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Sycamore Row (Jake Brigance #2)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  79,338 Ratings  ·  8,527 Reviews
Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlie ...more
Hardcover, 447 pages
Published October 22nd 2013 by Doubleday
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Barbara Huxley Typically, yes I do. If I like the author's style, flair and storytelling, I will continue with them. On the whole, John Grisham has been a pleasure,…moreTypically, yes I do. If I like the author's style, flair and storytelling, I will continue with them. On the whole, John Grisham has been a pleasure, along with Michael Connelly and Jodie Picoult. There many others, and some of their books are better than others. But for me, it's like that old shoe relationship, comfortable, warm and known.(less)
Julie Adams This book stands on it's own as a powerful read. Reading "A Time To Kill" is not needed in any way. You will find yourself thinking about this book…moreThis book stands on it's own as a powerful read. Reading "A Time To Kill" is not needed in any way. You will find yourself thinking about this book long after you have finished it.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 30, 2013 Dan rated it liked it
Now, I know I'll probably get bashed for this, but this is one boring read. For me personally, it would actually be a 2.5-star rating as Grisham's writing is commendable, but he has written so much better stuff. Firstly, I didn't see why this had to be set back in the late eighties (did so many people really have car phones back then?) and although I read A Time to Kill, to which this has been dubbed a sequel of sorts, I read it more than 15 years ago and remember it being a lot better than this ...more
Oct 12, 2013 Miles rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
Reading the first fifty pages of Sycamore Row I experienced two very different emotions. Firstly, and I can’t remember this happening before, I couldn’t help but grin as I lost myself in every page, in fact I wasn’t aware I was grinning until I heard my mobile ringing and looked away from the book – smiling! The second emotion was anger. Not of Grisham’s writing, his narrative or style, but Seth’s distant family. Racist, obnoxious, opinionated and just plain vile – you can’t help but feel for Le ...more
Maggie Della Rocca
Dec 04, 2013 Maggie Della Rocca rated it it was ok
This review has spoilers.

I could not believe how dull this book was. I haven't read a Grisham novel for several years and although I often had issues with his plot lines, his books generally held my interest. The story is absorbing at the start when a wealthy man in Clanton, Ford County hangs himself in a very deliberate and planned fashion. There is no question about his death, but there are a lot of questions about his estate. Days before his suicide, he changed his will, cut off his children
Susanne Strong
Mar 19, 2017 Susanne Strong rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Seth Hubbard was a wealthy white man. He was also dying of lung cancer. After months of suffering, he decided he’d had enough, so he planned his own suicide and one of his workers finds Seth hanging from a Sycamore tree, on his own property, in Clanton, Mississippi. Before his death, Seth Hubbard leaves a suicide note, with burial instructions. He also re-did his will, the day before, having researched the laws in the State of Mississippi. Seth Hubbard knew that the hand written will, drafted by ...more
Andrew Smith
Jan 10, 2014 Andrew Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read the precursor to this book, A Time to Kill, but don't remember much about it - it was a long time ago. What I do know is that this is a brilliantly crafted courtroom drama in it's own right. It's worth reading whether you caught ATtK or not. Having recently read another excellent courtroom yarn, in Michael Connelly's latest offering The Gods of Guilt, I had little hope this would compare favourably. I was wrong, it's as good if not better.

I love the Deep South setting and the character
Reading Corner
This was my first John Grishaw book and I never read the first book in this series, A Time To Kill but I was pretty disappointed after reading this book. Many reviews and some of my friends rated this as a definite must-read, highly praising the plot but I found many parts boring. The story wasn't very gripping as it's a story about the legal struggle over the legitimacy of a will. Seth Hubbard hangs himself, leaving a newly written will which leaves a massive sum of money to his housekeeper an ...more
Wow! Grisham is back with another excellently written stunner. A smart, fast moving story about the legality of a Holographic Will. The sudden suicide of a family's Patriarch and his twenty-four hour old, handwritten Will, have his family up in arms when it is revealed that he has left millions to his black maid. Jake Brigance and the, "Time to Kill", original gang return with another southern, court room, roller coaster.

Jake Brigance is a handsome, lawyer who has a reputation for his ability t
Patrice Hoffman
Oct 10, 2013 Patrice Hoffman rated it liked it
Initially I wasn't going to write a review for this forgettable novel but surprisingly I couldn't forget it. No, Sycamore Row is not a great followup to A Time to KIll. It doesn't even compare to Grisham's The Chamber. Neither does it compare to the one that Tom Cruise starred in. I can't remember the name at this time... but we all know which one I'm talking about. I'm pretty much a die-hard Grisham fan so I will not filter this review. He can afford to get one semi-rant-hateful-disjointed revi ...more
Luanne Ollivier
Nov 19, 2013 Luanne Ollivier rated it it was amazing
Twenty five years ago, the initial print run of John Grisham's first novel, A Time to Kill, was 5000 copies. His second novel propelled him onto the bestseller lists - where every subsequent novel has landed.

