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review 2017-04-20 17:21
A Time to Kill - John Grisham

My first John Grisham novel was his latest release, The Whistler: a capable, if not entirely thrilling, read. Because I give every author two chances to 'wow' me, I decided to take a stab at Grisham's debut, A Time to Kill.


Wow. Wow wow wow. Was I impressed!


Set in northeastern Mississippi (an area I've ridden through many times, and have a certain affection for), a young black girl is kidnapped and brutally raped by two white rednecks, both career criminals despite only being in their twenties. The two are caught and arrested, but that does not make the girl's pain go away, of course — so her father takes matters into his own hands, and murders the two rapists in cold blood. Jake Brigance, a young lawyer who is desperate for the big time, takes the case despite its daunting nature. What unravels is something that thoroughly impacts the entire fictional town of Clanton, Mississippi, and the reader as well. There is no black or white here, only a world of gray; while most readers can sympathize with the girl's father, was it right of him to murder the men? What is morally justifiable? What role does the court system play in our lives, and even when juries make the 'right' decision, is it still wrong? These are questions Grisham leads the reader to, never fully answering them but instead inspiring thought and meditation. I know I certainly look at the American justice system in a new light after reading this fabulous novel.


This was a journey that had me glued to the pages, and I would have read it much faster had life not intervened. I was shocked by how fleshed out the town of Clanton and its inhabitants really are, in the pages of this weighty story; Grisham is one who can tell a tale, and had that talent from the very beginning . . . as is evident here, in his debut novel. I was not sure what I wanted the final decision to be — guilty, not guilty, mistrial — because of all the twists and turns and new revelations that come to light during this volume's 480-ish pages. That's a good thing. The person who begins reading this novel and the person who finishes this novel aren't the same, not completely; this is one with true potential to impact, all these years later. It really stands up.


John Grisham is one of America's most popular authors, and I can now see why. I cannot wait to work my way through the rest of his releases, but I don't know if any of them can top this one.

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review 2016-10-08 00:00
A Time to Kill
A Time to Kill - John Grisham Great book, originally read it back when the movie came out but reread it again recently. Just as great.
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review 2016-09-03 15:48
The first of many...
A Time To Kill - John Grisham
I am generally a fan of John Grisham, whose books can be relied upon to be well paced, and tap-in to a common curiosity about courtroom dramas. Grisham also seems to often offer a critique of the US legal system, which makes for interesting observations, albeit woven into storylines that frequently hinge on broad social themes, about which he also provides compelling commentary. In this instance the fault-lines between black and white Americans in the southern US forms the backdrop. It is also worth reflecting on the fact that this was Grisham's first novel. By his own admission there are elements of autobiography here and it is possible to discern a certain rawness to his talent that perhaps becomes polished in the following 20+ books. In "A Time to Kill" though, there is a simmering exploration of justice weighed against an understandable and perhaps instinctive desire for revenge, which is ultimately tested before a jury of fellow citizens. By the end I'm sure most of us know which way we'd vote.


Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1521153895
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review 2016-05-14 12:21
Brilliant high octane thriller
The Time to Kill - Mason Cross

I could rave on to you and extol the virtues of this brilliant high octane thriller but why bother as the writing, the book, and the author speaks volumes. I highly rated The Samaritan by Mason Cross and was excited to receive a complimentary copy of "The Time to Kill" from those good folks at netgalley due for release late June here in the UK.


We once again meet Carter Blake, skilled man hunter, and ex special forces operative. Some readers may try to draw similarities between Blake and Jack Reacher but there is no comparison Blake is a much more articulate, intelligent, withdrawn, sensitive individual the total antithesis of Lee Child's Reacher. Blake had an arrangement with "Winterlong" his highly secretive ex employees that in return for not disclosing sensitive information he would be allowed to live a life of seclusion in any way he chose. However the new head of Winterlong, Faraday, is about to break that agreement as she sends out a highly trained group of killers/operatives to deal with the "Blake" problem in the only way she views as appropriate....execution.


This is a thrill a minute ride as Blake attempts to keep one step ahead of the assassins journeying east to his hideaway in New York where surprises await all involved. We also learn a little more of Blake's past as Mason Cross skilfully unravels events that occurred five years previously and expertly weaves this story into the present. This is a modern thriller and yet at times the tension reminded me so much of great stories from the past.....John Buchan's classic The 39 Steps when Richard Hannay is forced to flee north to Scotland hotly perused by a sinister bunch of anti government spies....Marathon Man by William Goldman when Tom "babe" Levy is forced to flee the scurrilous spectre of his father's suicide when a visit from his brother starts an horrific chain of events and the "marathon run" must now run for his life!


So a highly recommended 5 star review from me and I  shall now seek out "The Killing Season" the first in the series and the only Carter Blake adventure I have not yet read. If you enjoy high octane thrills, if you like to burn the midnight oil then I implore you to make the acquaintance of Mr Blake....but be very careful!

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review 2014-11-18 08:59
"Make friends with fear,because it will not go away, and it will destroy you if left uncontrolled.”

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