The Innocent Man by John Grisham

February 8, 2009
By Tara Tong BRONZE, Dallas, Texas
Tara Tong BRONZE, Dallas, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

John Grisham's first non-fiction book, The Innocent Man, is a heartbreaking story of a wrongly convicted man. John Grisham begins the book by detailing the cruel murder of Debbie Carter. Glen Gore, the first suspect, was completely ignored, and the investigators were focused on Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz. John Grisham then explains the story of Williamson and Fritz, how they were the primary suspects because of their grotesque lifestyle'drugs, alcohol and women. Wrongly accused, Williamson and Fritz were sentenced to death row. Five days before being sent to death row, they were permitted another trial. The book ends when the judicial court realizes the mistake of sending the wrong men to jail without sufficient evidence. Both men were released after 11 years in jail with no time to enjoy the rest of their lives. The murder case was left unsolved.
When I started reading the book, I was expecting to be reading a page turning nonfiction novel. Shortly into The Innocent Man, I knew I would be let down. Since the readers knew the result of the story from the first chapter, Grisham left the building of the suspense unquenched. The story is filled with a sufficient amount of details, but the story is left painfully slow and unable to keep a reader entertained. Grisham reveals the story with tons of narratives which leaves the story with no dialogue or anticipation. Ignoring my feeling about the story left empty, The Innocent Man is a touching story about Williamson's mental collapse. Grisham provides many examples of the injustices in a small town by overlooking evidence and careless police work which persuades a reader to rise up and realize the frequency of discrimination in the judicial court. Grisham's writing allows a reader to feel sympathy towards Williamson because of his epic story of unending ambition to be proven innocent. The Innocent Man will leave you with questions, but do not imagine being fully engulfed.

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