Book Review: A Time for Mercy by John Grisham

I’ve just finished A Time for Mercy by John Grisham. This is the second novel I’ve read by him, the first being A Time to Kill.

This novel, as with the first, catered to my taste for drama. Uniquely, I like suspenseful plots, but too much suspense or grit can cause me to put a book down. In the case of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, him graphically killing off the main party’s small animal companion caused me to put down the book entirely.

I did love this book. Growing up in Texas and in the Christian Bible Belt community, Grisham portrary, with sensitivity and accuracy, the attitudes that you’d find. The core moral quandary of this book would absolutely cleave a town’s morality in two. For that, I respect Grisham’s decision.

spoiler alert

The closing of the book was realistic. After all of the build up, I knew he couldn’t let the boy go free. Something must be paid for, as the society would not let things go otherwise. This was a disappointment, yet, a validation of reality. Additionally, the Smallwood subplot did not feel fully resolved at the time of the book’s completion.

I love the sensitivity and reality that Grisham paints the South with. In modern times, the South is misunderstood as a backwards land, completely separate from the moral fabric of modern society. Grisham shows that he not only disagrees but he understands and is a part of that fabric, which reeled me in and helped me feel comfortable in the world that he portrayed.