Customer Reviews for

The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

18 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

IF YOU HAD KNOWN DEBBIE CARTER

I had known Debbie for many years. Her older sister was and still is my very dear friend. Her mother, Peggy, in my opinion is one strong woman. Peggy lives in fear every day that another daughter may die. Losing a child is one thing, but losing one at the hand of such...
I had known Debbie for many years. Her older sister was and still is my very dear friend. Her mother, Peggy, in my opinion is one strong woman. Peggy lives in fear every day that another daughter may die. Losing a child is one thing, but losing one at the hand of such a hanous mind is just overwhelming! Reading the book and knowing the words were all so true, I felt sometines that I would be sick to my stomach. Anyone thinking this book is boring has no heart! I watched this family go through hell, while our own system put Dennis and Ron through a deliberate hell! These law enforcement people are nothing, in my opinion, nothing but scum, a self-righteous piece of meat! I would recommend that every person now alive should read this book and let it go to heart that it could happen to YOU! Anyone can walk up to a police officer and tell him, 'hey, I saw so-& so do this crime,' and your life would become hell! You are no longer innocent, you are guilty in the eyes of the law and by-god you had better have an OJ Simpson attorney and pictures of where you really were and what you were really doing. The fact that John Grissom wrote this book is beyond outstanding. I give him a great 'Thank You'. All through this trial I kept wondering why there was no mention of the fact that a girl called the funeral home Before Debbie was found to see if she was there????? I remember the time that Leona and I went to visit Debbie where she lays in the cemetary. As we were getting into the car to leave a young girl drives up, goes directly to Debbie's grave. Leona went up to her and ask her if she knew Debbie, the girl replies 'no, not really'....what's up with that? Leona was making plans to fly home from Alaska to surprise Debbie, just imagine the shock when she had to fly home to see Debbie bruised, choked, blue. I could go on but I won't. I just pray that God gives peace of heart to Peggy, Leona,Darla and all her family that live with this every day. One final thought. All though the trial I had a feeling that Dennis and Ron were innocent, just as did Peggy, her mother.

posted by Anonymous on April 24, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Terrible. Grisham should stick to fiction

This book was terrible. It is written in the third person, like a school essay. I felt like I was reading a book report of something that he had read. There is no active dialog. If this was the first time I was reading Grisham this would have been the last.

posted by ConstantReader10552 on February 8, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2010

    The Innocent Man

    The Innocent Man, otherwise known as the long regretful life of a promising talented young man named Ron Williamson. Ron was a very spoiled child growing up and this taught him bad morals. He always wanted to be the center of attention but as his life went on, his personal problems kept getting progressively worse. John Grisham's story kept you on a roller coaster ride but particularly one that we were not to fond of. The story jumped around a lot and it was a bit difficult to keep track of everything that was happening. In my experience, I enjoy books that are straight forward and easy to follow. Don't get me wrong, the story of Ron is very intriguing between his baseball career, drug and alcohol habits, and false accusations which put him on death row but if i was John Grisham, I would have expressed the book a bit differently. Therefore i would not recommend this story to future juniors because I do not believe they would like the way John Grisham expresses Ron's life. Matt L. Dan S.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2012

    NON FICTION AT ITS FINEST In Ada, Oklahoma there was a young lad

    NON FICTION AT ITS FINEST
    In Ada, Oklahoma there was a young lady by the name of Debbie Carter living her life just the way she wanted to. She was Independent, successful, and a thriving 21 year old. One of Debbie’s jobs was working at a night club, and that was the last place she was seen before she was raped and murdered in December, 1982. Glen Gore was seen with her that night, some say he was giving her a hard time in the parking lot of the club before she left, however he was the last one suspected. Ron Williamson and Dennis fritz were the absolute focus of the murder case of Debbie Carter. Years and years of trials proceeded and nothing was accomplished accept charging Fritz with murder and Trying Williamson over and over and over again, but the real murderer of Debbie Carter was out there the whole time.
    John Grisham did an excellent job of writing his novel almost too simply. Being a lawyer I am sure he could have breezed through using legal jargon no one interested in reading such a book would understand, but he took the time to make it simple and straight forward. Every chapter was clear in what was happening, every bit of every trial was clear and explained. However, I feel this almost takes away from the novels potential. Having something so simply written almost dethatches the reader, losing focus because of how plain it comes off. One could fly through pages and pages with now questions. The most distracting bit was laying out the entire murder in a mere 22 pages out of 400. There was no build up, there was no suspense, the character was murdered, the necessary information was given and that was that. Comments were made about parts that would later come up in the story, and then dropped. This definitely took away from the mood. Glen Gore was introduced in the beginning of the book, and then almost left completely untouched until the very end. It is almost bothersome how perfectly the arrows are pointed to him in the first 22 pages and then the trials continue with Williamson and Fritz for the remainder of the book.
    In the end, the book was shocking, yet predicted. The trials that went on made my head numb with aggravation. The lack of consistency and professionalism from the police, detectives, and judges made me sick. The fact that the case dragged on for five years was unbelievable and that two innocent men were convicted is astonishing. Overall I would give this book a three out of five. I was intrigued but annoyed by all its flaws at the same time. If you love a good thriller that gets your adrenaline pumping and your heart racing you will love this. I would definitely recommend checking out the Lincoln Lawyer series by Michael Connelly, he provides the same adrenaline rush with fiction stories of cases you would not believe.

