A Time for Mercy
Deputy Stuart Kofer is a protected man. Though he's turned his drunken rages on his girlfriend, Josie, and her children many times before, the police code of silence has always shielded him.
But one night he goes too far, leaving Josie for dead on the floor before passing out. Her son, sixteen-year-old Drew, knows he only has this one chance to save them. He picks up a gun and takes the law into his own hands.
Reviewed on 28th March 2021
This late-2020 John Grisham novel is another sequel to his early tale of racist Mississippi, A Time to Kill. A sequel in the sense that the same characters re-appear, and similar themes in a similar setting, but not really in terms of the actual plot.
It feels like a fitting story for a year in which the actions of police officers around the world have come under scrutiny - re with a police officer serving the role of victim, but with sufficient levels of ambiguity to make it an interesting question to think about what the definition of innocent and guilty are.
I think this might be one of Grisham's best novels - getting a good balance of the emotion and the characters with an insight into the legal process. I'd actually go as far to say that it might be the most emotional of his novels, stepping away from his classic event-based narrative to give us more character engagement.
A good balance of insightful, thought-proking, and frustrating. Although there was one area that it felt like Grisham put in the subject but backed off from actually having a debate about, which seemed a missed opportunity.