Unwritten Epilogues – A Time to Kill

22 05 2009

Title: A Time to Kill

Author: John Grisham

Publication Date: 1989

Publisher: Wynwood (original); Doubleday (hardcover); Dell (softcover)

Genre(s): Drama / Courtroom / Murder

Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, is one of his best. Slow to take off with publishers, it has now been made into a full length motion picture, which I consider one of the best films I’ve ever seen.

Set in the fictional town of Clanton, Mississippi, the story begins with the brutalĀ  rape and attempted murder of a 10-year old African-American girl, Tonya Hailey. Her father – Carl Lee – determined not to allow the men to go free, shoots the accused as they are escorted from their courtroom appearance. Sophomoric (yet talented) lawyer Jake Brigance is hired by Hailey to take on the most important case in the country in years. The odds are stacked against the defendent and the young lawyer, and if extremist groups have their way neither will live to see the end of the trial.

A racially charged, whirlwind of a novel, A Time to Kill, is an absolute must-read. You will find yourself on the other side of the bar, sitting in the jury box and weighing the facts. A life is on the line…guilty or not guilty?

I recommend John Grisham’s A Time to Kill with a 8.9 out of 10 score.