Nov 17, 11
Read in November, 2011
This book is a hard one to rate.
On one hand, I was so completely enraptured by this novel, and, in many ways, that's the highest praise a book can receive. It was entertaining and thought-provoking throughout. I loved the main protagonist, Reverend Keith Schroeder. He was a dynamic character, and acted with bravery despite the potential consequences. I also really enjoyed the lawyer Robbie Flak; we all know people like that who could be your greatest friend or your worst enemy, depending on perspective.
However, there was a downside. For a thriller, this book had basically no twists or turns. All initial impressions I had regarding the plot and the characters were 100% correct and unchanging. Also, I think the theme is a little too heavy-handed. Clearly Grisham is against the death penalty, but it was so one-sided that it made me want to mentally compensate for the "villains" back the other way (it's worth noting that, based on the prose, the actual murderer is only about the 10th most evil character).
This was a good book and well-worth reading, but I think "The Confession" would have been better if it had a more even perspective throughout, and Grisham's message could have still been just as strong, if not stronger, if the full impact of the injustice was revealed closer to the end.