The Reckoning

The Reckoning

by John Grisham


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John Grisham’s The Reckoning is the master storyteller’s most powerful, surprising, and accomplished novel yet
“John Grisham is not only the master of suspense but also an acute observer of the human condition. And these remarkable skills converge in The Reckoning—an original, gripping, penetrating novel that may be his greatest work yet.”
—David Grann, New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon
 October 1946, Clanton, Mississippi

Pete Banning was Clanton, Mississippi’s favorite son—a decorated World War II hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, father, neighbor, and a faithful member of the Methodist church. Then one cool October morning he rose early, drove into town, walked into the church, and calmly shot and killed his pastor and friend, the Reverend Dexter Bell. As if the murder weren’t shocking enough, it was even more baffling that Pete's only statement about it—to the sheriff, to his lawyers, to the judge, to the jury, and to his family—was: "I have nothing to say." He was not afraid of death and was willing to take his motive to the grave.
            In a major novel unlike anything he has written before, John Grisham takes us on an incredible journey, from the Jim Crow South to the jungles of the Philippines during World War II; from an insane asylum filled with secrets to the Clanton courtroom where Pete’s defense attorney tries desperately to save him.
            Reminiscent of the finest tradition of Southern Gothic storytelling, The Reckoning would not be complete without Grisham’s signature layers of legal suspense, and he delivers on every page.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781984819581
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/18/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 3,136
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

John Grisham is the author of thirty-two novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and six novels for young readers.


Oxford, Mississippi, and Albemarle County, Virginia

Date of Birth:

February 8, 1955

Place of Birth:

Jonesboro, Arkansas


B.S., Mississippi State, 1977; J.D., University of Mississippi, 1981

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Excerpted from "The Reckoning"
by .
Copyright © 2018 John Grisham.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Reckoning 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 305 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mr. Grisham, only the very young or narrow minded would give this book a bad review. Even less than five stars will give you a mind set or historical reading experience of the reviewer. Being 82 years old living thru those times as well as being an avid and versatile reader, you kept me enthralled. Having read this wonderful book on my Nook because I couldn't wait to go shopping, I'm praying I win an autographed copy on your Facebook contest! God Bless you and I hope you continue with that wonderful imagination until you are my age and beyond. Carolyn Born from Tennessee.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was well written but as one who loves the courtroom battle and mystery of the firm and the pelican brief and runaway jury it was not the John Grisham books I love. His later books miss the mark of the early ones for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grisham is one of my favorite authors. This book does not dissapoint in terms of writing., characters or gripping storyline. However, it was not pleasant to read. So, so much sadness and hurt. The histotical WWIi section was full of truth, but brutal truth. There were rare reasons to laugh or smi,e, which I many of his psst books have given.Sometimes life is not happy nor fair, and this story describes it with tough emotios.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don’t add this to your list of his best novels. While certainly better than I could do, I found it disappointing. For the first half I was plagued with questions about the timeline of the main tragic character’s life. In the middle I was relieved to have my historical and chronological questions answered. While some authors clue the reader in to the answer along they way and spend the last part or the book making the answer obvious to the world and achieve a sense of justice, some authors spring a fulfilling climax with the last chapter and provide a sense of completion in the epilogue. This book did neither, kept me puzzled to the end, and not feeling a sense of justice at the final word. Maybe that is life, but a book should produce a more welcoming conclusion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As with all of John Grisham’s books, it was a quick read as I couldn’t put it down. I am always sad when I finish as I could read a million more pages. The story was great! What’s next?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Greshim is a great storeyteller who never disappoints, I've read every one of his books, He keeps you interested or hundredd of pages, and this one is no exception
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heart wrenching... The WWII experience filled in gaps for me in understanding the experiences of those who served in the South Pacific My Father was a Navy Pilot there and never wanted to talk about it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reminds you of Time to kill, details and story line suck you in and you feel as if you are right there in Clanton, Mississippi
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Usually an avid fan of Grisham, I was not impressed with this long-winded and mostly boring piece of fiction/nonfiction mash up. Couldn't read every page and skipped over dozens of pages just hoping Grisham would get on with the story. I am hoping one of my favorite modern day authors (Grisham) will redeem himself with the next read. I tried, but just couldn't get into this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reads very bland. It was a decent plot line but lacks any true emotion. It was difficult to actually care about any of the characters. Not anywhere near his best work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read all of Mr. Grisham's novels and look forward to each release with anticipation. But none before have held my interest as much as The Reckoning. My uncle through marriage is a survivor of the Bataan Death March. He never spoke of his experiences. Not a history buff, I had no understanding of the atrocaties of this war. This novel was spellbinding from start to finish. Take 20% off coupons from
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My be the worst Grisham book written, I have read with pleasure most of he work...No redeming factors, all negative stuff, The Batan death march, the electric chair, a crazy wife. An awful law suit and loss of property, not mention the killing of a minster. Don't waist your time on the terrible book. Too many good books out there!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring, tediuos dribble. Did I mention it was boring? No courtroom drama and its boring. This made Patterson / Clinton crap look good. I can only assume JG needed some Xmas money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not up to Grisham standard even if true.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Story is divided into three parts: 1- the crime and the trial; 2-the back story of the main character in the war and how his experiences shaped and transformed him and 3- more courtroom drama and search for the truth. One of the better Grisham novels i have read in many years. Kept reading late at night to finish this one! Loved it
ACW1 More than 1 year ago
Usually love his books but this is the worst. Part one was slow but OK, part two was a mess, I don't want to read that stuff especially when we all knew some of what he went through during the war. Part three was really slow and the ending just sucked. He needs to stick with legal thrillers. Cannot recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
evealing the ending ;of the novel in the early chapters left this reader a bit sad and regreting buying this This book takes the joy out of readinng, Revealing the end of the novel in the early chapters left nothing to explore and cast a shadow that permeates the rest of the story, Although l usually like this excellent author's novels, I would not reccomend this one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I generally really enjoy reading Grisham's writing, but this was very wordy and slow. If he wanted to do a book about the Philippines in World War II he should have done that, not wound it into an unsatisfying fictional novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of his best books. I was on the ride to the very last word. I was 1000% team Pete, and then within the last few pages I was so conflicted about who was truly the hero or villain or was everyone a victim of their circumstance at the time. This is one of those books you’ll mull over for some time after you finish. This book is!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderfully written tale of deep love and betrayal, which also includes a history lesson of the Bataan Death March. Way to go, John Grisham.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book. The ending was very surprising.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The beginning and the end was good. I've read many of his books. Most I want to keep reading didn't feel compelled to this time. Couldn't wait to get away from the war. Spent way to much time there. It was an ok book but not like most of his past ones. Disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book until the end. I felt I was left hangjng to see how it would end and i was disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have loved his past works, but this one was disappointing. I was expecting the “reason” for the crime would explain his horrid behavior - however, it did not. I also found the return to the past ineffective. It might have been more effective to learn what he went through, and then what he came home to find...... Just not my favorite Grisham novel......
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If I wanted a WW2 history I would have bought one. Very little courtroom drama. What has happened to Grisham?