some of them could be your neighbors!

Yesterday, I read the Confession and I must say that I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Thank goodness I didn't have a lot of work to do, because once I picked up that book, I could not put it down.

Synopsis

The gist of the story starts with a confession of a convicted rapist who sees that a young man is on death row for a crime that he had committed.  He doesn't go to the police to confess, but rather goes to a preacher in a neighboring state.  The preacher armed with this information is left to figure out why this man waited so long to come forward and what to do with this information.  There is a young man on death row who will be executed for this crime in short order.     

That's just the beginning of the story.  Donte (the young man on death row)was an all-star football player with a bright future from a good family.  He was convicted of this crime because the police strong armed him and used all kinds of tactics to "beat" a confession out of him. There are no witnesses, no body, and absolutely no proof that he could have murdered this young girl.  Yet because of his confession, he is prosecuted to the maximum.  All the promises made to him about light sentences and little to no jail time are all a rouse to get him to confess. State prosecutors who see an easy conviction coming, they don't bother to go looking for details, after all, they have the best evidence, a confession.  Donte, not knowing he has given the prosecutors exactly what they wanted,  is sent away for a murder he did not commit and given the death sentence.  


No Spoilers

I'm not going to tell you anymore about the story!  I  don't want to spoil it for you.  There are enough twists and turns in this book to keep you turning pages for days!  You won't want to put it down.

John Grisham is a master storyteller who understands all the twists and turns that can happen in courts of law.  He is also familiar with the workings and back office politics that go on around "cases" that make the papers state-wide and nation-wide.  He uses his knowledge of the systems to create characters and situations  that are very believable and genuine. 

Just when you think you have it all figured out, he throws in another curve ball. His books are riveting from the first page right until the very last.  When you close the cover, without a word of a lie, you will literally heave a sigh of relief.  You have lived through the agonies and the joys of the characters in the book.  It will also leave you with some insights, thoughts and directions in a whole host of areas of concern to us all.

This list is by no means complete.  John Grisham has written 22 novels and many other works.  He is an author you should consider adding to your reading list if he isn't there already.  


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

15 comments:

  1. I've been a fan of John Grisham's books for many years. I agree with you, Olivia, that his books make wonderful reading -- Summertime or anytime! I think Grisham's legal thrillers are so good as he is a lawyer himself who grew up in Mississippi and really knows both the world of law and Southern small towns and attitudes.

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    1. It was a whole new world for me, but one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I have read about 10 or more of his books and am always taken into the world he has created. That for me is a good sign and a sign of a good writer. Thanks for your comments Miss Elf.

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  2. Back when John Grisham first became a household name, I read many of his books and enjoyed them all. Just as you described, it's hard to put his books down, then at the end comes the sigh of relief and the realization that you've practically been holding your breath the whole time you've been reading. For those who haven't experienced this author, you're truly missing out on an exceptional reading experience. Thanks for the excellent review, Olivia, and the reminder that it's time I pick up Grisham again.

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    1. Yes you are right Susan, he has been around for a while and I love that his books are still ranked right at the top. I love that when you reach the end, you feel like you have experienced something new. He just paints such interesting pictures of everything.

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  3. Ironic that you should review books by John Grisham today! My husband and I were just discussing him a few days ago. We watched one of the movies together, which started a conversation about John Grisham, the lawyer, and how he started writing. He is one of my husband's favorite authors and I have to agree, he can definitely write riveting stories. They often make me sit back and think "what would I do?" His inside look at lawyers, the law, and the courtroom are very enlightening to say the least.

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    1. I agree wholeheartedly. I didn't mention that he is a lawyer himself, but wanted people to see how well he handles that whole arena. I got hooked on Grisham when the Firm was first in print and then came the movies and I enjoyed those too. I still find the books draw me in much more than the movies. I guess the movies don't take as long to watch as the books take to read.

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  4. Thanks for the review, I read John Grisham often.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the review Angie. I love his stories and the way he paints the pictures. Every book teaches me something new.

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  5. John Grisham is a true original. He has a gift for bringing to life the nuances of Southern culture (and those who shape it and are shaped by it). I am always looking for one of his books that I haven't read yet. Thanks for these recommendations.

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    1. You said it, He has a gift and he writes with that gift in a way that will move you. Glad you enjoyed the review.

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  6. I have never read any of Grisham's books though I'd be there are some in the house. Thanks for these picks, Olivia.

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    1. Brenda, if you can find one, grab it! But be ready to go "missing" for a while, until you are done reading. They are hard to put down and will gnaw at you if you do put it down.

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  7. I have read Grisham novels off and on - and always enjoy them. I have recently thought about choosing one of his books again. Thank you for the recommendation.

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  8. I absolutely love John Grisham's novels - my dad and I used to swap them, although it was frustrating when he brought one and I had to wait for him to finish (if you asked him he'd probably say the same when it was my turn to buy one!).

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  9. I'm going to have to check and see if mom has read any of these, I'm sure she reads John Grisham novels. She has quite a collection of books since she's an avid reader. These are right up her alley - now I'll have to ask her tomorrow if she's read any.

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