Title : Sycamore Row
Author : John Grisham
Narrator : Michael Beck
Genre : Contemporary (Legal thriller)
Publisher : Random House Audio
Listening Length : 20 hours 50 minutes
Source : Library
Rating : 3.5/5
This book has lawyer Jake Brigance unwittingly caught up in a legal wrangle involving a dead wealthy man and his living children. Seth Hubbard hung himself from a Sycamore tree, but not before willing away most of his property to his African American maid Leticia “Lettie” Lang. Expectedly, the children and the grand-children contest this second holographic will, and it is up to Jake to ensure that the old man’s wishes be carried out as stated.
I haven’t read Grisham for a while, although there is no one better to turn to for legal thrillers. If you have read “A Time to Kill” which also featured Jake Brigance, you know what you are getting with this book – good, solid writing, and a storyline which touches on the racial undertones of the South. I did see “A Time to Kill” although I haven’t read the book. Many references are made to it in this book, as in the “trial three years back”, but “Sycamore Row” is not strictly speaking a sequel; it stands alone quite well.
Cortroom drama forms the bulk of the book, but we also get to see snatches of Brigance’s personal life and how it has changed after the previous trial. The fictional town of Clanton, Mississippi and its residents are described quite well. I like that Grisham looks at the race angle from both sides, as in people will be people, and there are good and bad folks all around; skin color no bar.
Grisham delivers yet another engrossing legal thriller. And narrator Michael Beck makes it better. This is the book to read/listen for Grisham aficionados.