Books

The Innocent Man

John Grisham

A gripping true-crime story of a miscarriage of justice, from international bestselling thriller author John Grisham

In the baseball draft of 1971, the first player chosen from Oklahoma was Ron Williamson. When he signed with Oakland, he said goodbye to his small home town and left to pursue his dreams of glory.

Six years later he was back, his dreams broken by a bad arm and bad habits - drinking, drugs and women. He began to show signs of mental illness. Unable to keep a job, he moved in with his mother and slept 20 hours a day on her sofa.

In 1982, a 21 year-old cocktail waitress, Debra Sue Carter, was raped and murdered, and for five years the crime went unsolved. Finally, for reasons that were never clear, police came to suspect Ron Williamson and his friend Dennis Fritz. The two were finally arrested in 1987 and charged with capital murder.

With no physical evidence, the prosecution's case was built on junk science and the testimony of jailhouse snitches and convicts. Dennis Fritz was found guilty and given a life sentence. Ron Williamson was sent to Death Row.

But as Grisham methodically lays out, there was no case against him. Ron Williamson was wrongly condemned to die.

If you believe that in America you are innocent until proven guilty, this book will shock you. If you believe in the death penalty, this book will disturb you. If you believe the criminal justice system is fair, this book will infuriate you.

The Firm

John Grisham

THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF THE BOOK THAT MADE JOHN GRISHAM A HOUSEHOLD NAME
**With a new introduction from the author**

He thought it was his dream job. It turned into his worst nightmare.

When Mitch McDeere qualified third in his class at Harvard, offers poured in from every law firm in America. Bendini, Lambert and Locke were a small, well-respected firm, but their offer exceeded Mitch's wildest expectations: a fantastic salary, a new home, and the keys to a brand new BMW.

Except for the mysterious deaths of previous lawyers with the firm. And the FBI investigations. And the secret files.

Mitch soon realises that he's working for the Mafia's law firm, and there's no way out - because you don't want this company's severance package.

To survive, he'll have to play both sides against each other - and navigate a vast criminal conspiracy that goes higher than he ever imagined...

A Time To Kill

John Grisham

THE MULTI-MILLION COPY BESTSELLER
John Grisham's first and most shocking novel, adapted as a film starring Samuel L. Jackson and Matthew McConaughey

When Carl Lee Hailey guns down the violent racists who raped his ten-year-old daughter, the people of the small town of Clanton, Mississippi see it as justice done, and call for his acquittal.

But when extremists outside Clanton - including the KKK - hear that a black man has killed two white men, they invade the town, determined to destroy anything and anyone that opposes their sense of justice. A national media circus descends on Clanton.

As tensions mount, Hailey hires the inexperienced Jake Brigance to defend him. It's the kind of case that could make a young lawyer's career.

But it's also the kind of case that could get a young lawyer killed.

Blood Drive (Storycuts)

John Grisham

The laugh out loud adventure of three men from rural Ford County who travel to Memphis to donate blood to an injured friend. The journey, however, takes longer than expected thanks to their inability to continue driving past any liquor store en route. Not to mention the fact that the men have no idea which hospital their friend is in. After a variety of shootings, and a strip club brawl, it seems as though these men will not just be visiting their friend in the hospital.

Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was previously published in the collection Ford County.

Casino (Storycuts)

John Grisham

A story of high-stakes and revenge following the construction of a casino.

A sly entrepreneur and an unlikely Chieftain conspire to set up a casino on tribal territory. Money starts to pour in, business seems assured, as do the attentions of the local lonely-hearted women. But some people are upset by this - especially one spurned husband, who plans to strike back where it hurts.

Part of the Storycuts series, this story was previously published in the collection Ford County.

Fetching Raymond (Storycuts)

John Grisham

One mother's last trip to see her son on death row.

Wheelchair-bound Inez Graney and her two older sons, Leon and Butch, take a bizarre road trip through the Mississippi Delta to visit the youngest Graney brother, Raymond, who's been locked away on death row for eleven years. It could well be their last visit.

Part of the Storycuts series, this story was previously published in the collection Ford County.

Fish Files (Storycuts)

John Grisham

A middle-aged lawyer's tangle with the lure of money.

A middle-aged lawyer in a small town, handling small cases but faced with rising debts and a strained marriage, feels trapped - until a phone-call comes in from New York, from a famous law firm, offering a big cheque in return for a little skulduggery . . . What will Mack Stafford do for the money?

Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was previously published in the collection Ford County.

Funny Boy (Storycuts)

John Grisham

One young man's homecoming shocks a whole town.

This is a homecoming that none of the respectable folk of Clanton are pleased about: that of a young man dying of AIDS. But their attempts to ostracise him merely show up some very ugly shortcomings of their own . . .

Part of the Storycuts series, this story was previously published in the collection Ford County.

Michael's Room (Storycuts)

John Grisham

An aggrieved man forces a lawyer to face natural justice.

Stanley Wade can't even be sure that his absence will be noticed, after a simple trip to the food store takes an unexpectedly dark turn. A practising lawyer, Wade is forced to confront truths that challenge his most basic notions of justice and good.

Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was previously published in the collection Ford County.

Quiet Haven (Storycuts)

John Grisham

A scandal is uncovered at a nursing home - but is it a conspiracy?

A new employee starts work at Quiet Haven retirement home. Strangely pro-active, and keen to form friendships with the underlings and residents, he begins to uncover skeletons in the closet. At the same time, he's indulging his drink-ravaged landlady's desire for company. His intentions are good - too good to be true?

Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was previously published in the collection Ford County: Stories.

Skipping Christmas

John Grisham

Imagine a year without Christmas.

No crowded shops, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That's just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they'll skip the holiday altogether.

Theirs will be the only house on the street without a rooftop Frosty the snowman; they won't be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash; they aren't even going to have a tree. They won't need one, because come December 25 they're setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But, as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences - and isn't half as easy as they'd imagined.

The novel behind the movie CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS

The Confession

John Grisham

An innocent man is days from execution. Only a guilty man can save him.

Travis Boyette is a murderer. In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, he abducted, raped, and strangled a popular high-school cheerleader. He buried her body where it would never be found, then watched and waited as police and prosecutors arrested Donte Drumm, a black local football star with no connection to the crime. Tried, convicted and sentenced, Drumm was sent to death row.

Nine years later, Donte Drumm is four days from execution. Over 400 miles away in Kansas, Travis also faecs death, suffering from an inoperable brain tumour. At long last, he decides to do what's right. After years of silence, he is ready to confess.

But the law doesn't want to hear it. As far as they're concerned, they've got their man.

So how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges and politicians that the man they're about to execute is innocent?

A Painted House

John Grisham

The hill people and the Mexicans arrived on the same day. It was a Wednesday, early in September 1952. The Cardinals were five games behind the Dodgers with two weeks to go, and the season looked hopeless. The cotton, however, was waist high to my father, almost over my head, and he and my grandfather could be heard before supper whispering words that were seldom heard. It could be a "good crop."

In rural Arkansas, seven-year-old farm boy Luke Chandler lives in the cotton fields with his parents and grandparents in a little house that's never been painted. The Chandlers farm eighty acres that they rent, not own, and when the cotton is ready they hire a truckload of Mexicans and a family from the Ozarks to help harvest it.

For six weeks they pick cotton, battling the heat, the rain, the fatigue, and sometimes each other. As the weeks pass Luke sees and hears things no seven-year-old could possibly be prepared for, and finds himself keeping secrets that not only threaten the crop but will change the lives of the Chandlers forever.

A Painted House is a moving story of one boy's journey from innocence to experience, drawn from the personal experience of legendary legal thriller author John Grisham.

The Testament

John Grisham

Troy Phelen is one of the richest men in the United States. He is also looking for a way to die.

Nate O'Riley is a high-octane Washington litigator who's lived too hard, too fast, for too long. Emerging from his fourth stay in rehab, he knows returning to the real world is always difficult, but this time it's going to be murder.

Rachel Lane is a young woman who chose to give her life to God, who walked away from the modern world and went to live and work with a primitive tribe in the deepest jungles of Brazil.

These three lives collide in a unique blend of legal suspense and adventure - and none of their lives will be the same after the revelation of the startling secrets of the Testament.

The Appeal

John Grisham

Money can buy you anything. Even a verdict...

In a crowded courtroom in Mississippi, a jury returns a shocking guilty verdict against a chemical company. Accused of dumping toxic waste into a small town's water supply, causing the worst "cancer cluster" in history, the company knows it's in trouble. Their only avenue is to appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court, whose nine justices will either approve the verdict or reverse it.

