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The Confession: A Novel

by John Grisham

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,7611352,575 (3.71)1 / 55
When Travis Boyette is paroled because of inoperable brain tumor, for the first time in his life, he decides to do the right thing and tell police about a crime he committed and another man is about to be executed for.
  1. 00
    Moment of Truth by Lisa Scottoline (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: If you like dramatic and suspenseful legal thrillers in which an attorney must prove the obvious untrue, you may like The Confession and Moment of Truth. Additionally, the difficulty of manipulating opinion plays into both stories.

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English (128)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (134)
Showing 1-5 of 128 (next | show all)
In 1998 Travis Boyette abducted, raped and strangled a high school cheerleader. He buried her body so it would never be found, and then watched as Donte Drumm, a local football star, was convicted. Nine years have passed and Donte is four days away from execution. Travis suffers an inoperable brain tumor and decides to confess to the murder. But how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges and politicians that they are about to execute an innocent man?
  BLTSbraille | Sep 10, 2021 |
  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |
I always like Grisham's books, and never hesitate to recommend them to others. The Confession is no different. However, I recognize that there is a potentially polarizing theme to the book, e.g., the death penalty. Like Politics or Religion, the death penalty brings out emotions in people, and if the book doesn't support your point of view, you may give it an unfavorable rating, since it's often hard to listen to the other side of an argument on emotional and polarizing issues. So if you're a strong supporter of the death penalty, you may scoff at the book as the ramblings of a left-leaning, soft on crime liberal lawyer. If you're neutral on the death penalty, or against the death penalty, I would imagine you'll truly enjoy the book and support Grisham's theme.
Clearly, Grisham points out the negative sides of the death penalty in the book. However, while fiction, the ideas Grisham introduces are not far removed from the facts. Most all studies do point out that death penalty cases and convictions are (surprisingly) several times more expensive to the States than life prison terms without parole. So the economic argument for the death penalty doesn't hold up, and Grisham makes that point. And the fact that the book takes place in Texas, as opposed to the frequent locale of Mississippi for Grisham, is certainly no accident. Texas by itself accounts for almost as many executions as all the other states put together. And Grisham makes a special point about wrongful deaths or executing the innocent, and unfortunately, that does happen than we'd like to admit. When I wondered about it, and looked it up, I found that there have been over 130 death row inmates exonerated since 1973. I imagine all were not choir boys, but even if only half were truly innocent and were absolved from a conviction based on subsequent reviews, evidence, or information, it's a lot. Some of these cases in true life reversals are every bit as moving as the Grisham novel, and the curious might enjoy searching out Illinois ex-Governor George Ryan's speech on the death penalty sponsored by the University of Chicago Divinity School and The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life in his state, and why he imposed a moratorium on the death penalty. He found 13 examples in his state of wrongful death-penalty convictions, cases where over zealous prosecution teams used questionable tactics to close a case and obtain a conviction, only to have subsequent irrefutable evidence come to light and prove the convicted person was innocent. Scott Turow's book, Ultimate Punishment, is also an informative look at the death penalty and how he came to oppose it. Turow has been both a prosecutor and defense lawyer, so his views on capital punishment are the result of agonizing over the subject from both sides of the bench.

So Grisham's book, while fiction, does have historical bases to draw from as real life examples. So in that light, in addition to being another well written and engaging novel, it does give the reader something to think about, assuming the reader is open to examining both sides of the death penalty issue. ( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
Classic Grisham - suspenseful, quick-read ( )
  elifra | Apr 19, 2021 |
I gave up on this book halfway through as it was interminably dull. I couldn't warm to any of the characters, and as this was the first Grisham book I have read, it would not encourage me to read any othes ( )
  dolly22 | Jul 9, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 128 (next | show all)
There’s a lot of padding in “The Confession.” The story’s outcome is invested with surprisingly little suspense. And the climactic moments play out long before the book is over. So this is a solid yet sluggish novel that is not one of Mr. Grisham’s barnburners.

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Grishamprimary authorall editionscalculated
Sowers, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Heyne (40949)
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When Travis Boyette is paroled because of inoperable brain tumor, for the first time in his life, he decides to do the right thing and tell police about a crime he committed and another man is about to be executed for.

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