Summary

Ray Atlee is a professor of law at the University of Virginia. He's 43, newly single, and still enduring the aftershocks of a surprise divorce. He has a younger brother, Forrest, who redefines the notion of a family's black sheep. And he has a father, a very sick old man who lives alone in the ancestral home in Clanton, Mississippi. He is known to all as Judge Atlee, a beloved and powerful official who has towered over local law and politics for forty years.
No longer on the bench, the Judge has withdrawn to the Atlee mansion and become a recluse. With the end in sight, Judge Atlee issues a summons for both sons to return home to Clanton, to discuss the details of his estate. It is typed by the Judge himself, on his handsome old stationery, and gives the date and time for Ray and Forrest to appear in his study.
Ray reluctantly heads south, to his hometown, to the place where he grew up, which he prefers now to avoid. But the family meeting does not take place. The Judge dies too soon, and in doing so leaves behind a shocking secret known only to Ray. And perhaps someone else.
©2002 Belfry Holdings, Inc. (P)2002 Random House, LLC
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Critic reviews

"No one tells a story better than Grisham" ( Evening Standard)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By sarah cardy on 25-02-18

Gripping story

Great story. As usual Grisham has you on the edge of your seat. Well read too.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Mummybee on 02-08-17

Loved it.

Good story and narrator, kept me guessing till the end. Enjoyed this one as much as the last.

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