- File Size: 1764 KB
- Print Length: 371 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday (October 15, 2019)
- Publication Date: October 15, 2019
- Sold by: Random House LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07MYLK9FP
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #403 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$29.95|
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The Guardians: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 371 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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From the Publisher
“Grisham again delivers a suspenseful thriller mixed with powerful themes such as false incarceration, the death penalty and how the legal system shows prejudice. The Guardian team of characters is first-rate.”– Associated Press
“With his début, 1989’s A Time to Kill, Grisham established himself as a skilled storyteller, a writer who can nimbly portray complex characters who overcome their fears and flaws to pursue justice. Thirty years later, his authorial prowess glows again in this riveting tale.”—Fredericksburg Free Lance Star
“[Grisham] has created a powerful no-nonsense protagonist that you cannot help rooting for in a story stocked with tension and flavor that will have you flipping the pages to a very satisfying ending.”—Florida Times-Union
“Grisham’s colorful prose is riveting, and the issue is a timely one that can be too easily overlooked…His fictional legal happenings convey a loud and clear ring of veracity.”–Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“The Guardians, the newest legal thriller from John Grisham, a true wizard of the form, is certainly not going to disappoint. Fans of the author are going to find it wholly satisfying.”–Anniston Star
About the Author
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John Grisham has picked a mythical small town in northern Florida to tell us a horrifying tale of a man falsely accused, arrested, and sentenced to death. These small towns exist throughout the United States and are often controlled by a local politician or a wealthy family. Woe be to those who cross these powerful people. I still remember my parents cautioning me from straying off the interstates and stopping in small towns in the 'Deep South'.
The author has written a well-researched novel concerning a small town resident conveniently arrested as a cover to what was happening locally. Some readers may be somewhat 'put off' by the voluminous detail involved in trying to free someone illegally convicted, but I love learning new things when reading. Add in the sword constantly hanging over the falsely convicted prisoner and the fact that there are literally thousands of innocent prisoners currently serving prison terms, and you can't help putting yourself in their places.
This novel is not a "beach read' and requires the reader to pay attention and do some critical thinking. Mr. Grisham describes a badly flawed system that can cause the victim to make the ultimate sacrifice. Cleanly and clearly written, the author provides a thought provoking novel with a deeply disturbing story.
The characters, plot and writing are reminiscent of his earlier books and it was a joy finding that Grisham's talent is not entirely gone. A few circumstances sort "fell into the plot" to make it move faster, granted, but overall I enjoyed the story and found it worthy of all five stars.
If you're a fan of old Grisham, then this is the book for you.
Here, he is at it again invoking private jails, prisons as profit centers for their communities, how "snitches" can be bribed into testifying for prosecutors, the abuse of expert witnesses, FBI investigations, blood stain analysis and experts, and DEA investigative techniques. His central character in the novel, both an Episcopalian priest and lawyer (that collar does come in handy in getting into prisons), works for a small public interest law firm whose mission is to exonerate prisoners who have been wrongfully convicted. It is a small version of the well known Innocence Project. Two million folks are incarcerated, one million employees tend to their needs, and $80 billion is the price tag on all this. An estimated 10% of all prisoners are actually innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted. So it is good that Grisham is bringing these important legal actors to our attention.
I always enjoy Grisham when he is writing about his southern homeland and its legal systems. The novel runs 370 pages, and I certainly enjoyed it, as well as all his other novels. But as the reader nears the conclusion, while interesting, there is no pounding need to keep reading in search of the big Grisham finish as used to be the case. Perhaps this just reflects Grisham's growing stature as a novelist; he doesn't need people jumping out of skyscraper windows and similar devices to hold his readers' interest. A good, solid Grisham legal mystery and informative as well.
Top international reviews
Based loosely on a true case and drawing material from several other actual cases John Grisham has written a disturbing, legal masterpiece illustrating the injustices in the US legal system and how justice can rely abortively on the location of an investigation, trial, appeal and sentencing.
The main story relates to a young black man tried in a predominately white court for the murder of a local white lawyer. The town's sherif has a vested interest in bringing about a guilty verdict at all costs. The young man spends 22 years behind bars until a small, hard up charitable legal team determines to prove his innocence. There are many seemingly insurmountable problems, surprises and side issues along the way. The descriptions of proces are enlightening and always interesting. I shall say no more of the plot and outcome for fear of spoiling any readers enjoyment. Suffice to say that no one will regret time spent reading The Guardians.
A word of advice. I bought the hard back and given the number of characters (almost a cast of hundreds) I was glad that I did for it is so much easier to flip back to check a name or location than it would have been on Kindle.
However, you have to buy it. It's a great story - but chugs along a bit
It does feel though like this is a bit cookie cutter - Grisham can clearly output legal thrillers almost with his eyes shut now, and his other works seem to be the ones that have more interesting characters and plots, exploring other genres. The narrative here is perfunctory and dry - the classic Grisham move of sticking to fact fact fact, and not adding emotion or colour - it does read a bit like it’s being narrated by a neutral lawyer rather than someone passionate.
An enjoyable read, but not particularly anything special - and I am beginning to wonder whether I want to keep investing my time in reading Grisham’s output.
In the main I enjoyed the story line which centres around efforts to obtain legal release for innocent, but wrongfully convicted prisoners usually as the result of bent cops, racial discrimination and perjured testimonies. I also felt that all the characters were well portrayed and credible.
If I were to make one criticism, it would be that I felt the ending was overlong and I began to lose a certain amount of interest. Nevertheless I would still recommend this book as an enjoyable read.