The Reckoning ~ by John Grisham

I’ve had this on my wish list since it came out and it feels like it’s the right amount of exertion for now, cognitively speaking. I still can’t focus very well for long. And I really enjoy legal crime novels – the thriller part is incidental – and John Grisham is one of the very best. I’ve read quite a number of his novels over the years.

The Reckoning by John Grisham 2018 / 417 pages read by Michael Beck – 17h 36m rating: A – legal crime

Without a word in his own defense, Pete went to jail, saw his lawyer and pleaded not guilty. But Pete would not tell anyone why hd did it. Not the police, not his lawyers, not his wife or his sister or his children.  But son Joel came home anyway.

One day in 1946 Pete Banning drove from his farm outside Clanton, Mississippi into town where he walked over to the home of the Methodist minister and shot him. He’d obviously planned for it and also understood that he would get arrested. He was. And his wife had to go into mental health care. And his children were not allowed to come home from college for awhile.

Everyone has a history – Pete is a WWII war hero who was presumed dead but later turned up when he was released from a prison camp. His wife, Liza and Dexter Bell, the minister and victim of the shooting, had been very friendly during Pete’s absence. Liza had some mental problems shortly after that and now, with Dexter’s murder and Pete’s arrest, she’s back in the hospital.

The premise is interesting, the plot has plenty of twists and mysteries, the writing is clear and succinct. There’s quite a lot of courtroom action in Part 1 but the rest of the book is either flashback to war times or a wind-up of the story.

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