A Time to Kill

A Time to Kill

by John Grisham


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A Time to Kill (Level 5) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 470 reviews.
JessLucy More than 1 year ago
Horrifying and somehow beautiful at the same time; Grisham tells the story of a family shattered and a town rocked by a horrific crime committed against a child. The trial Grisham describes is fascinating and heart-breaking in its process. The movie was good but the book is truly a work of art. The author has a skill for making the reader feel like he/she's actually right there during the trial. Grisham has outdone himself with this one! I also enjoyed The Chamber and The Partner by the same author. If you like John Grisham, you may also enjoy: Philip Margolin, Tami Hoag (Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust and a Thin Dark Line especially, and Michael Connelly.
DorothyNC More than 1 year ago
I read this book for the first time at least 12 years ago. It was not the first John Grisham book that I read but it is, and will always be, his BEST! I could not put it down until I finished it. Unforgettable!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Time to Kill by John Grisham is an excellent novel. The story takes place in the small town of Clanton, Mississippi. The story covers an uneasy relationship between blacks and whites. A black man named Carl Hailey kills two white men who are on trial for the rape of his little girl. The irony is that Carl Hailey is defended by a white attorney named Jake Brigance. The novel contains humor and action. The story is moving and emotional. I like that Jake Brigance is a young, white attorney who does what he feels is the right thing to do. He is so determined to keep Carl Hailey out of jail and let him return to his family that he suffers consequences in his own marriage and within the town. Some of the people around him treat him differently than before he made the decision to be Carl Hailey's lawyer. They don't understand why Jake wants to help a black man stay out of prison. My favorite part of the plot and the main point of the novel is that Carl Hailey would do anything to take revenge against the people who hurt his daughter, even if it means that he will have to spend the rest of his life in prison. Every parent would feel the same way. If my daughter was raped and tortured, I would want to kill those guys too. The obstacle is to encourage the jury to realize this. They would have done the same thing if they were in Carl Hailey's place. They need to look past the color of his skin and judge him on what he did. Although killing two men was wrong, his intensions were right. Carl Hailey did it for his daughter. The love that he has for his daughter is extremely touching.
Will Jackson More than 1 year ago
A Time to Kill by John Grisham is a fantastic novel about the negative effects of racism, both the purities and impurities of the United States legal system, and the overall theme of good vs. evil. The book takes place sometime around the 1990s in Ford County, Mississippi and begins with a ten year old African American girl, Tonya Hailey, getting raped by two white racist men, Cobb and Willard. This horrible crime caused the two men to be arrested and taken into custody by the county sheriff, Ozzie Walls. Once they are in the hands of the legal system, the process of indicting and trying the two criminals. However, the legal process is interrupted when Carl Lee Hailey, the father of Tonya Hailey, hides in the courthouse and murders Cobb and Willard while they are being transported back to the county jail. In the process, Carl Lee also accidentally injures a deputy, DeWayne Looney. Carl Lee hires Jake Brigance, a young lawyer, to defend him. The book records the events leading up to and the actual trial of Carl Lee. Throughout the book, the question is raised of whether a father murdering two criminals that raped his daughter is legal or not. This book was exceptional. I would rate it five out of five stars. I enjoyed many aspects of the book, but I especially enjoyed the author’s writing style. Grisham’s writing is easy to read, yet it is packed with themes and also gripping and thrilling. Every time I put the book down, I honestly could not wait to continue reading it and find out what happens next. Also, I normally do not become emotional when reading a book; however, I actually reacted emotionally when the final verdict was delivered at the end of the trial. In addition to the author’s writing style being easy and enjoyable to read, the book’s themes were extraordinary and well delivered. Its many themes include: the battle of racists vs. non-racists, both the impurities and purities of our legal system, and above all, good vs. evil. All of these themes are excellently included in the plot of the novel. In addition to the book’s wonderful themes, I also noticed similarities to the trial in the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I greatly enjoyed reading Lee’s novel, so I was surprised and excited when Grisham’s novel was somewhat similar. Overall, the book was phenomenal. Although the subject matter was somewhat disturbing, the author balances the novel with intriguing characters and a gripping and suspenseful plot. I would recommend this book to anyone probably over the age of thirteen who enjoys more realistic books that address the legal process. If you enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird or like legal books in general, you must read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was far better than the movie. It's a gripping tale of a young lawyer defending a black Vietnam war hero who has killed two white men (who raped his daughter). The tale is a mixture of the Grisham-style legal story and of America's tragic history of slavery and black repression. Grisham tells the story perfectly. His dialogue is spot on. There is one, superb passage where the local reverend is preaching to his flock. If you can imagine a 'Blues Brothers' type of scenario with 'I have seen the light' coming from the congretation as the preacher winds them up, you'll get the picture. Carl Lee Hailey (the Vietnam war veteran) gets hold of an M-16, kills the rapists on the courthouse steps, then turns for help to attorney Jake Brigance. Some of the local folk want to give Carl Lee a second medal for his action, but premeditated murder is hard to ignore, and anyway, the town is divided. Blacks note that a white man shooting a black rapist would be acquitted. The KKK turns up the heat. The NAACP gets involved. Due to the publicity, a big local firm of lawyers get in on the act and try to outmaneuver Jake. Jake has a secret weapon though - his brilliant, but disbarred ex-partner.  