Throwback Thursday: A Time To Kill by John Grisham

Throwback Thursday is a new meme created by Renee of It’s Book Talk ( as her way of sharing some of her favorite oldies but goodies books that were published more than a year ago. I started joining last week and I loved the idea so I am participating again.

This week, I pay tribute to one of my favorite crime-novel authors, John Grisham with A Time To Kill.



A Time to Kill (Jake Brigance #1) by John Grisham

The life of a ten-year-old girl is shattered by two drunken and remorseless young man. The mostly white town reacts with shock and horror at the inhuman crime. Until her black father acquires an assault rifle — and takes justice into his own outraged hands.

For ten days, as burning crosses and the crack of sniper fire spread through the streets of Clanton, the nation sits spellbound as young defense attorney Jake Brigance struggles to save his client’s life…and then his own.

Dateline: Clanton, Mississippi. Early 1980s.

One day, ten-year-old girl Tonya was found almost a breath away from death. Two vicious drunk drug addicts had earlier assaulted, raped and tied her and they thought she was already dead. Fortunately, she survived and the men who violated her were caught and arrested.

That’s where lawyer Jake Brigance came into the picture. Carl Lee Hailey asked for his help to bring the evil thugs to justice. But Brigance noted that Carl was a black man and he was barking on two white supremacists, thus there was a possibility that they could be freed. Pissed and mad about the discovery, Carl took matters into his own hands and killed her daughter’s perpetrators.

Brigance formally took Carl’s murder case, the townsfolk not entirely on their side because, in this quaint little town of Clayton, black people weren’t really welcomed. Thus began the grueling, life-threatening journey of Carl, Tonya, their family and the entire black race.

This was the very first John Grisham courtroom drama that I have read almost 20 years ago after watching the movie adaptation. (Okay, I admit, I had a huge girl crush on Sandra Bullock at that time and I found Matthew McConaughey quite dapper when he was still wearing clothes & Americana suit. Spare me the ridicules because he was totally different back then. LOL)

Anyway, earlier this year, I re-arranged my super disorganized book shelf (or should I say, book box) and found this classic treasure sandwiched in between Sidney Sheldon and Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. I couldn’t help but read it again. John Grisham has been one of my early favorite authors, next to Nora Roberts and Sidney Sheldon. A Time To Kill was one of the first books he wrote and he wrote it with intensity, candor and audacity. Grisham clearly knew what he was writing and he took care of people’s race and dynamics in every situation. He made me believe that I was part of the jury and a questionable justice system.

Racism, justice, morality and thought-provoking questions grabbed me from the start. Twenty years ago, I was dazzled by the book and the movie. Twenty years later, Grisham still had the same effect on me. Impressive!


Review: Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwell


Cruel & Unusual (Kay Scarpetta #4)
by Patricia Cornwell

Virginia Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta is called in to autopsy the body of convicted murderer Ronnie Waddell after his execution. Several days after the execution, a young boy is discovered murdered in the fashion of Waddell’s earlier killings, with Waddell’s prints near the body. Scarpetta, along with FBI Agent Benton Wesley and Detective Pete Marino, try to discover how a dead inmate could have possibly committed another murder after his death. As the story progresses she seeks the assistance of her 17-year-old niece Lucy after she discovers a strange folder on her computer.


Kay Scarpetta steps up her game in this series. She confronted the most bizarre of the many controversies involved in her body of work yet. Everyone wonders how Ronnie Joe Waddell’s unique fingerprint appears at the murder scene of Eddie Heath a few hours after Waddell was executed. Dr. Scarpetta, together with her expert team consisting of the charismatic Pete Marino, Benton Wesley and her niece Lucy, they went to great lengths to investigate and expose the murderer, but not without her getting practically destroyed.

Among the female crime writers I’ve read, I think the legendary Patricia Cornwell is my favorite. She’s got to be an exceptional author who uses her expertise in the investigative field to make sure that there is substance in the novels that she write. I like how her stories get me engaged until I have reached the last page of the book. Truly this has been a nail-biting suspense mystery that readers and thrill seekers would appreciate and enjoy.



