Sycamore Row, Hardback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


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. 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'?


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Thriller / suspense
  • ISBN: 9781444765564



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'Sycamore Row' is the latest novel from the prolific John Grisham, and it is also the sequal to A Time to Kill starring small town lawyer Jake Brigance. This courtroom drama is set in Mississippi in 1988, three years after events in 'A Time to Kill' (Grisham's first novel), and again race relations and prejudice are at the centre of the story. In this story wealthy businessman Seth Hubbard rewrites his will shortly before taking his own life, a decision heavily influenced by his advancing cancer. This will leaves the bulk of his estate to Lettie Lang, his black housekeeper, much to the ire of his relatives and surprise of everyone else. Thus ensues a courtroom challenge to the will, central to the challenge of the relatives being Seth's 'testamentary capacity' and the possible 'undue influence' of Lettie Lang. Jake of course has been charged with defending the last will by Hubbard in a letter sent before his death, and while its defence looks a relatively straightforward task initially, events unfold which threaten to tear down the defence and see the will put aside in favour of an earlier version. Meanwhile also a search ensues for Seth's long lost brother, himself due to inherit in the new will and who also is the only link with the past, a past which may or may not have a bearing on events of the present. A certain humour is introduced by Grisham in the manner in which he deals with Seth's relatives and their supposed new found love for their Uncle Seth, a love which was not very evident when he was alive. How the possibility of inherited wealth can sway the hearts of so many! The courtroom element of this novel is its strongest aspect, which by and large covers most of the book! So yes, I enjoyed this, as I usually do Grisham's novels. The ending too is quite strong, something I can't say about a number of Grisham's other novels. The only gripe I might have is the character of Jake himself, too clean, too nice, no faults to list or complicate him as a character. I guess it makes the book ripe for another film blockbuster like 'A Time to Kill' became, starring as it did Matthew McConaughey. I just about give this four stars out of five, which I did to his previous 'The Racketeer', but 'The Racketeer' I can definitely say I did prefer.

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