Top critical review
Misleading publishing date
Reviewed in Australia on 1 December 2020
This book is ok but far from Grisham's best. Worse though is the publisher's nonsense in describing it as his "latest thriller", referring to the lead character as being "back". In fact, it does not take the reader long to work out that this writing style is decades-old, and steeped in pedantic detail, very dated. Similarly the themes, social assumptions and acceptance of racism, sexism, classism, legal ethics breaches, capital punishment acceptance- all casualised and uncontroversial beyond modern recognition- indicate that this manuscript has being lying dusty somewhere for several decades. And of course the endnote proves it to be so: although in fact Grisham does say that he wrote it 1984 AND it was previously published in 1989. So what are these publishers on about, passing it off as a new publication? Misleading is a mild term: as a lawyer, I would just call it a lie, as the publishers surely knew of the previous edition. I would not have bought it had I known the truth.
Finally in a word to the author: I like your recent works and admire it, and generally don't find it hard to accept your ethical positions which emanate from them. However, I REALLY hope you have had a chance, since 1984, to revisit the heavily loaded issue of adoption: your transactional hardness about the grief and loss, your complete absence of reference to the existential loss to the child, and your rosy happy-ever-after for the adopters is just so weird, given all the data we have on the issue of adoption calamity. Seriously, update.