The Confession
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The Confession

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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  33,116 ratings  ·  4,338 reviews
John Grisham delivers his most extraordinary legal thriller yet. Filled with the intriguing twists and turns that have become Grisham’s trademark, this newest novel will prove once again that no one keeps readers in suspense like America’s favorite storyteller.
Travis Boyette is a murderer. In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, he abducted, raped, and strangled a...more
Paperback, 457 pages
Published May 26th 2011 by Arrow (first published January 1st 2010)
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Beth
***If you have not read the book, but intend to, do not read my review.***
I loved the first half of the book because of the race to correct an injustice - to do the right thing. I hated the second half of the book because they didn't make it on time. Donte Drumm, an innocent man, was put to death because of the need of the racists in his town to exact revenge. And that happens in real life, not just in books. Innocent people are put to death and the state just basically says, "oops". That is nev...more
Molly
Dunno why he even bothered having a plot to this book, the veil over the pontificating isn't even thin. This book is basically a treatise on why the Death Penalty is eviller than anything man ever ever did I swear to you really, it's bad nasty evil. It's even got the balls to try to make you actively sneer at and hate the mother of a brutally murdered rape victim. As unfair and unbalanced as FOX news. Grisham is a good writer and draws you into a story, and while his books often have a ham-hande...more
Stacy
I feel so cynical, but seriously at times I felt like I was reading a political persuasion book, not a novel---"forget the story for a moment: let me persuade you to oppose the death penalty then we will go back to what happens next in the story"...

Ever notice that all those on the left were painted as great protaganists with kindness, honor and glory and those on the right were made out to be selfish, stupid pigs that wouldn't lift a finger for anyone but themeselves? OK, maybe that's a little...more
Johnrh
Read The Confession. As in 'red', past tense, or 'reed', you read this. I'm referring to John Grisham's The Confession: A Nove l, published in 2010. I devoured it over a 48 hour period, fast reading for me, but it was a page turner and page burner. Totally engrossing. Only once, briefly, did I think "Oh yeah, another Grisham novel". Multiple story lines, where will they converge? Grisham is a master at this. He can weave a taut tale, getting into a character's being and making him seem very real...more
Eric_W
The problem with reading clubs is that occasionally someone suggests a dud and one feels forced to finish the book out of courtesy to the other participants. That's what happened here.

I abhor the death penalty. I approve of Grisham's message 100%, but my goodness this book is repetitive and tedious. Not to mention I felt bruised and battered by being hit over the head constantly by the message. I listened to it and found the FF button to be incredibly useful. The irony was I could fast forward 1...more
Rex Hammock
Something about Grisham novels make them my go-to books for reading on flights -- his expertise is pacing, I've decidied This is pure soapbox Grisham -- an anti death penalty diatrabe. However, I think anyone who's ever watched a few episodes of Law and Order could have done a better job keeping the accused off death row. [Later: Okay, I've added an extra star to this book since reading this article in the New Yorker from 2009 about Cameron Todd Willingham. Apparently the Texas criminal justice...more
Pamela
When you pick up a Grisham book it’s like taking a big gamble. I find his books to be either amazing or just plain awful. For me this one leans towards the latter.

I’m not going to go into too much detail about what the novel is about as there are plenty of reviews already written about it. I will say that this novel deals with the highly controversial issue of the Death Penalty.

I have to say that this book did not move slowly but fast. Too fast at times. Grisham goes back and forth from the pr...more
J
Very disappointing. Grisham has some writing power, but he uses it for evil in this book... liberal lawyer nonsense at its finest. An innocent man that the system failed is on death row, while Grisham's heros struggle to bring truth and justice to light. And it is a black man wrongfully accused of attacking a pretty white woman to boot. As offensive as it is cliche.

My editorial: Lawyers aren't the good guys - especially defense lawyers (i.e. Jeffrey Figer) - they are educated criminals in suits...more
Duffy Pratt
Grisham is an astonishingly lazy writer. This from the Author's Note at the end of the book:

"Some overly observant readers may stumble across a fact or two that might appear to be in error. They may consider writing me letters to point out my shortcomings. They should conserve paper. There are mistakes in this book, as always, and as long as I continue to loathe research, while at the same time remaining perfectly content to occasionally dress up the facts, I'm afraid the mistakes will continue....more
Angela
If you're in the mood to read 400+ pages of liberal preaching, then go ahead and pick this book up.

