Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sycamore Row

Sycamore Row is the latest offering from legal fiction juggernaut John Grisham. I have read lots of his work in the past and was looking forward to revisiting the characters from A Time to Kill. This story follows Jake Brigance, a few years after his groundbreaking trial chronicled in that book.


Good Reads' Synopsis: "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?"

What I Thought: As I read, I kept waiting for things to really get going and they just never really did. I suppose it was more about the journey to the trial than the actual trial itself. Grisham also showed too many details of the twist too early on and I figured it out well before it was revealed. That never happens to me and I didn't like it. I prefer the element of pure surprise. It was a clever little story but if you're looking for a meaty drama, this is not it. If you haven't read A Time to Kill, check out that one first. Or any of his other earlier books.

Rating: * * 1/2

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