John Grisham’s novel ‘The Confession,’ primarily focuses on politically charged issues such as the death penalty, and race relations through stories of four men, a convict, a defense lawyer, a Lutheran minister, and a young black man, as they inevitably intertwine.
Starting with a convict named Travis as he walks into the office of a Lutheran minister Keith and claims he brutally murdered a white Texas Cheerleader , only days before an innocent black football player Donte will be put to death. Travis claims he is dying and wants to save Donate’ from impending execution.
As Travis and Pastor Keith Schroeder race to Texas to save Donte a cast of multifaceted characters emerge. The grief stricken fame hungry mother of the victim, Donte’s resilient mother, and Robbie Flak the lawyer bent on proving Donte’s innocence.
As the date of execution approaches race relations near the boiling point in the small town of Slone, and the crux becomes whether the death penalty is right, wrong, whether it is shaded by race and is it ever necessary to put another to death.
It is not difficult to imagine from the tone of this book which side Grisham is on, and though the book is heart breaking, even uncomfortable at times, it is never preachy. “The Confession,” opens the door for one to think, and potentially even question their own set of values and ideals, about race and capital punishment even after they close the book.
Recommended through a local book club, this novel had the effect of causing one to call into question ideas and values that were otherwise thought to be already determined. While at the same time keeping the reader gripped, intrigued, and emotionally invested.