In his latest novel, Sycamore Row, Grisham takes us back to Clanton, Mississippi and his first character - 'street lawyer' Jake Brigance. Three years ago, in 1985, Jake successfully defended a black man accused of murder - the murder of the white rapists of his ten year old daughter. The tr
Nov 01, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing
If you have read A Time To Kill and enjoyed it, you will almost certainly enjoy Sycamore Row. All of the characters rerun from the first book. Jake Brigance a lawyer who at times seems to be in way over his head. Lucien his his alcoholic landlord and somewhat mentor. His pal and fellow lawyer Harry Rex, and Ozzie the sherif of Ford county.
The story is about a handwritten will written by a man named Seth Hubbard done so the day before he hangs himself and whether the will is valid or if the one h
Dec 05, 2013 Jenna rated it did not like it
this book is very slow and boring. I am a die hard fan of john grisham and was deeply disappointed.
Dec 22, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who feel sick when contemplating racial injustice
4.5 stars. I love Grisham when he is on top of his game. The beginning was wonderful, 5 stars all the way. The middle was a little long in places. But when Grisham writes courtroom scenes, I can see and hear everything. I feel it in my gut, the way he writes it. I just love it. Ending also, five stars all the way.

I also want to add that the last 30 pages of this book are worth the price of admission. Even if you don't think courtroom thrillers are your thing, I think you should give this book a
Nov 30, 2013 Connie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
I was pleased to revisit Jake Brigance, who is one of my favorite Grisham lawyers as well as his colorful group of friends (and foes). This is a good story, a few twists and turns, but maybe a bit too predictable all in all. Grisham has done better courtroom drama, but he is still a master at building characters and telling their stories. Expected to love this....but it fell a bit short. Still, it is a Grisham story and always a dependable and enjoyable read.
Nov 30, 2014 Frances rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: past-favourites
A Good Story!
This is quite a good story especially if you are interested in a career as a lawyer. There is a lot of detail on preparing for the trial, seeking witnesses, and the actual trial itself. I was captivated right at the beginning and found it to be an easy satisfying read right to the end.

Oct 22, 2013 Cortana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
John Grisham, one of the most popular novelists of our time, first comes to prominence in 1988 with "A Time to Kill”, a story set in a small town called Clanton, Mississippi, about a ten-year-old black girl raped and disfigured by two whites, of an incensed father who takes the law into his own hands, killing the two rapists in a courthouse shooting, and of the young but sharp defense lawyer Jake Brigance who saved him from the gas chamber.

Twenty-five years later, John Grisham brings back Jake B
Nov 04, 2013 Stewart rated it really liked it
I knew Grisham had it in him. He's a hell of a writer of popcorn legal fiction, but his last several novels were uncharacteristically awful. Cranking out his first adult-fiction sequel was a good move, even if he chose his lackluster "A Time to Kill" as the source material. ATtK was reprinted after The Firm became an international best seller. It was a below-average legal thriller with a patently ridiculous climax, but folks were hungry for more Grisham, so it sold well and eventually got turned ...more
Oct 28, 2013 Lawrence rated it it was amazing
This was one of the best books by John Grisham that I've read. I highly "recommend" it to anyone that enjoys the writing of JG. To the few people who have not read John Grisham, this title would be a good place to start. This book deals with subjects that effect our lives today: love, lies, greed, racism, hatred, revenge....all woven together in an absorbing story.
Jen Boner
Dec 03, 2013 Jen Boner rated it liked it
The story was interesting. I thought it was really wordy. Every character was introduced and explained in much detail. It got to be a bit much at times. Some parts dragged. Some things were repeated too often. I wanted to know the ending but didn't always enjoy the journey.
Dec 14, 2013 Marialyce rated it it was amazing
Shelves: december-2013
From my five star rating, I guess you would know I loved this book. This was the author, John Grisham, that I once loved. He was back in full swing with a fast moving wonderful story with a cast of characters that we grew to love and appreciate in Grisham's A Time to Kill.

I believe it is always wonderful to see an author return to his or her roots, the things that made them special and gave readers a thrill to have read them. In this book, Grisham shows what a wonderful storyteller he is as he
Sep 10, 2013 ☮Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-media-mall
As the executor of a dear aunt’s estate, I have lately become an unwilling student of the long drawn-out process known as probate. I’m also all too familiar with the vulture-like reactions to death that some families (mine!) can exhibit, with the snooping through drawers and files of the recently deceased, and the siblings who stop talking to each other until the next time they assemble for another funeral, and the whole process starts anew. With only memorabilia or an occasional antique at stak ...more
Dec 06, 2013 Vijai rated it really liked it
John Grisham is that promise of quick, pacy and excellent court room dramas. In his latest, he delivers on that promise and a little more. My thoughts.

