The author John Grisham takes readers on a trip to Deep South in 1946 in "The Reckoning." The main character, Pete Banning, was a prisoner of war during World War II. He was assumed dead at a time, so when he came home, the whole city celebrated. It makes it all the more shocking when he leads to his church one morning and kills Rev. Dexter Bell. He does nothing to hide the murder, so it is not a surprise when arrested.

Banning defender requires answers to why he shot Bell, but he refuses to talk. He does not want to argue madness, and he answers every question with, "I have nothing to say." His family has no idea what happened to such a drastic action, but he will not even talk to his wife and child. There is a suspicion that Bell might have been a little too kind to Banning's wife while Pete was abroad.

The search for justice is just the beginning of this southern family history. Readers who expect Grisham's common themes for justice and corrupt lawyers will not be disappointed, but he does so much more this time. Grisham takes a snapshot of a chaotic time and shows the world of justice and the lack of equality for all and sweeps it into a family-run package.

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John Grisham


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