I usually love John Grisham's brand of legal thrillers. I heard this was going to be his best work since "The Firm" and was very excited to read it. However, the preaching ruined it for me.

Every character that was on the "right" was painted to be an absolute idiot, a bad person, a naive moron, etc. Every character on the "left" was painted to be the most intelligent individual anyone has ever come...more
Matthew
John Grisham took an unfortunate approach in his effort to use fiction to turn his readers against the death penalty. I have nothing against didactism in fiction if it's well done, and I'm not resistant to the political position Grisham clearly hopes his readers will take, but this novel ultimately fails in its obvious mission to persuade readers to oppose capital punishment. It may have the opposite effect.

The problem is that his cast of characters -- a black Texas high school football star co...more
James Thane
In The Appeal, John Grisham took on the important issue of electing state judges and allowing them to collect huge campaign contributions from people and institutions who might have business before the courts to which they are elected. Now, in The Confession, he takes on an even more important issue in the death penalty.

Keith Schroeder, a Lutheran minister in Kansas, is working in his study one morning when Travis Boyette, a career criminal currently out on parole and residing in a local half-wa...more
Beth
Very enjoyable and exciting thriller. I actually gasped out loud twice during this book, and I never got bored reading it. I haven't read a Grisham novel in years - - - I really liked this and found it to be an engrossing and quick read.

Appleblossom45
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘It’s very simple. You have the car, the gas, the driver’s licence. I have nothing but the truth.’

Less than a week before the scheduled execution of Donté Drumm, convicted ten years ago for a murder he did not commit, the real killer steps forward. Travis Boyette, a convicted serial rapist on parole, approaches Keith Schroeder (a Christian minister) in Topeka and confesses to the murder. Boyette has an inoperable brain tumour, and feels bad about sending an innocent man to his death.

Reluctantly...more
J
***Please note: this review contains spoilers***

The subject matter of this disturbing book is the death penalty – more specifically, wrongful prosecution and the miscarriage of justice.

It is a story about a serial sex offender whose life is allegedly coming to an end because of an inoperable brain tumor. His confession, which could exonerate a young black man - erroneously accused, convicted and doomed to die in Huntsville, Texas - comes too late.

Here is what the book made me think about:

When we...more
Evyn Charles
IMHO skip this book.
It nothing but cheap cliches about anti death penalty arguments. No nuances here: Death penalty=bad and inexcusable in all cases.
Granted, many death row inmates have been later exonerated with DNA evidence, etc.
There was the potential for a thoughtful anti death penalty argument here; however, this book is not it.
It is painted with way too broad a brush, none of the characters are sympathetic. Research time seems to have been zero.
The story--if you can call it that--describes...more
Andrew
Loved it. As a criminal defense attorney, I appreciated Grisham's expression of certain insights into how criminal justice actually works. It's far from perfect. Innocent people do get arrested, convicted, even executed. Innocent people do make false confessions. When defense attorneys lose, they often do suffer the burden of second-guessing their strategies and tactics. I myself have not tried a capital (death penalty) case, but I have assisted at a murder trial which resulted in a sentence of...more
Paula
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alain Burrese
There is one thing for certain, John Grisham knows how to tell a story. I've enjoyed Grisham's novels for years, and "The Confession" was no exception. I really enjoyed reading this story. It was well paced, had interesting characters, and flowed very well. It was just a well told story, and one that kept you interested from the beginning to the very end. Like most of his books, it is an easy read, but one that also makes you want to read the next chapter to see what's coming next and what's goi...more
Elizabeth Noah Astle
The story starts out with a pastor named Keith, who is visited by Travis. Travis who has a history with being on the wrong side of the law confesses to Keith that he killed a girl named Nicole. Donte Drumm was convicted in court of being the murder of Nicole.

This story takes you through Keith's thoughts on what to do about the confession, about Travis and his role in scheduled execution of Donte, and of Robbie, the attorney who represents Donte.

Robbie is fighting like crazy with the eleventh hou...more
Barbara Mitchell
It isn't often I have a chance to read John Grisham, but when I do, I really enjoy his books. This one had me sitting on the edge of my seat since the clock was ticking as a crusading lawyer, a minister, and an ex-con tried desperately to keep Texas from executing an innocent man.


Both side of the controversy are very well represented and the Texas propensity for executing criminals without too much public angst is featured prominently. Given that the prisoner on death row is black and the town h...more
Michael
Just as he did with his non-fiction work, "An Innocent Man," John Grisham clearly has an agenda with "The Confession."