But the company's owner, Carl Trudeau, isn't willing to let justice be done. Instead, he decides to try to purchase a seat on the Court. Through an intricate web of conspiracy and deceit, his political operatives recruit a young, unsuspecting candidate. They finance him, manipulate him, market him, and mould him into a potential Supreme Court justice.

Their Supreme Court justice.

And unless their scheme is exposed, the polluters will make a clean escape...
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The Appeal is a powerful, timely, and shocking story of political and legal intrigue, a story that will change the way readers think about the electoral process and judicial system forever.

Bleachers

John Grisham

Glory never dies.

Neely Crenshaw was the best quarterback ever to play for the Messina Spartans, the state's most legendary high school football team. But fifteen years later, with the glory days far behind them, the man everyone remembers is Coach Eddie Rake.

Neely is coming home to Messina to bury the dying Coach Rake, and he's not alone. One by one, the veterans of the Spartans return to pay tribute to the man who moulded them into an invincible football dynasty, confronting their own broken dreams.

As Coach Rake's 'boys' sit in the bleachers waiting for the dimming field lights to signal his passing, they replay the old glories, and try to decide once and for all whether they love Eddie Rake or hate him.

For Neely Crenshaw, still struggling to come to terms with his explosive relationship with the Coach, his dreams of a great career in the NFL, and the choices he made as a young man, the stakes could not be higher.

The Brethren

John Grisham

They're behind bars, but that won't stop them committing crimes.
And it won't keep them safe, either.

Trumble is a minimum security federal prison, home to drug dealers, bank robbers, swindlers, embezzlers, tax evaders - and three former judges who call themselves The Brethren.

The Brethren meet each day in the law library, where they spend hours writing letters. They're fine-tuning a mail scam, and it's starting to pay big. The money is pouring in.

But when their little scam goes awry and ensnares the wrong victim, a powerful man on the outside, they realise they're in trouble. Because this man has dangerous friends, and just as the prison failed to protect society from the Brethren, it won't protect them from their victims...

The Broker

John Grisham

Someone is certain to kill Joel Backman.
The question is: who?

In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing President grants a full pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years in a federal prison.

Unknown to an outraged public, the pardon was the CIA's idea. They claim that Backman may have obtained secrets that would compromise American satellite surveillance.

Smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, Backman is given a new identity and a new home in Italy. He thinks he's out. But the CIA will soon leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese and the Saudis, and then sit back and watch.

The question is not whether Backman will survive there's no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is: who will kill him?

The King Of Torts

John Grisham

Tort, noun: a harmful act, or failure to act, which justifies legal action and the possibility of paying damages
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The Office of the Public Defender is not known as a training ground for bright young litigators. Clay Carter has been there too long, and, like most of his colleagues, dreams of a better job in a real firm. When he reluctantly takes the case of a young man charged with a random street killing, he assumes it is just another of the many senseless murders that hit Washington D.C. every week.

But as he digs deeper into his client's background, Clay stumbles upon a conspiracy too horrible to believe. A pharmaceutical giant has been secretly and illegally testing a new drug on addicts one that helps stop addiction, but which drives them to random acts of violence.

Overnight, aided by a mysterious whistleblower with an agenda of his own, Clay becomes the new 'king of torts', a celebrity among lawyers and a national media figure.

But as the financial stakes rise and rise, so does the danger...

Playing for Pizza

John Grisham

Playing for Position

Rick Dockery is an NFL quarterback who can’t catch a break. One huge mistake makes him a national laughing stock overnight, and no team will touch him.

Playing for Pizza

But all Rick knows is football, and he needs to find a team. Against all odds, Rick gets his break – as star quarterback for the Panthers… of Parma, Italy.

Playing for Pride

Rick doesn’t speak a word of Italian, and the crowds there aren’t exactly NFL-standard. But football americano is about more than fame, and home comes in the most unlikely of packages.

John Grisham

John Grisham is the Number One bestselling master thriller writer. His books have sold over 250 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 42 languages. ‘The best thriller writer alive’ - Ken Follett

Biography

John Grisham is the author of twenty-two novels, one work of non-fiction, a collection of short stories, and a novel for young readers. He is on the Board of Directors for the Innocence Project in New York and is the Chairman on the Board of Directors for the Mississippi Innocence Project at the Mississippi School of Law. He lives in Virginia and Mississippi. His website is www.johngrisham.co.uk