Tuesday, March 28, 2023

63. A Time to Kill

A Time to Kill. (Jake Brigance #1) John Grisham. 1989. 738 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Billy Ray Cobb was the younger and smaller of the two rednecks. 

Premise/plot: Can Jake Brigance, a defense attorney, get his client, Carl Lee Hailey, to be declared not guilty by an all-white jury in Clanton, Mississippi. Carl Lee Hailey's VERY young daughter, Tonya, is gang-raped by two men--two rednecks. They are arrested and charged with the crime, but, Carl Lee Hailey dispenses his own justice--murdering them at the courthouse shortly after their arraignment. The rape AND the murder have turned the town--the county--upside down. People taking sides, feeling strongly on the subject. It also brings the Klan back to the county/town, and things escalate VERY quickly.

This one is packed with violence, with threats, with the n-word. It is an intense read. 

My thoughts: This one is so graphic, so violent, so in-your-face with racism. I knew it involved rape....and murder. I was expecting it to be rough and gritty--if you will. This one is packed with so much ugliness. And warning, you are THROWN right into it. The novel opens with a VIOLENT, disturbing, horrific crime in progress. 

I did find it compelling. I don't know that it was ever a pleasant read. It was almost always disturbing. But I am glad I read it. I'll be watching the movie soon. I may seek out more of his books. 


© 2023 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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