A Time for Mercy
by John Grisham
(*)(*)(*)(*)( )(3)
Clanton, Mississippi. 1990. Jake Brigance finds himself embroiled in a deeply divisive trial when the court appoints him attorney for Drew Gamble, a timid sixteen-year-old boy accused of murdering a local deputy. Many in Clanton want a swift trial and the death penalty, but Brigance digs in and disc... More

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Kin YipKin Yip wrote a review
Spoiler Alert
This time, Jake Brigance's victory is probably not a thorough victory but at least, the 16 years old kid, Drew Gamble, was not guilty at the end of a mistrial :-) There were two lawsuits in this novel but the one with the tragic railroad accident is almost like a smoke screen. The "solution" for Jake about the railroad lawsuit is a bit unusual and unexpected. In principle, Drew Gamble would face future trials and I wonder whether the author will make use of it in the next sequel.

There were many details and quite a few dramas in the middle of the novel and at times I wondered whether those were necessary, as they have unavoidably slowed down the flow of the story. Nevertheless, these dramas and details have made the readers care about the protagonists, Jake, Carla, Drew, Kiera, Lucien, Portia et. al. We see that life is tough for many people and even Jake's family in Clanton, Mississippi. At least for me, after reading 1/3 of the novel, I started to worry for Jake's and Drew's lawsuit and didn't want to see any bitter end to Drew's fate. It may not be the happiest ending but it's certainly not tragic. In fact, the best thing that happened is that Carla and Jake have got to adopt a new baby boy.

We can see from this novel of legal thriller that lawyers and judges in the judicial court system are quite cozy to each other, as in a "clique". At least, in this novel, everybody in the legal system seems civilized and lawyers' relationship with judges is certainly very important. Apparently, a good lawyer also needs to build some healthy relationship with other lawyers and judges.

This novel doesn't have the most stunning ending but it has got the readers emotionally involved with the protagonists of the novel, who were almost like our old friends. Since we cared for our friends, we worried whether bad things might happen to them and so we were kind of compelled to read to see what would really happen at the end. I think this is the most successful element of this novel.