Saturday, February 06, 2021

Sunday Synopsis


The GuardiansThe Guardians by John Grisham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As usual, Grisham presents a suspenseful, relevant novel that tackles issues such as injustice, racial prejudice, and corruption in the criminal justice system. The narrator is Cullen Post. He was a defense attorney until he had a nervous break down, and his marriage also broke down. These events led him to become an ordained Episcopalian priest. Finally, Post combines both of these worlds as an attorney for Guardian ministries. Their mission is to assist felons who have been unjustly and wrongfully convicted in being exonerated of their crimes. Think "Innocence Project." It's not a glamorous nor well-paying position; in fact, he basically lives in poverty, but this is the path he has chosen.

The novel begins with the last meal of a prisoner awaiting execution. He was wrongfully convicted of rape and murder, and Post sits with him for his last meal and a last ditch effort to avoid death. The stay comes through, Post's 8th exoneration, but he will never forget the one man he couldn't save.

His next case is the story of Quincy Miller, a black man from a small town in Florida who was accused of murdering his divorce attorney. Post is in for a complicated battle against a small-town sheriff with big-town influence, a jailhouse gang, drug traffickers, and a voodoo priestess. As a result, danger exists for Post as well as Miller. The true culprit does not want to be exposed.

This novel reads like a true story, and is in effect, based on the real-life efforts of Jim McCloskey, the founder of Centurion Ministries, the first non-profit organization to take on wrongful death-penalty convictions. The characters are well-developed, and there is such an array of personality types which makes it so realistic.

The plot can be complicated at times, but that's part of what makes Grisham a great novelist. There are twists, turns, and surprises throughout the journey to free Qunicy Miller, and things do not always turn out as planned. I really enjoyed this book.

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