The custodian at St. Mark’s had just scraped three inches of snow off the sidewalks when the man with the cane appeared. The sun was up, but the winds were howling; the temperature was stuck at the freezing mark. The man wore only a pair of thin dungarees, a summer shirt, well-worn hiking boots, and a light Windbreaker that stood little chance against the chill. But he did not appear to be uncomfortable, nor was he in a hurry. He was on foot, walking with a limp and a slight tilt to his left, the side aided by the cane. He shufﬂed along the sidewalk near the chapel and stopped at a side door with the word “Ofﬁce” painted in dark red. He did not knock and the door was not locked. He stepped inside just as another gust of wind hit him in the back.
The room was a reception area with the cluttered, dusty look one would expect to ﬁnd in an old church. In the center was a desk with a nameplate that announced the presence of Charlotte Junger, who sat not far behind her name. She said with a smile, “Good morning.”
“Good morning,” the man said. A pause. “It’s very cold out there.”
“It is indeed,” she said as she quickly sized him up. The obvious problem was that he had no coat and nothing on his hands or head.
“I assume you’re Ms. Junger,” he said, staring at her name.
“No, Ms. Junger is out today. The ﬂu. I’m Dana Schroeder, the minister’s wife, just ﬁlling in. What can we do for you?”
There was one empty chair and the man looked hopefully at it. “May I?”
“Of course,” she said. He carefully sat down, as if all movements needed forethought.
“Is the minister in?” he asked as he looked at a large, closed door off to the left.
“Yes, but he’s in a meeting. What can we do for you?” She was petite, with a nice chest, tight sweater. He couldn’t see anything below the waist, under the desk. He had always preferred the smaller ones. Cute face, big blue eyes, high cheekbones, a wholesome pretty girl, the perfect little minister’s wife.
It had been so long since he’d touched a woman.
“I need to see Reverend Schroeder,” he said as he folded his hands together prayerfully. “I was in church yesterday, listened to his sermon, and, well, I need some guidance.”
“He’s very busy today,” she said with a smile. Really nice teeth.
“I’m in a rather urgent situation,” he said.
Dana had been married to Keith Schroeder long enough to know that no one had ever been sent away from his ofﬁce, appointment or not. Besides, it was a frigid Monday morning and Keith wasn’t really that busy. A few phone calls, one consultation with a young couple in the process of retreating from a wedding, under way at that very moment, then the usual visits to the hospitals.
Excerpted from The Confession by John Grisham Copyright © 2010 by John Grisham. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
In The Confession, Grisham heads back to the courtroom for his most extraordinary legal thriller yet!
For every innocent man sent to prison, there is a guilty one left on the outside. Travis Boyette is such a man. In 1998, in East Texas, he raped and strangled a high school cheerleader, then watched as Donté Drumm, a local football star, was convicted and sent to death row.
Now nine years have passed. Travis has just been paroled for a different crime; Donté is four days away from execution. Travis suffers from an inoperable brain tumor and for the first time in his life, he decides to do what’s right and confess.
But how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges and politicians that they’re about to execute an innocent man?
Hardcover Book : 432 pages
Publisher: Doubleday Broadway/ Div of Random House ( October 26, 2010 )
Item #: 13-152038
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.97inches
Product Weight: 15.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Loved it! John Grisham never disappoints...
Reviewer: c. r
This book held my interest from start to finish. I have been a John Grisham fan since his first book and have always anticipated his next. His characters are very real and draw true emotion. This is another book I will be sure to reread a few times!
Reviewer: Michelle K
If you are against capital punishment, you MUST read this book. It is one of the best books that I have ever read. I could not put it down.
Reviewer: Katrina G
One should never base their decision to read a book written by one of their favorite authors, on the negative opinions of others. John Grisham is one of my favorite authors. This book was absolutely great. I found it hard to put down. If I was attempting to watch the news or any other programs on tv, I found myself reading a few lines during commercial breaks. Finally I would have to turn the tv off and just read this book. Thank you John Grisham for a great and informative book.