The Reckoning - John Grisham

The Reckoning

By John Grisham

  • Release Date: 2018-10-23
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
Score: 4
From 2,966 Ratings


#1 bestselling author John Grisham’s The Reckoning is his most powerful, surprising, and suspenseful thriller yet.
“A murder mystery, a courtroom drama, a family saga…The Reckoning is Grisham's argument that he's not just a boilerplate thriller writer. Most jurors will think the counselor has made his case.”
USA Today
 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, and committed a shocking crime.  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.


  • Not what I was expecting...

    By KimRN30
    I’ve been a fan of Grisham novels for a very long time now. They don’t need to be edge of your seat legal thrillers, such as Skipping Christmas. My own issue, bull your book as it should be read. Amazing story. Keep them coming please! Always the week of my birthday.
  • Mailed this one in

    By Destingator
    If the three elements of a novel are plot, character development, and context, this one is 90% context. If you’ve read any of Grisham’s other Southern gothic novels or, for example, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” you can skip the first (after the obligatory premise/plot chapter) 300 or so pages about life in the old rural South. Then, if you’ve read much of anything about WWII in the Pacific and the Japanese treatment of POW, you can skip the next 500 or so pages about that. It could have been taken verbatim from any number of sources with a little cut and paste about Grisham’s protagonist. The “climax,” if one can call it that, was a predictable disappointment. Not sure how I got through one, save that I’ve read most of his other books and loved his early work. Oh well, time to move on. Goodbye old friend.
  • Pointless

    By sidition
    Entertaining enough leading up to the dastardly deed, then, aside from some historical backfill having little place save for absence of plot, we slog several hundred pages further on the same unflinchingly predictable trajectory hoping against hope for a meager plot twist to put us off the already crumb less trail but finding instead only the muster of collective wheezing offered the limpest of Hail Mary plot chucks attempting to achieve in its final ten pages what it could not in its previous 644..finding legs to run this shaggiest of dogs.
  • Kind of a slog

    By lorKim
    I enjoyed the first section, tolerated the second and only finished the book because I’d invested time and wanted to see what the big reveal was going to be. Ended up being underwhelming and a disappointment. I say this as a lover of John Grisham. This was not my favorite.
  • This is a fantastic read!

    By Tim Williford
    I love John Grisham and I love love LOVE “The Reckoning.”
  • Boring

    By Maaxxxxximum
    A long slog. I skipped many chapters due to lack of interest and found the ending to be boring. Waste of time.
  • The reckoning

    By Tatgin
    Lack if grip very slow , not the intriguing fast pace story that identifies John Grisham
  • Can’t Believe Grisham Is the author

    By Lawyer141
    I guess even Tom Brady has awful days. Kept waiting for the book to pickup speed. Waiting for some legal brilliance- none. Some history of Bataan Death March, Philippine guerrilla action and the death penalty in Mississippi. Almost like descriptive prose was the equivalent of batting practice- when would the game start. Huge disappointment
  • Not his usual work- better

    By Propertylover
    I do not read courtroom dramas so I have not read much of Gresham. I have enjoyed his writing in the few I have read however. I chose this book because I knew he was a good writer and it was not a courtroom drama. I loved every page of it. The book’s story is tragic but easily imagined. He describes the war with such detail and the main character is wonderfully detailed. If he continues to write non legal books, I will be the first to purchase after reading this.
  • Too Much Fluff

    By AB Constant Reader
    He wasted about 300 pages.....details that didn’t matter to make a short story into novel. The war segment was the most compelling part. I have read every book he has written and I love his visits to Ford County. This one was just too long winded.