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Ray Atlee, a Professor of Law at the University of Virginia, is forty-three and newly single. His father, a very sick old man who lives the life of a recluse in the ancestral home in Clanton, Mississippi, was once a beloved and powerful official who towered over local law and politics for many years. With the end in sight, Judge Atlee issues a summons to Ray to return home to Clanton, to discuss the details of the family estate. Ray reluctantly heads south, but the family meeting does not take place. The Judge dies too soon, and in doing so leaves behind a shocking secret which Ray believes only he knows. Until it becomes clear that someone else knows too...

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099406136
ISBN-10: 0099406136
Format: Paperback
(178mm x 110mm x 25mm)
Pages: 400
Imprint: Arrow Books Ltd
Publisher: Cornerstone
Publish Date: 28-Sep-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » Ray Atlee, a recently divorced lawyer, is summoned home by his father, along with his black-sheep brother Forest, to discuss the details of his estate. Before he gets there, however, the old man, a judge, dies, leaving behind a shocking secret which the siblings may, or may not, be the only ones who know. When Grisham writes his way back into the world of the lawyer, his legion of fans can breathe easily. Grisham's world is inhabited by ordinary people caught up in situations not of their own making - the interest is in how they slide across the boundaries of what is legal and what is not. The suspense builds - a writer of Grisham's skill handles his plot twists with cunning efficiency and readers will turn the pages at a breathless rate. There is a slight sense of calculated manipulation of the reader which will irritate some, but the Grisham Inc. production line has relentlessly produced another winner with all the constituent parts of good thriller writing, not least an appealingly human hero and a spare writing style. The publishers have confidently put 'No.1 Bestseller' on the cover of the first edition, and you know they won't be wrong. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - John Grisham

John Grisham is the author of twenty-two novels, one work of non-fiction, a collection of short stories, and a novel for young readers. He is on the Board of Directors of the Innocence Project in New York and is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Innocence Project at the University of Mississippi School of Law. He lives in Virgina and Mississippi. His website is

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