The Rainmaker – by John Grisham (1995)

Author John Grisham has taken many twists and turns in his writing style. Being a lawyer in real life, his early books featured lawyers and courtrooms, the things he knew best. This period covered his first eleven novels, published between 1989 and 2000. Each book was an instant hit, and soared to the top of the New York Best Sellers list. Some of his novels were made into movies.

The next decade of writing was quite different. He wrote a small-town mystery, a humorous Christmas novella, two books centered on football, a non-fiction book about a man wrongfully convicted, a book of short stories, and a kids’ book – Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer. There were also some courtroom stories, but clearly he was trying to break out of his old pattern of writing.

From 2011 to the present, Mr. Grisham has once again given courtrooms and lawyers a large part of his writings. In several of his books, he returns to the little town of Clanton, sharing a bit of nostalgia. Although these newer books were enjoyable, none of them reached the pinnacle of the books he wrote in his first decade of novels. Mr. Grisham wrote five more Theodore Boone books for kids, and these were actually – in my opinion – some of his best work from this period.

“The Rainmaker” was written during what I would call the Grisham golden era, the first decade.

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The Reckoning – by John Grisham (2018)

The Reckonoing

It is no secret that author John Grisham opposes the death penalty. The subject of the government being able to legally put some of its criminals to death through either hanging, electrocution, or lethal injection runs through many of his writings. The main storylines of his books “The Confession” and “The Chamber” deal with the subject. Mr. Grisham does a masterful job of showing the flaws with our judicial system, and why we may want to end the death penalty in our country.

In “The Reckoning”, we meet the character of Pete Banning, a farmer from Clanton, Mississippi. He has a wife and two children that he adores, and a staff of servants that he considers part of the family. When he is drafted during World War II, he is sent off to the Philippines.

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