The Confession by John Grisham

An innocent man, Donte Drumm is on death row in Texas, about to die for a crime he did not commit. He has been on Death Row for nine years and for those nine years Robbie Flak , his attorney has done everything humanly possible to stop what now appears to be inevitable. Donte, a star football player in the small town of Slone, Texas, has been accused of the heinous murder of classmate and friend, Nicole Yarber. And to add to the concerns of the citizens of Slone, Donte is black and Nicole is white. Many people believe Drumm to be innocent and so a larger racial divide now concerns the town. So starts John Grisham’s latest (and just maybe one of his best!) books.

Unbeknownst to Donte, there are forces at work desperately trying to stop what appears to be the inevitable — his execution. Keith Schroeder is the minister for a small Lutheran church in Topeka, Kansas. One day a strange man approaches the church and requests to see the minister. His name is Travis Boyette, a lifelong criminal, confessed murderer, serial rapist and compulsive liar, who is now out on parole. He is sickly-looking and insists that it is essential he speak to Schroeder.  When he gets his audience with the minister, he explains that he is dying of a brain tumor and has decided to clear his conscience of the despicable crime he committed a decade before. He tells Keith that he is responsible for the murder of Nicole Yarber and he doesn’t want an innocent man to be executed. Keith has no idea if the man is telling the truth, but he feels that he must attempt to verify the story. Boyette refuses to leave Kansas and return to Texas to give a deposition; he prefers to die in Kansas. Keith researches the Drumm case and is finally convinced when Boyette produces the high school ring belonging to Nicole.

Now it is up to Keith to somehow get in touch with Robbie Flak and convince him that he is in direct contact with the real murderer. Somehow he must try to prevent the execution of an innocent man.   The tension builds as all this new knowledge comes into play with many  people racing to stop the execution and save Donte Drumm.  This may well be one of John Grisham’s best and most thrilling novels.

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