The Reckoning

#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.

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The Reckoning - John Grisham Book Reviews (4,729)


The reckoning3 star

Not his best 35

Doug Kinney

What went wrong2 star

I bought the book despite the poor reviews. As it turns out, I agree with all the reviews – they were accurate. 25


Not his best work...2 star

Wasn’t sure where this story was going, and the ending just confirmed my thoughts. The story has its moments, but just never hit its stride. 25


Total snooze fest1 star

I usually love John Grisham. This book a long winded snooze fest It went on and on with extra fluff. Terrible 15


The Eckoning4 star

Somewhat disjointed at times and hard to follow. Not one of the better Grisham stories and I’ve read most all of his novels. Still an interesting read; I just didn’t like the ending. 45

Volunteer Dave

The Reckoning5 star

Great great read. Lots of information about the war times kind of bogged me down, but otherwise I love this book. It was a different type approach taken by a great writer. Can’t wait to read the next John Grisham book. David. 55


You think you know, but......4 star

Mr. Grisham artfully juggles his story so even avid readers stay a bit confused about where the plot is going. His depiction of life in rural Mississippi is spot on for those of us who were raised there and the war experiences described are so realistic I had to remind myself this is not a biography. I gave this one four stars because I found the lawyers less brilliant than other Grisham characters, but I still heartily recommend it as a great read. 45


Disappointing1 star

I love John Grisham and have all his books. I had a very hard time getting through this one. I hated the sequence in which it was written. The war stories were too long. It had a very unsatisfying ending. This is the only Grisham book I own that will be donated to the library. 15


One of Grisham’s Best5 star

After a couple so-so books, The Reckoning is one of John Grisham’s best novels. However, a word of warning, the second part of this book is a harrowing depiction of the Bataan Death March I found very difficult to read. That is not to say it’s bad, it’s just not what you would come to expect from a John Grisham novel. I also dare you to put it down once you get to the last 100 pages. The ending is one of his best. 55

B. Wolper

I couldn’t put it down.5 star

This was a book with believable, colorful, characters. Starting at the beginning you were gripped by the personalities. Grisham‘s use of time manipulation was very skillful.We started in The present. He took us to the past. We finished once again in the present. Pete was torn by something he felt he had to do. Throughout the novel, we, the reader, we’re always trying to guess why he did what he did. I am thankful that all came out at the end. I highly recommend this book and would be surprised if anyone could read it without putting it down. 55


Not recommended3 star

Extremely well written and researched story as expected from John Grisholm. But it’s not a happy read. There’s no characters that you can get behind and there’s no happy ending. It’s a gloomy read, macabre storyline and just a sad story of a family’s self destruction. The big secret is revealed in the end, but it doesn’t make you feel any better once you understand the why of the story. I’d recommend The Last Juror instead. At least there’s a likable character that you can relate to and a happy ending for him. 35


Worst book I’ve ever read1 star

I love Grisham’s books...big fan, however, this book was tiresomely long and written poorly. I read chapter after chapter without the story moving on....I had the ending figured out in the beginning. Don’t waste your money. My advice is to wait until your library has this book or buy a used version. 15


Enjoyed it5 star

Living on Amelia Island I enjoy and have read all your books Can’t wait to see the “ an Innocent Man “ starting on Netflix Ron Tomlinson ex-brother in law is in Allentown State Prison for murdering a Truck Driver. Claims to also be an innocent man. It’s quite a story. 55


Terrible1 star

I’ve read all Grisham’s books. I was patient through the last couple. This is it. I’m done. No more! Jack 15


Predictable but satisfying4 star

I read a review of this book which complained it was “boring.” The reviewer must be completely insensitive to the inhuman horrors inflicted on American servicemen by the Japanese in Bataan and elsewhere. I found the well researched history fascinating with the central story somewhat predictable but interesting. 45


The Reckoning5 star

I do not read a lot, but this book had me hooked until the end. 55

That Aggie Addison

Honestly a let down3 star

The story was so incredible until the last 25 pages. The build up is amazing and as I read with the inability to put it down I get to the end to be completely disappointed. Not John’s best work. 35

Scrappin ally

The Reckoning1 star

Very slow moving novel. I put it down many times but would force myself to read to the end. I expected much more from John Grisham. I’ve read all his books and enjoyed the story lines. This was sad from beginning to end. The demise of a family. Would never recommend this to any one. 15


The Big Surprise Ending2 star

The big ending was a huge letdown and the war stories were unnecessary. 25


The Reckoning5 star

I read all of John Grisham's books and I'm surprised to say this is one of his best. The second part (of three) was the best but you still couldn't wait to get to the end. 55

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