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  1. Dan Coleman
    November 7, 2020 @ 7:30 pm

    I share your sentiments on Grisham. Sure, he’s an entertaining writer, and one of the richest, but I’ve believed for some time now that, in fifty years, he’ll be remembered more for his literary work(A Painted House, Skipping Christmas–which can be boring as hell, but has a stick-to-it-ness–), long after his thrillers are forgotten. I read and liked his first two books years ago, then started the third and noticed they were the same stories but with different character names and venues. He is also overly patronizing of minority characters, a disservice, I believe. When you’re that successful–when the gods smile on you–you just throw stuff at the wall and it sticks…Grisham’s success is as much his wife’s doing as his own. When he was a small town Mississippi lawyer with little work coming in, he’d sit back in his office while his secretary answered the phone, when it sometimes rang, and do his writing. When A Time To Kill was done, he had his wife send it to her college friend who worked for Jay Garon, long-time New York literary agent(50 years), who got him a deal. The rest is publishing history. This is based on a wire service story on him in the early ’90s, as I remember, and interviews with him.


    • Jack Rochester
      November 7, 2020 @ 10:15 pm

      Your comments and perceptions are spot on, Dan. I saw another review (BTW, I never read reviews until I’ve written my own) from a woman who lit into Grisham for his fascistic manipulation of the sister. And of course there’s the master-slave relationship between Jake and Portia. It really is an old, timeworn, worn-out story line. I’ve no idea if this is still how life/law goes in today’s Mississippi. I chose to keep my review focused mostly on the writing aspects.


  2. Dan Coleman
    November 8, 2020 @ 8:03 am

    There you go. Thanks.


  3. Millie Thomas
    January 24, 2021 @ 8:51 am

    I just read “A time for Mercy” and was disappointed. Too long, yes. Too descriptive, yes. But, there was no real conclusion to the book. It’s as if Grisham is setting himself to write a sequel…..What happens to Drew Gamble in the second trial? What about the Smallwood case? Does the Kofer family find out that baby Luke is their dead son’s child? Too many unanswered questions in this novel. As I said, disappointed.


  4. Vicki Peterson
    April 19, 2021 @ 1:22 am

    After I read it, I kept thinking about the Smallwood case…..was it resolved?


    • Bob
      January 19, 2023 @ 6:00 pm

      Very disappointing book, no ending, story lines left unanswered, Grisham really beat to death repetitive details, book was way to long,


  5. Ben Whaley
    May 12, 2021 @ 7:39 pm

    Just finished A Time for Mercy today. Went in search of people who may have felt what I am feeling now. Disappointment in such a lackluster ending. Let the boy off or send him to the gas chamber. I sure as hell didn’t need to be left wondering what was going to eventually happen to the child. I think writers betray their audience with endings like this. I wonder if he thought it was being clever to leave it hanging (it’s not). Now I’m left wondering if I want to read any more Grisham, an author I really enjoy. Guess it’s back to Baldacci for a bit. Any suggestions?


    • Jack Rochester
      May 22, 2021 @ 10:58 am

      Hi Ben – I agree with you, of course. I think it’s laziness, and I also think Grisham told us he was lazy in his end note. Quite unprofessional and disrespectful of his readers. I’ve gotten at least half a dozen thumbs-down comments from my review. It’s not easy to find really great legal thrillers these days – even “Mercy” barely qualifies. I saw a comment one of the characters made that would have given the trial a new direction which, apparently, Grisham either didn’t want to take the effort to explore or he missed it altogether. (I wish I could pinpoint it for you, but I gave my copy to the library.) Anyway, other muystery-suspense-thriller writers I consistently enjoy are Michael Connelly, John Sandford and Lee Child. I also like Robert Crais, and recently resumed reading T. Jefferson Parker, his “L.A. Outlaws.” Check out my latest review of Bob Calverley’s Vietnam-era novel – quite a good read. I hope you’ll keep coming back to JackBoston! ~ Jack


  6. Flo Hopten
    November 1, 2021 @ 12:02 pm

    There are many polemical issues here. Not least the state of emotional security for Kiera, Drew and Josie.
    Mercy at the end of the novel has been issued but the mechanics of a retrial have not been ironed out for the horror of a so called capital crime committed in self defence by a hunted minor who was subject to consistent murderous abuse.


  7. s vote
    May 3, 2022 @ 7:35 am

    what was the purpose of the smallwood case?? so many details written and it seemed completely irrelevant by the end.


  8. Patrick Richardson
    March 2, 2023 @ 11:01 am

    Like everyone else – a bit flummoxed as to the end.
    Are we to find out what happens to Drew and his Family.
    Did Jake get his money.
    And was. There a Small wood payout

    Please tell me there is a sequel


    • Elina
      May 15, 2023 @ 7:36 am

      Exactly!!! Unanswered questions!!! Hate them! I am not a writer, I don’t want to make my own ending, I prefer to read it!!!


  9. Donna Hampton
    February 19, 2024 @ 2:21 pm

    I was ready to give this book five starts until I turned to the last page. I was furious. I’m asking all the questions, too. Plus wondering if the adopted baby, Stu’s child, will now inherit Stu’s estate. And how does he grow up in this town with everyone knowing who his father is. UGH. I hadn’t read Grisham’s books in a while. Now I’m done.


    • Donna Hampton
      February 19, 2024 @ 2:23 pm

      Five STARS.


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