Bestselling author John Grisham reprises one of his most popular heroes in his newest novel, A Time for Mercy. Jake Brigance, the hero of Grisham’s debut novel A Time to Kill and Sycamore Row, is still practicing in Clanton, Miss. He is appointed by the court to defend 16-year-old Drew Gamble, a small and quiet boy who shot his mother’s boyfriend in the head after Drew thought Stuart Kofer killed his mom.
Brigance doesn’t want the case, knowing he’s up against a potential capital murder conviction of a child who feared for his family’s life. As the facts are revealed—Kofer was a popular deputy and a mean drunk, he beat his girlfriend and the kids, he sexually abused Drew’s sister—the case becomes more fraught. Many in Clanton want the death penalty, but Jake knows the details of Drew Gamble’s life, his love for his sister and mother, and what really went on behind the closed doors of Stuart Kofer’s house.
Grisham has filled his tale with courtroom drama, legal hijinks, and characters readers will love to hate and hate to love. Harry Rex Vonner, whom readers of the first book will recognize, makes an appearance, as does Lucien Wilbanks, as Brigance defends young Drew in Brigance’s hometown full of good ol’ boys eager to defend their brother no matter what vile things he did.
Readers will love the legal maneuvering Grisham is known for, as well as the suspense and the moral issues he forces readers to consider. Does an abuser deserve to die? Can a child be sent to death row for killing his abuser? What will a mother do to protect her children? How valuable is truth when the truth is terrible? While not “Christian” fiction, Grisham addresses moral and ethical issues that prompt questions and introspection.
Grisham’s many fans will adore this new novel featuring an old friend in Jake Brigance and the legal intrigue that has been Grisham’s hallmark through all these years and bestselling novels. (Doubleday)