Whereas "Man" was about an innocent finding justice and freedom after years of incarceration, "The Confession" asks the question of just what might happen if an innocent man were sent to death row.

Four days before Donté Drumm is set to die for the murder of popular cheerleader, Travis Boyette walks into the office of a Lutheran minister in Topeka, Kansas and says he knows the re...more
Emily Sims Ritter
For 2/3 of this book, Grisham had me. I am a huge fan of his earlier books (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Runaway Jury, etc.), but his books the last five or years have disappointed. I haven't picked up a Grisham novel in quite a while, but the plot of "The Confession" grabbed my interest--a young black man is set to be executed in Texas, and the real killer is ready to confess. The police and prosecutors don't want to hear that they have the wrong man, and it's up to the defense attorney and...more
Book'd
Jul 22, 2013 Book'd rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not sure whom!
Recommended to Book'd by: The Title
An innocent man is about to be executed. Only a guilty man can save him.

When? Who? What?

But this never happened ! The innocent guy gets mercilessly executed while the criminal is still on the loose, hiding away. It is only when he realizes that he's got terminal brain tumor and will die soon anyway, that he thinks of THE CONFESSION, a change of his heart a little too late!! Painfully with tear-brimming eyes, I braced and watched(I could feel it) Donte getting executed, for nothing, spending ever...more
Max Ostrovsky
Parts of this book seemed to borrow the best elements of Grisham's "The Rainmaker," but leaving out everything bad about that book.

In my classroom, I've worked through my entire set of Grisham books that were donated. Now complete with what I have, I really don't get his popularity. Of course, I get the page-turner appeal, but aside from this one, it was only "The Client" that didn't have some aspect that rubbed me the wrong way.

Grisham, as a writer, I believe got better. Out of the two decade...more
Mollie
Another captivating read by Grisham. Some pretty dark subject matter handled fairly delicately. I was grateful for the allusions to sexual assault without the graphic play by play that some crime novels like to give. I just can't read that crap. Hurts my heart.

Grisham is obviously Anti-Death penalty and writes from that perspective-can be a little soap-box-y at times, but since I generally agree with his standpoint it wasn't tedious for me. To be fair I was very pro death until I read his other...more
Pamela
Mar 24, 2014 Pamela rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one at all
There was so much wrong with this book, and so little right with it that it's difficult to find a place to start the review. Although I am anti-death penalty and liberal and should have been Grisham's chosen choir to preach to, I couldn't finish the thing. It was beyond ridiculous.

Every character on the defendant's side was good. All the others--even the victim's mother--were horribly, horribly bad. Example: Mother of the victim blubbers when she cries. When mother of defendant cries, her "tear...more
Lisa Martin
I eagerly started reading this book knowing that Grisham always writes a good read. I had no idea that it had outdone himself this time.

The story is captivating from the very beginning and kept me almosts breathless with suspense as the story built and built. I am proud to say I have mastered the urge to skip ahead and see what happens, but on this book, I just about relapsed into that habit.

Also, for the first time ever reading Grisham, I was reduced to tears at the end of the second section. I...more
Debby
WOW! This is one fast paced, intensely suspenseful, hot button pushing book! I was hooked from the first page to the last.
The Confession is about a 18-year- old black man falsely accused and convicted of the rape and murder of a young white female high school classmate in the small town of Sloan Texas. Dante was sentenced to death row in Texas. Texas in #1 in the country for inmates spending the least amount of time between being sent to death row and their day of execution and many in the stat...more
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Who else felt deflated after Donte died? 53 304 Jul 22, 2014 03:11PM  
Good book on the flaws of our justice system 2 13 Feb 17, 2014 03:55PM  
What is your favorite Grisham novel? 19 80 Jan 31, 2014 09:50PM  
Need Help ( would appreciate it! ) 14 38 Nov 23, 2013 07:41AM  
Calumet City Publ...: November 2012 Book Club Selection 1 1 Jan 30, 2013 09:01AM  
spoiler 1 27 Aug 19, 2012 11:25PM  
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721
"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
More about John Grisham...
A Time to Kill (Jake Brigance, #1) The Firm The Client The Pelican Brief The Runaway Jury

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“He's a two-faced, cutthroat, dirt-dumb, chicken shit, slimy, little bastard with a bright future in politics.” 37 likes
“Death row is a nightmare to serial killers and ax murderers. For an innocent man, it's a life of mental torture that the human spirit is not equipped to survive.” 31 likes
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