Review: Sleight of Hand by Kate Wilhelm

sleightSleight of Hand
(Barbara Holloway # 9)
by Kate Wilhelm
Paperback, published 2007

officialsynopGregarious Vegas entertainer Wally Lederer has a lucrative showbiz career, but when a childhood friend accuses him of stealing a valuable artifact, his checkered past comes back to haunt him. Wally claims he’s turned his life around since spending time in the slammer for picking pockets, but will the police believe him? More important, does Barbara believe him when he pleads his case to her?

Wally swears he’s innocent. But when his accuser is found murdered, Barbara knows Wally is in serious troubleβ€”the police have named him as their prime suspect.

Barbara begins to dig up the dirt, and before long new evidence points toward an unlikely killer. Now Barbara must decide if protecting her client by revealing the truth will destroy another life she means to save.


Wally Lederer had been accused and had served time in jail for theft. Five years later, he was freed and vowed to never go back to his old stealing ways. He promised his wife he’d changed, because if he failed, Meg would readily divorce him.

Over the years, he’d kept to his promise and lived a good, clean life as an entertainer. One day, he chanced upon an old friend, Jay Wilkins and the two had a drink in his friend’s home. Things didn’t go well between the two when Jay accused Wally of stealing his golden horse statue. So he asked for his friend Frank Holloway’s help about this matter, but the old man refused, said that he no longer practiced criminal defense. His daughter Barbara stepped in.

When they were about to prove Wally’s innocence, Jay Wilkins was soon found dead – murdered. And every finger pointed to Wally, given his history and recent fight with the victim. Was Wally guilty as charged? Or not?

I’ve read a couple of Barbara Holloway novels before and as always, the author Kate Wilhelm reminds me of my favorite author Sidney Sheldon. Her novels always makes my brain work like that of a CSI detective. I tend to analyze every detail, doubt every character, look for loopholes, determine the suspect and in the end, be surprised with the twists. Somehow, I was able to easily identify with Barbara Holloway, the lawyer because she strive hard to help innocent people and uphold their interests and integrity. Her relationship with her father was also something to look forward to.

But more than that, I was moved by the grace, directness and humor of Kate WIlhelm’s writing and world building. Sleight of Hand is another suspense mystery that’s sure to make you think deeper and deeper as you enjoy devouring the pages, from start to finish.

My rating:Β 



Review: DEM – Deus Ex-Machina by Lee Ness

DEMD.E.M. – Deus Ex Machina
by Lee Ness

SynopsisLogoNo good turn goes unpunished!

When Rachel is spurred to use her computing skills to find an abducted boy, she has no idea that it will bring her to the attention of an anonymous vigilante. Is the vigilante what he seems and what does he want with Rachel? As she gets drawn deeper into his world she tries to find out more about him only to put herself and her friends in grave danger. When she finally realises that he isn’t a vigilante at all, Rachel is in a race against time to save her friends and prevent him from escalating the war between Israel and Palestine.


What would you do when you realized someone knows about you, what you do, where you live, and how much money is in your bank account? This might shock the hell out of you but Rachel knows what to do.

Rachel witnessed the kidnapping of a young boy near her place but the police officers weren’t doing their jobs due to conspiracy. It’s up to Rachel and her computer skills to help the concerned families and put the abductors in their place. Too bad, the tables turned and now she received an email from someone who knew the boy’s whereabouts and who knew a whole lot about her.


Threats had been issued, guns had been fired, intels had been hacked, and death had been imminent the moment Rachel meddled with the abduction. With the help of new found friends and a hacker love interest, they uncovered a mystery deeper than they could handle. Expect a lot of twists and turns and major surprises, this thing could break your defenses and question the people around you.

I enjoyed every minute of reading this book. It’s got a lot of action, mind-boggling situations, heart-stopping scenes and a hint of romance that will leave you gushing. Lee Ness was able to come up with a high-stakes crime novel that is engaging, provocative and sure to delight its readers!