I didn’t read John Grisham’s A Time to Kill, but I did watch the movie years ago, and I do know that it was one of the most popular novels of our time – anyone who enjoys legal thrillers knows the title. Now, 25 years later, Grisham returns us to that famous courthouse in Clanton. Jake Brigance once again finds himself embroiled in a fiercely controversial trial-a trial. One that will expose old racial tensions and force Ford County to confront its tortured history.
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 earlier.
The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly? And what does it all have to do with a piece of land once known as Sycamore Row?
In Sycamore Row, John Grisham returns to the setting and the compelling characters that first established him as America’s favorite storyteller. While I found it a slow read at the beginning, I powered through and understood why this is being called Grisham’s “most assured and thrilling novel yet.” I became anxious to discover how it all ended, and was tickled that I heard Matthew McConaughey’s voice every time Jake Brigance was speaking.
Sycamore Row is a powerful testament to the fact that Grisham remains the master of the legal thriller.
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As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.