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  • Posted September 12, 2011

    The innocent man

    I enjoyed this book. It didm,t move as fasf as previous books

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  • Posted September 15, 2010

    it was good

    I thought the innocent man was good book. It was suspenseful story, and very exciting. Ron Williamson, a former minor league baseball player, comes home after an unsuccessful baseball career. He spirals into depression, and develops a drinking problem. One night Ron goes out drinking with his friend Dennis Fritz on the same night Debbie Carter was murdered in her apartment. Ron and his friend Dennis are later charged with the murder of Debbie. Ron is sentenced to death, and Dennis was sentenced to life without parole. I felt that the Ada police did not take the evidence seriously enough. The police had no physical evidence to place the two at the scene of the crime, and still convicted them. I liked that the book was very suspenseful, and it kept me guessing thought the whole book. I think Grisham could have gone into more detail about the murders, he mainly focused on Williamson. I liked the ending when the police finally did a DNA test on the piece of evidence that proved that Glen Gore was the one who committed the murders. Williamson was exonerated after spending 11 years on death row; Dennis Fritz was also released from his life sentence in jail. I would recommend this book to the future juniors because they will enjoy the suspense, and Ron Williamson's story.

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  • Posted September 15, 2010

    good book

    This was an amazing book. Its great how the book shows how not working hard can ruin your chances at accomplishing your dream. Ron was almost at his dream then he messed it all up. He could have been someone big in the world but he decided to not work at it and failed. This lead to depression and a drinking problem. Then his luck gets even worse. He is charged with rape and murder of a cocktail waitress. He was convicted and was sentenced to death. This book shows even when your life seems to be going perfect even the worst can happen . Ron was on his way to becoming a professional baseball player and all of a sudden his life changed for the worst. The book also shows that not everyone is perfect because Ron was never guilty in the first place. Either was his friend ,Dennis, who was also convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Everyone was trying to prove these two men were guilty when the whole time they were innocent. Ron was almost killed because the prosecution made a mistake and convicted the wrong man. Ron and Dennis spent 11 years in jail before they were finally released because of DNA evidence. Ron and Dennis wasted 11 years of their life just because the cops and judge made a mistake and proved them guilty. The author of this book shows that rushing into something can sometimes be the wrong choice. If the cops had taken time in this case then they would have found the DNA and never have had to ruin their lives. The faulty justice system is also shown in this book. Two men were able to be wrongly convicted and spend eleven years in jail without anyone knowing. Ron was five days away from death row and could have died for no reason. This just shows how the justice system doesn't always catch the right person. I feel this book went very deep into prison life, death row and the judiciary system which I liked about this book. This was a good book but a little repetitive but was very suspenseful it kept me thinking the whole time. I would recommend that the juniors next year read this book because they will like the suspense and how it keeps them guessing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2007

    Not What I Expected from My Favorite Author

    I'm a huge fan! I have read all the legal thrillers, and was expecting more of the same. This one was just plain boring. I was disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2007

    A hard read for me.

    This story is one that does happen in all the states of the US. Justice seems to be blind in some cases. Although in the book Last Words from Death Row, the story there shows that Justice is totally blind, and that there is no pardon after death.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2007

    STICK TO FICTION

    I love John Grisham and this book did nothing for me. I forced myself to finish it because he is my favorite. If you are a new fan don't use this as a guide to his books and for those long time fans...pass on this one because it is not vintage Grisham...I can't wait for the next novel though...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2007

    THE INNOCENT MAN

    I am not a writer nor can imagine the sucess and multitude of best sellers that John Grisham has written over his career. Saying that, my opinion was that this particular book was slow, repetitive and hard to get through to the end of the story. Hey, in baseball if you bat .300 (3 for 10 or something like that) you're an all star. So John, my opinion is that as a writer you're batting .800. Keep the books coming and we will keep reading them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2007

    Not like his fiction books....

