This book has been around the UK since last year, but for some reason or another it has passed my attention several times. I finally did pick up a copy, and boy was I in for an emotional trip.
Fans of legal thrillers would already be quite familiar with Grisham, this being his 19th book. As usual, Grisham keeps a simplistic writing style, not, using an English slang, "bodging" up the flow of the narration with extravagant words.
Rather, he lets the characters and story express the emotions and details by themselves, using extracts from the trials and accounts of words spoken by the characters. In fact, he seems to have a toned down style of narration, keeping to a very business-like, straight-to-the-point method of relaying the story. He even occasionally adds a small paragraph to explain the judical system and how it affects the story.
The entire book plays out like a courtroom testimonial. This heightened the reality of the story and puts me, the reader into gripping the edge of my seat and wanting to know fact after fact after fact.
And speaking of the reality of the story, this book is based, nay, it IS a written account of a true story. The story is harrowing. From the first chapter until the end it tells of the downfall of man, and the struggles of several real people going through a tormented life experience, faulted by himself and by society. It also tells of great love and care, the bond of siblings and people who share the same fate, and how much people will fight to stand for the truth. The inclusion of photos in the centerfold (something I have always liked) adds to the human factor in the story. No synopsis here, I don't want to spoil the story.
I was reading the book on a long train trip, and it reached a point where I just had to stop and breathe - the story had overwhelmed me.
At the end of the book, I really did shed a tear. It was all over, and the journey through it gave me a different perspective and insight on the appreciation of life and freedom. Highly recommended, especially for those interested in human stories and law.