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Sycamore Row

Sycamore Row 5

by John Grisham
Publication Date: 22/10/2013
4/5 Rating 5 Reviews
Jake Brigance has never met Seth Hubbard, or even heard of him, until the old man's suicide note names him attorney for his estate. The will is dynamite. Seth has left ninety per cent of his vast, secret fortune to his housemaid.

The vultures are circling even before the body is cold: the only subject more incendiary than money in Ford County is race, and this case has both.

AS the relatives contest the will, and unscrupulous lawyers hasten to benefit, Jake searches for answers to the many questions left by Seth Hubbard's death:

What made him write that last-minute will leaving everything to a poor black woman named Lettie Lang

Why did he choose to kill himself on the desolate piece of land known as Sycamore Row

And what was it that Seth and his brother witnessed as children that, in his words, 'no human should ever see'

In the long-awaited successor to the novel that launched his phenomenal career, John Grisham brings us the powerful sequel to A Time to Kill. As filled with page-turning twists as it is with legal mastery, Sycamore Row proves beyond doubt that John Grisham is in a league of his own.
Thriller / suspense
Publication Date:
Hodder & Stoughton
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):
John Grisham

John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade, specialising in criminal defense and personal injury litigation.

One day, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987.

His next novel, The Firm, spent 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and became the bestselling novel of 1991. Since then, he has written one novel a year, including The Client, The Pelican Brief, The Rainmaker and The Runaway Jury.

Today, Grisham has written a collection of stories, a work of non-fiction, three sports novels, five kids' books, and many legal thrillers. His work has been translated into 42 languages. He lives near Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Fantastic sequel to 'A Time to Kill'

    by on

    Who leaves a new handwritten will saying that most, if not all, of his riches will be bequeathed to his black housekeeper before hanging himself on a sycamore tree? Seth Hubbard did. He is a wealthy white man dying of cancer in John Grishams new novel, Sycamore Row, which also happens to be the sequel to A Time to Kill.

    Before ending his life, Hubbard mails the new handwritten will to Jake Brigance, the feisty lawyer from A Time to Kill. Neither Hubbard nor Brigance know each other, but the former trusts the young lawyer to execute his will for him. The new will, it turns out, does not leave anything for Hubbards children, grandchildren, or ex-wives. Predictably, the bereaved family is not happy about the turn of events and contests the new will. A colourful courtroom drama ensues and readers will find out why Hubbard did what he did by the end of the book.

    It is because of the above premise why I chose to read Sycamore Row. I cant imagine leaving most of my belongings to my housekeeper while leaving my family to support themselves after my death. I was intrigued and continued to be intrigued while reading Grishams latest legal thriller. It could get a bit predictable in some parts, but it is still a fast-paced and powerful book. It wouldnt surprise me if this was turned to a movie. Id actually be looking forward to a movie adaptation!

  • Fantastic!

    by on

    I am a huge fan of legal thriller books and Sycamore Row by John Grisham is one of the best books that I have ever read in that genre. This is not really surprising given Grisham is a master of the genre and all of his books are riveting reads. Sycamore Row is probably my most favourite work he has done so far, because of how the story is beautifully presented and well-written.

    The tension in the story builds perfectly. It was not rushed and not overwhelming. I could not put this book down. It was that good. The plot twist is also believable and jaw-dropping.

    This book is marketed as the sequel to his bestselling book A Time to Kill, but technically it is not. Main character Jake Brigance is the lead in Sycamore Row--he is back in the courtroom to defend a black housekeeper who was given inheritance by her dead employer--but the story is not a continuation of A Time to Kill.

    I have read other reviews that are bashing Grisham and saying that he is overrated and his works are overhyped. I beg to disagree--Grisham knows what he is doing and he is a good storyteller. He develops his character well and knows how to write interesting plots. I admire him and his works so I definitely recommend Sycamore Row to everybody.

  • Completely worthy of the anticipation.

    by on

    Sycamore Row is probably one of the most anticipated book releases this year, because of the success of its predecessor, A Time to Kill. I suppose Grisham knew that writing this sequel entailed a lot pressure as so many people have high expectations of the book. I, for one, was unsure if he would be able to successfully write a sequel to one of the best books he has written in his entire career. After reading this book, I felt terrible that I had doubted Grisham. Sycamore Row is a masterpiece.

    If you are thinking that Sycamore Row is just a continuation of A Time to Kills storyline, you are wrong. The main characters are the same and the drama still takes place in the courtroom but in the sequel, the story revolves around a rich guy named Seth Hubbard. Before the old man killed himself, he wrote a will and left his black housekeeper 90 percent of his fortune. Then he sent the will to Jack Brigance and asked him to defend it in the event that someone contests it.

    The good thing about John Grisham is that he is able to develop the story in a riveting manner. He has mastered the art of writing courtroom drama. The character and plot development are also superb, but that was already expected of Grisham.

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