    Don't expect this to read like a novel that grabs you from the get-go and keeps you on edge waiting to see what happens. This is more like a documentary, a lot of statistics about minor and major league baseball, about the current events in Oklahoma in the 70's, about Ron Williamson's upbringing, and a lot or rehashing about the interrogations, taken from real records of course. I started getting impatient after 100 or so pages, yet I kept plugging on, even 'though I didn't look forward to picking it up. I think it could have been shorter, and yet it still didn't give us a lot of background about the victims - that might have added to the appeal of the read. It's a story that needed to be told, but it is disturbing, not entertaining, nor was it intended to be. You won't easily forget Ron Williamson or the others that apparently were victims of bad police work, and of our flawed justice system. The reader closes this book with a heavy heart. I applaud you Mr. Grisham, for bringing this to light, but I prefer to read your fiction. There is too much sadness in the world already.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2007

    Disturbing-because it is true

    I read every book John writes. This one was very disturbing to read because it is not fiction. I don't think one can critique it by comparing it to John's previous works of fiction. It doesn't have the thrilling, suspenseful drama and excitement we are used to. It only has the horrible facts of this tradegy. It was difficult to read because it is easier to not think about something so tragic. I made myself finish it and would recommend it, for educational purposes. This is not the entertainment read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2006

    Hey! It's Grisham and can't be all bad.

    What it is is Different. Where's Grisham's suck-you-into-the-story dialogue that compels you to stay with his characters until the last page? What it is is tedious. Try as I may, it is difficult for me to finish it, but I will. Grisham is not a 'reporter' with -- just the facts, maam. Grisham is a story teller and I miss 'im. He'll be back and I'll be waiting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2007

    Half Way Through

    I am typically a speed reader. However, I am not as interested in this book and feel it is pretty dry. So, I decided to read the reviews and wish I had done so before I bought the book. Not so sure I am going to finish. Life's too short to read dull book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2007

    For his first non-fiction it was ok.

    I am probably different from most, this is the first John Grishim book I have ever read because I don't read fiction. The book was no bad yet it lacked objectivity when it came to Ron Williamson in my opinion. He was somewhat glorified and I felt that was wrong considering his past troubles. Mr. Grishim was successful in highlighting a justice system gone terribly wrong and you end knowing that this is going on everyday in American. I was angry and appalled! No human being should endure the kind of treatment Ron received in a 'free' country in the name of 'justice'. You hear rumblings constantly and in the back of your mind think it could be true but then you say no way, this book leaves NO DOUBT. From that stand point the book was a success and I for one hope that John Grishim will write more non-fiction. If his goal was to educate readers to the atrocities within our justice system he hit a home run.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2006

    Tedious going

    Many parts of the book interesting but after several chapters became tedious reading. Too much detail makes it slow going in the middle.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2006

    Court report

    Definitely not his best. Reads more like a police log or court room report. Lacks the drama of Grisham's other novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2006

    Stck to what you do best!

    I love you John, but this book was too repitious for me. Fiction is your thing. and I can't wait for the next book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2006

    The Innocent Man-A disapointment

    I have read every one of John Grisham's books, and I have to say that this is the least of the group. I have not been able to finish this book because of the way that it is written, it's repetition, and the poor way that it is written. If I could get my money back I would be glad to do so.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2006

    Totally Disappointing!

    Most of Grisham's earlier works were fantastic. Over the past several years, his work has gotten more and more boring and mundane, but not because of the plot. The plots are generally very interesting, but he either doesn't build it up correctly, or he ends it too soon. In this case he built the plot superbly, but then he stayed on the same plane far too long. For whatever reasons, he kept saying the same thing over and over. And then the end came out of nowhere without any suspensful buildup. I really like Grisham's previous works, but this one was not good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2006

    everybody has an agenda

    Just about every person in the book is guilty of something. None of them are really innocent. The main character, Ron was not guilty of the crime he was convicted of--but, was not 'an innocent man'. He did die forgiven after having made life hell for his family. Even if he hadn't gone to prison for a crime he didn't commit, his life was already sliding downhill quickly. The story of his life was very depressing. The corruption of the officials in the justice system was even more depressing.

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