We’ve known John Grisham will have a new book out this fall for some time now. He always does. And yet, fans have been holding their breath, waiting for the book’s title to finally be announced. . . as if that will make things completely official.
Well, take a breath, because we’ve got a title: The Recoking.
The Reckoning is the 40th book of Grisham’s brilliant career and the #1 New York Times bestseller has something special planned for his fans. In an email newsletter that went out Wednesday afternoon, Grisham explained to readers that “to commemorate that nice round number I am taking readers back to where it all started, to Ford County, Mississippi.”
“Where it all started” eludes to Grisham’s first novel, A Time To Kill, which came out nearly thirty years ago.
“This novel, though, is very different from the others,” wrote Grisham, “primarily because it takes place before I was born.”
“Years ago I heard of a senseless murder in a small town. One prominent man had killed another, and no motive was ever found. I have been captivated by the story ever since, and because I don’t know all the facts, I’ve done what novelists usually do. I’ve simply stolen it and filled in the blanks. Truth is, I’m not sure any of it ever happened in the first place, but I’ve had a great time fictionalizing what I once heard. It was simply too good to pass up.”
Check out the plot details and cover art below.
John Grisham returns to Clanton, Mississippi, to tell the story of an unthinkable murder, the bizarre trial that follows it, and its profound and lasting effect on the people of Ford County.
Pete Banning was Clanton’s favorite son, a returning war hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, father, neighbor, and a faithful member of the Methodist church. Then one cool October morning in 1946. he rose early, drove into town, walked into the Church, and calmly shot and killed the Reverend Dexter Bell.
As if the murder wasn’t shocking enough, it was even more baffling that Pete’s only statement about it—to the sheriff, to his defense attorney, to the judge, to his family and friends, and to the people of Clanton—was “I have nothing to say.” And so the murder of the esteemed Reverend Bell became the most mysterious and unforgettable crime Ford County had ever known.