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Audio Book Review – The Confession

The Confession by John Grisham

Review by Mirah Welday (mwelday)


Recently, the debate over the death penalty in the United States has been getting more attention.  I hear it mentioned in the news regularly and politicians and citizens continue to argue over the effectiveness of the death penalty as a deterrent for future crimes by others and the ability to rehabilitate offenders.  No matter how you feel about the issue, it can become a heated debate full of strong opinion.

During a recent work trip I listened to The Confession by John Grisham.  Donte Drumm, an African-American teen in Texas, is convicted and sentence to death for the kidnapping and murder of a white cheerleader from his school.  Drumm confessed to the crime (even though the victim’s body was never found) but insisted later at trial that it was a coerced confession given after hours of being interrogated and lied to by officers.   Drumm’s lawyer, Robbie Flak, continues to fight every angle to get Drumm’s conviction overturned.

Mere days before Drumm’s scheduled execution date Travis Boyette, a convicted sex offender, walks into a pastor’s office in Kansas and confesses to the murder of a Texas cheerleader years earlier.  Thus begins a bitter, often angry, frenzied attempt to get Boyette’s confession before the eyes of the court in order to save Drumm.

In listening to this audiobook, there were times I found myself gripping the steering wheel so tightly my knuckles were white.  The down-to-the-wire desperate rush of the story had my head swimming and my heart racing.  I think no matter what side of the death penalty debate you are on, this novel will make you think twice and contemplate whether what you believe is right or wrong.

I have already sent my audiobook of The Confession to another PBS swapper but if you’re interested in a fast-paced, gut-wrenching novel on justice (or the lack of), I encourage you to add this to your list.  The narration is excellent and the sheer thought-provoking nature of the novel is valuable.


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