25 Apr 2020

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Book Review / The Summons by John Grisham

Ray Atlee is a professor of law at the University of Virginia. He's forty-three, newly single, and still enduring the aftershocks of a surprise divorce. He has a younger brother, Forrest, who redefines the notion of a family's black sheep.

And he has a father, a very sick old man who lives alone in the ancestral home in Clanton, Mississippi. He is known to all as Judge Atlee, a beloved and powerful official who has towered over local law and politics for forty years. No longer on the bench, the Judge has withdrawn to the Atlee mansion and become a recluse.
With the end in sight, Judge Atlee issues a summons for both sons to return home to Clanton, to discuss the details of his estate. It is typed by the Judge himself, on his handsome old stationery, and gives the date and time for Ray and Forrest to appear in his study.

Ray reluctantly heads south, to his hometown, to the place where he grew up, which he prefers now to avoid. But the family meeting does not take place. The Judge dies too soon, and in doing so leaves behind a shocking secret known only to Ray.
And perhaps someone else.

Published:     27th September 2005
Publisher:  Delta
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


After a brief break from reading John Grisham's books, I was so glad to get back into it!

We follow Ray Atlee who is a professor of law at the University of Law.   He is not the only person in his family who deals with the law.  His father was a Judge back in his home town of Clanton, Mississippi.  His brother never followed that route and just delves into a mix of drug taking and rehab.   Both Ray and his brother Forest receive a summons to attend back at home to see their father.  Unfortunately, their father dies but leave a rather puzzling inheritance behind, which Ray discovers.

I really was not expecting the pace or plot of this story.  I was expecting a story that was heavy in law and maybe a court case or two but this story did not have a court case in sight.  I really enjoyed the slow pace of this story, which made me read even more slowly than I would normally do and thoroughly immerse myself in it.  I have to admit that I did suspect the twist in the plot nearer the end but that did not take away any enjoyment from this beautifully written story.

A slower paced thriller that will still keep you on the edge of your seat.