What I liked:

One, the pacy read. I know, a lot of reviews by fellow GR'ians say otherwise but I ask, what good court room drama can be written with lopsided or one-swoop wins? none; because unlike what bad writers tend to do, John Grisham knows that battle of wits and stratagem are won by the inches and millimeters. So, if you as a reader are o
Don't bother. The usual 'rescuing' mentality at play.
Nov 13, 2013 Watchingthewords rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, library, mystery, 2013
I was a little worried when I sat down to read Grisham’s latest which returns to the setting of A Time to Kill, Clanton, Mississippi and lawyer Jake Brigance. Since A Time to Kill is probably my personal favorite Grisham novel, I was excited to return to those characters, but I was also worried it wouldn’t live up to the first, sequels are rarely as good as the original. Of course it didn’t live up to the original, I didn’t really expect that it would, but it came much closer that I could have h ...more
Oct 15, 2016 Debbie rated it did not like it
Who in the whole world does John Grisham think he is?! I always call it like I see it. You might not want to read this review but it's the bitter honest truth. Here goes... SPOILERS & Anger
This book started out okay. I thought I was glad to see Jake Brigance after so many years from the Time to Kill book and movie. But this Jake, I don't even know who this was? This book in fact turned into something that ticked me off to no end.
I thought this was going to be another courtroom drama based
Feb 03, 2016 Efka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, romanai
Kad Grisham'as man patinka ir aš jo skaitau daug, turbūt nėra didelė paslaptis ir turbūt nieko pernelyg nenustebins. Nuo pat pirmos jo parašytos knygos, kurią perskaičiau, nors net nebeatsimenu, kuri tai buvo, tos knygos man tiko, patiko, gerai skaitėsi ir buvo įdomios, tad ko daugau norėti.

"Metas žudyti", pati pirmoji Grishamo knyga ir, formaliai žiūrint, šios knygos priešistorė (nors pats autorius teigia, kad Jovarų takas nėra tęsinys, tiesiog tai kita istorija, kurioje daug tų pačių veikėjų
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

3.5 Stars

Coming off the trial of the century, Jake Brigance thought he would finally realize his dream of becoming a rich and famous trial lawyer. Fast-forward three years and Jake finds himself still struggling with the same nickel and dime cases he was handling before Carl Lee Hailey walked into his life. There is a chance that will change when reclusive millionaire Seth Hubbard ends his own life rather than waiting for cancer to kil
Nov 13, 2013 Sidna rated it really liked it
Although it has become popular to bash John Grisham and say that he doesn't have it any more, I LOVED this book. For me the test of a book is if you get lost in it and don't want to put it down. When I find myself wanting to read just one more chapter even though it is after midnight and I need to get up early in the morning, I feel the book is a success. This book certainly did it for me.

The book has been labeled a sequel to Grisham's first big hit, "A Time to Kill." It isn't a sequel as much a
Oct 25, 2013 Ware rated it it was amazing
Dead people make great subjects for novelists and for lawyers. In fact an entire genre-mystery- is devoted to the newly departed. In my profession an entire speciality-probate-is similarly dependent on the newly dead.

John Grisham is a lawyer and a mystery writer. Among my peers at the trial bar, one novel A Time To Kill has achieved iconic status. That is because Jake Brigance thinks and acts like a real trial lawyer and the pace of the buildup to the trial and the events in the courtroom are se
Jun 26, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Grisham welcomes the reader back to Clanton, Mississippi for another visit with Jake Brigance, small-town lawyer. Using his first ever sequel novel (setting aside the young adult series) to take the reader back into the sweltering streets of a racially divided town that's made little progress since the Carl-Lee Haley case three years before, Grisham reminds the reader why Clanton is the ideal setting for a novel. When Seth Hubbard commits suicide, there appears to be little left to do besides pr ...more
Oct 27, 2013 Bames rated it it was amazing
I love Grisham and I have always enjoyed reading his books. Though there are some that I like more than others, I generally eagerly await his new books.

Sycamore Row's story is set in Clanton, Mississippi. A man named Seth Hubbard hanged himself from a Sycamore tree. He was a very wealthy man who had been suffering from lung cancer. He was found hanging by his employee who he had called to meet him one Saturday afternoon.

The following Monday, Jack Brigance received a letter from Seth Hubbard wh
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Who is the best author of lawyer/courtroom drama novels? 36 868 Dec 07, 2016 10:41AM  
Play Book Tag: Sycamore Row / John Grisham. 4.5 stars 1 14 Oct 20, 2016 08:49PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Book cover missing! 2 13 Aug 04, 2016 06:59PM  
Whoa, isn't this the plot of The Testament? 2 85 Apr 11, 2016 09:55PM  
Legal Thrillers 2 38 Apr 11, 2016 09:54PM  
I read A Time to Kill and Sycamore Row back to back 3 23 Apr 06, 2016 08:20AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Some issues with Sycamore Row by John Grisham 3 85 Jan 20, 2016 01:43AM  
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"Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of
More about John Grisham...

Other Books in the Series

Jake Brigance (2 books)
  • A Time to Kill

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“Ethics are determined by what they catch you doing. If you don’t get caught, then you haven’t violated any ethics.” 12 likes
“They found Seth Hubbard in the general area where he had promised to be, though not exactly in the condition expected. He was at the end of a rope, six feet off the ground and twisting slightly in the wind.” 10 likes
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