Grisham, John The Summons

ISBN 13: 9780099406136

The Summons

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9780099406136: The Summons

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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Review:

An intelligent, low-key thriller, The Summons continues John Grisham's exploration of the common decencies of a strain of American commercial story-telling in literature and film that we often link to the work of Frank Capra or O Henry. He is not afraid of parable or of setting up situations that are at once archetypal and attractively specific. This is a tale of two brothers--one is righteous, more or less, and one is not--and a question of their inheritance. Ancient Mississippi judge Atlee summons his two sons to his deathbed, but dies before he can explain himself, leaving Ray, who arrives on time unlike his drunkard brother Forest with the difficult problem of the three million dollars in used notes which are lying around the house in shoe-boxes. Ray worries about his father's posthumous reputation, about the Inland Revenue Service and about how quickly Forrest could drink himself to death with unlimited funds.

Grisham is very acute indeed on how the best of intentions lead Ray not to any significant crime or atrocity but to quietly unconscionable behaviour. And then he realises he is being followed... Grisham can build suspense out of remarkably little and has a real gift for understanding the quiet anxieties of an ordinary man. --Roz Kaveney

Review:

" Classic Grisham" ( Times)

"John Grisham is a copper-bottomed promise of reliable story-telling. The legal trappings are as persuasive as ever" ( Independent)

" Smooth, tough and addictive" ( Mirror)

" No one tells a story better than Grisham" ( Evening Standard)

" Compelling" ( Time Literary Supplement)

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