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A Time for Mercy: John Grisham's Latest No.…

A Time for Mercy: John Grisham's Latest No. 1 Bestseller (edition 2021)

by John Grisham (Author)

Series: Jake Brigance (3)

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1,4344412,097 (4.02)9
Court-appointed lawyer Jake Brigance puts his career, his financial security, and the safety of his family on the line to defend a sixteen-year-old suspect who is accused of killing a local deputy and facing the death penalty.
Title:A Time for Mercy: John Grisham's Latest No. 1 Bestseller
Authors:John Grisham (Author)
Info:Hodder Paperbacks (2021)
Collections:Your library

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A Time for Mercy by John Grisham


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English (42)  German (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
TW: mild spoilers, reference to alleged sexual offender

Jake Brigance returns for a third attempt at making a name for himself as a lawyer. As other reviews have noted, the plot is rather similar to A Time to Kill, the first appearance of Atty. Brigance in 1989. The circumstances of the killing are different: 1. a white teenager kills a white police officer, as opposed to a black mill worker killing white thugs; 2. the boy avenged the purported death of his mother, while the man avenged the rape of his daughter; 3. the boy's sister winds up pregnant by the dead man, whereas the little girl is robbed of her ability to have children of her own.

These differences in plot carve enough space between the two novels so as not to detract from the pleasure of reading whichever one the reader picks up last. I personally read A Time to Kill after Grisham's 1991 novel The Firm, and both after their respective cinematic adaptations. Setting the differences aside, however, key themes emerge from both novels: injury and revenge, the dangers of alcoholism, the desperation of poverty, and, perhaps most importantly, the dynamics of power and powerlessness. Drew Gamble (A Time for Mercy) and Carl Lee Hailey (A Time to Kill) are both on the disadvantaged end of societal scales. This power-distance dynamic does not play out only in the rural American South, but they are quite prominent in this area of the country.

I disliked some of the subplots, especially the marginal appearance of former District Attorney Rufus Buckley, Jake's legal antagonist from a Time to Kill. Though it may have been a bit of fan-service to mention Buckley as a potential election opponent of Judge Omar Noose, it seemed silly to quote Buckley at the end of the novel, giving him a chance to take a swipe at both Jake and the judge. (Not for nothing, the memory that Buckley was portrayed in the movie by a certain disgraced actor made the character's appearance in this novel feel a bit icky.)

Overall, the novel was a fine revisit to Ford County. While not as famous to literary nerds like nearby Yoknapatawpha, Ford County is the home of setting of several of Grisham's works, and the two names are likely to be irrevocably associated in the minds of Grisham's fans. ( )
  mmodine | Apr 28, 2023 |
Clinton, Mississippi, 1990. Jake Brigance finds himself involved in a shooting of a policeman when the court appoints him to defend Drew Gamble, a timid sixteen-year-old boy accused of murdering a local deputy. Many in Clayton want a swift trial and the death penalty, but Jake digs in and discovers that there is more than meets the eye. Jake’s fierce commitment to saving Drew from the gas chamber puts his career, his financial security, and the safety of his family on the line. ( )
  creighley | Mar 21, 2023 |
First edition as new
  dgmathis | Mar 18, 2023 |
Another enjoyable read from Grisham. At 464 pages, perhaps a little long as a result of the many sub/side-plots and characters. The characters and settings were well developed throughout the novel as was the main plot line. ( )
  PhillipThomas | Mar 4, 2023 |
Typical Grisham

A fan of the first Jake Brigance book, A Time to Kill, I had high hopes. Instead of something unique, Grisham chose to mimic the story switching out the black adult, Carl Lee for a 16 year old boy and the child with a sexy but useless mother. Paced well, it's hard not to be engaged with the characters in spite of the similar plot. It's not Grisham's best but for fans of Jake Brigance might be worth reading. ( )
  Jonathan5 | Feb 20, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Grishamprimary authorall editionscalculated
Beck, MichaelReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brauer, CharlesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To the memory of Sonny Mehta Knopf Chairman, Editor in Chief, Publisher
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The unhappy little home was out in the country, some six miles south of Clanton on an old county road that went nowhere in particular.
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Court-appointed lawyer Jake Brigance puts his career, his financial security, and the safety of his family on the line to defend a sixteen-year-old suspect who is accused of killing a local deputy and facing the death penalty.

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Average: (4.02)
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