Written By: John Grisham

Narrated By: Michael Beck

Date: February 2002

Duration: 8 hours 48 minutes


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • A pillar of the community who towered over local law and politics for forty years, Judge Atlee is now a shadow of his former self—a sick, lonely old man who has withdrawn to his sprawling ancestral home in Clanton, Mississippi.

Knowing that the end is near, Judge Atlee has issued a summons for his two sons to return to Clanton to discuss his estate. Ray Atlee is the elder, a Virginia law professor, newly single, still enduring the aftershocks of a surprise divorce. Forrest is Ray’s younger brother, the family’s black sheep.

The summons is typed by the Judge himself, on his handsome old stationery, and gives the date and time for Ray and Forrest to appear in his study. Ray reluctantly heads south to his hometown, to the place he now prefers to avoid. But the family meeting does not take place. The Judge dies too soon, and in doing so leaves behind a shocking secret known only to Ray . . . and perhaps to someone else.


  • Dora M.

    The only good part was the very end. I love John Grisham books, was very surprised and disappointed with the story.

  • Coral

    What would you do with 3 Mil. That is about the only question this book brought to my mind It was slow with twisted ending Took til disc 7 to get you involved

  • Mark C

    Very slow moving, and the premise seems unreasonable. No one would overthink the situation like the main character.

  • Werner

    This story was entertaining; good, but not great. Narrator was great to hear and kept a level of interest. Don't understand why some folks didn't like this story, but alas. Would recommend this book as easy listening but certainly not mind twisting

  • Carl H

    A good read; a good story; but typical of Grisham the ending, although full of irony, was weak.

  • Diane M

    I can't believe that some people didn't like this book. I thought it was excellent, an interesting diversion from Grisham's usual stories. I just wish there had been an epilogue, since that ending just seemed to need closure. Michael Beck was a great narrator, and I'll certainly look for more of his narrations.


    John Grisham is as always at his best. Reader is excellent!

  • Anonymous

    This book is definitely not as good as a typical John Grisham novel. It was very slow and not very exciting. Not sure I would recommend it to others. Stick with his other classics.

  • James

    This book had me wanting to not put it down once I started it. For me it was great, took place in MS where I grew up and also had the main character flying a plane which I love to do as well. It was fast moving and full of suspense. Did not learn about the summons until the end. Great book. You will love it.

  • Toxic

    Grisham is always good-at times great--this effort is good-but-not one of the better examples of his work.

  • Anonymous

    This was by far the most boring book I have read/heard. It didn't climax at no point. I don't want to say, that it was predictable, but it was simply not exciting at all.

  • Susan

    Couldn't wait to find out what was going on, but disappointed when it was over since I enjoyed it so much. Great fun in true Grisham fashion. Loved it.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with another reviewer of this book in that I love Grisham novels and he did not let me down. I recommend the book but it wasn't one of my favorites. However I often think I expect too much.

  • Anonymous

    I love John Grisham's stories, and this one did not let me down. I thought the plot was believable. I enjoyed the twist between the two brothers at the end. I recommend this book for all John Grisham lovers.

  • Anonymous

    Grisham has to be one of my favorite authors! Another page turner (if there were pages)! Couldn't wait to get back in the car everyday to hear more!

  • Anonymous

    I was impressed with this story by Grisham. It kept me listening and wanting to hear more. I would recommend this one...

  • Hope Spicer

    This was a good book not great by no means but it kept me interested enough to finish it in a couple of days.

  • Peg Longano

    I cant get enough of Grisham - always puts out a good book . Would recommend.

  • Anonymous

    this is a thriller, well written as are his other books. Hard to wait for the next disc to see how it could possibly work out. the characters are believable. enjoyed this audio.

  • William Morgan

    I always enjoy Grisham's works and this was no exception. Maybe not his best, but definitely worth your time. I especially like Michael Beck's narration. His southern accents on the different characters is excellent and really entertaining.

  • Anonymous

    The characters and storyline had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The main character is spineless, the storyline is uneventful and uninteresting and the conclusion leaves one feeling annoyed to have spent time listening to this book.

  • Douglas Freeze

    The best part about this audiobook is the narrator, Michael Beck. Being a native Mississippian, I felt like I was listening to an old friend tell a story. To me, his "southern" dialect didn't feel contrived. It will definitely be worth listening to another Grisham novel with Beck at the helm. The story was okay but stayed on a slow pace until the very end, and the ending was rather hurried. All in all, fairly enjoyable.

  • DAS

    Enjoyed this book alot. It was one of those that made me look forward to my drive to/from work - the type of book where you sit "just one more minute" in the parking lot at work in the morning. Not a great book, but enjoyable and worth "renting".

  • Anonymous

    Suspenseful. Shows human nature. Realistic ending.

  • jo Alexander

    Give it more than 5 stars, what a great listening experience. Grisham, he's the man!!!

  • Christy

    Not John Grisham's best. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't all that good. The plot was fairly simple but in my opinion he drug it out. There were a few twists and turns but they all seemed very predictable to me. Maybe I have just listened to or read too many of these kinds of books.

  • Anonymous

    Very good! I read the book when it was first released and enjoyed the audio just as much.

  • cdfmg

    Grisham is still chasing the pile of cash, but I'm happy to report that this one does not end on a sailboat ballasted by gold in the Caribbean. Good to pass time. Careful not to prejudge your hero, his identity might surprise you.

  • KPR

    This was a fun, interesting book. I loved the character development and the story kept my interest throughout. Only the ending was a let down - I guess that is typical of Grisham books.



  • Rachel Fitzpatrick

    Very good "read". Quick moving and suspensful. Great topics...money, murder, gambling...what more can you ask for????

  • Anonymous

    A good book. But just a good book. I've read a lot of Grisham books and I love most of them. This one I only like, but it's still worth the read.


by John Grisham

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