Excerpt from The Reckoning

Friday was my launch of The Telepathy of Gardens, book #5 of Reg Rawlins, Psychic Investigator. If you didn’t get your copy yet, it isn’t too late! And there is a stack of other new releases for you to look at as well.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

I have been reading The Reckoning, by John Grisham. I generally like Grisham—at least his legal thrillers—but this one has some issues. The first part discusses the murder and outcome. The second part delves back into the past and spends half of the book detailing all of Pete Banning’s experiences in the second world war, where he served in the Philippines. All of the relevant backstory was given in part one and the second part really doesn’t contribute anything to the plot or the reader’s understanding of the crime.

Now I’m into part three, the legal maneuvering of Banning’s family. The motive for the killing still hasn’t been revealed; I’m sure it will be the final twist in the story, and I already have a few days about what that is going to be. My analysis so far is that you can skip half the book, the second part of the story, and lose nothing. Unless there is something in the final reveal that is dependent on his experiences in the war.

He had no choice. The truth had slowly been revealed, and once he had the full grasp of it, the killing became as inevitable as the sunrise. 

John Grisham, The Reckoning

Pete Banning was Clanton, Mississippi’s favorite son—a decorated World War II hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, father, neighbor, and a faithful member of the Methodist church. Then one cool October morning he rose early, drove into town, and committed a shocking crime.  Pete’s only statement about it—to the sheriff, to his lawyers, to the judge, to the jury, and to his family—was: “I have nothing to say.” He was not afraid of death and was willing to take his motive to the grave.

In a major novel unlike anything he has written before, John Grisham takes us on an incredible journey, from the Jim Crow South to the jungles of the Philippines during World War II; from an insane asylum filled with secrets to the Clanton courtroom where Pete’s defense attorney tries desperately to save him. 

Reminiscent of the finest tradition of Southern Gothic storytelling, The Reckoning would not be complete without Grisham’s signature layers of legal suspense, and he delivers on every page.


  1. Gilion Dumas says

    Maybe there is something in the third part that will make the middle part relevant. I haven’t read Grisham in a long time, but used to love his books. I should catch up on some of them.

    • I finished it this morning, and the final twisty twist is not something that is revealed/mentioned in part two. If you don’t enjoy reading about WWII or torture, you can skip this portion and not lose anything as far as the plot is concerned. You’ll still get all of the legal maneuvering, character development, and backstory needed.

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