the guardians

3.5 stars

A fast-paced, entertaining mystery/thriller in true John Grisham fashion.

I am a big John Grisham fan, but didn’t really like his last few books. Thankfully, the author gets back to a more familiar style that I enjoy in this book.

I liked the main character, Cullen Post. Post is a lawyer that became disillusioned with the law and went to ministry school. Ironically his work as a minister brought him in contact with prisoners, and he began practicing law again. He founded Guardian Ministries, a tiny law firm dedicated to overturning wrongful convictions. They only handle a few innocence cases at a time, and choose their cases carefully. Post is the only investigator and travels the South fighting convictions of prisoners that no one will bother with and have long forgotten.

Quincy Miller was a young black man going through a divorce. When his divorce attorney is brutally murdered, Miller is arrested and railroaded at trial. He is quickly convicted and sentenced to death, where he has languished for twenty-two years. Post secures a last-minute stay of execution, and then hits the bricks in a effort to prove Miller’s innocence. The real killer, however, has taken notice of Post’s efforts, and fights back to prevent him from discovering the truth.

In true Grisham fashion, the hero is determined and driven. He is fast talking, quick acting and seems to get a lot of lucky breaks. Post is supported by a small group of people with critical skills that help him just in the nick of time. It’s clear the author is against the death penalty, and he hits the reader over the head with his feelings time and again. There are multiple points in the book where facts and figures are slipped in and feel like a “teaching moment” on the death penalty.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. It’s a quick, easy and entertaining read.