The characters are well crafted - not all likeable, but at least, for the most part, believable. The pace of the story nicely snowballs - adding in essential tension with the addition of the Klu Klux Klan's involvement in the proceedings. The main character, Jake Brigance - defense lawyer for Carl Lee Hailey, is hardly endearing - he's openly hateful towards his secretary, lies to his wife, submits to the temptation of alcohol when the heat comes down. However, in reality, it makes the character more real - nobody's perfect, everyone has their dark sides. Sure, he's hounding after the publicity at first, but he also comes to care about the fate of his client, and while he flirts with his law clerk (always got a chuckle out of "Row Ark") he doesn't submit to THAT temptation and stays true to his wife.  Throughout the book, the odds stack against Brigance and his client, and the novel will definitely keep you turning the pages. No matter what your personal opinions on the death penalty or vigilante justice are, you won't be disappointed. As Jake's mentor, disbarred lawyer Lucien Wilbanks, says, If you win this case, justice will prevail, but if you lose it, justice will also prevail.    
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't start this one unless you have time to finish it because you won't want to put it down. Amazing!!! John Grisham never disappoints!! Highly recommend!!!! outstanding GREAT READ
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is definetly the best book Grisham ever wrote. Don't be intimidated by the fact that it's 500 pages long, they go by very quickly. The first time I read it, I breezed through it in a day or two. It's the kind of book that you CANNOT put down. The questions that it raises about the death penalty and right vs. wrong will stay with you long after the last page has been read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was one of Grishman's best books EVER!This is truly the best book that I have EVER READ!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard to put down, engaging
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book many years ago. It was the first John Grisham book that I read. This book is so gripping that you won't put the book down until you get to the end and justice is served.
DBurn More than 1 year ago
I've read this novel twice and like the old cliche states, the first is the best. Grisham's first work of fiction is right on target. He has the rare ability to educate AND entertain the reader at the same time. While reading this novel the second time, I noticed that Grisham covered virtually all the steps in a state criminal case from arrest to adjudication. Within that process, he was able to create a story to thrilling that I couldn't put the book down even though I knew what was going to take place in the next chapter. Being from the South, I could related to his characters and their mannerisms. Lucien was my favorite. Being someone who is educated in the criminal justice field, I would recommend this novel to any college level intro course pertaining to criminal procedure. Coupled with its subject matter, this book is certainly to create debate on our controversial criminal justice system.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have just started to read Grisham novels, but not only was this his best written book, it was one of the best that I have read, it was great, gripping and made you think.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even though i knew what was gonna happen it was still very unpredictable with all the details!!
Thrill_Reader More than 1 year ago
This really is a great book. I first saw the movie when I was about 11 years old and have seen it several times since then. While I really enjoyed the movie, the book provides such thought provoking details that the movie does not adequately capture. My first Grisham but definitely not my last.
conniejackson More than 1 year ago
I think that "A Time To Kill" is Mr. Grisham's best book so far. I've read many of his other novels, some are great, and some are so-so, but this novel ranks at the top. It is full of different issues like rape, murder, kkk, racism, etc. The plot just keeps on building and building. Just when you think that it is about to slow down something else happens. I recommend this book to all the folks. Enjoy it!
NonieCC More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, this is the best book written by John Grisham. The rest were good, some were great, but his first was his best!
MSO440CHALESTON More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
A really good read. I think this might be the best of the Grisham books overall. I have read it several times and I think it is fantastic.
Noonday1 More than 1 year ago
Although,I have read most of Grisham's books from The Client on, I had never read A Time to Kill. With Sycamore Row coming out, I decided I should backtrack and read it for background before I read Sycamore Row. I found this first novel to be an exciting read, one of Grisham's best, far better than Sycamore Row which I subsequently read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quite simply, the best of John Grisham's books. I do wonder if he was at all influenced by Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A black father administered Justice to the white Criminals for his brutally raped & assaulted little girl. He end up on trial for Murder, that could end in the Gas Chamber. Set in the South, in northern Mississippi, in the small town of Clanton
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The product was as described.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book couldn't put it down. Can't wait for the sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am currently reading this book and love it.