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Customer Reviews for

A Time to Kill

Average Rating 4.5
( 435 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(286)

4 Star

(96)

3 Star

(30)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(9)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 437 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 22
  • Posted April 21, 2010

    Amazing

    Horrifying and somehow beautiful at the same time; Grisham tells the story of a family shattered and a town rocked by a horrific crime committed against a child. The trial Grisham describes is fascinating and heart-breaking in its process. The movie was good but the book is truly a work of art. The author has a skill for making the reader feel like he/she's actually right there during the trial. Grisham has outdone himself with this one! I also enjoyed The Chamber and The Partner by the same author. If you like John Grisham, you may also enjoy: Philip Margolin, Tami Hoag (Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust and a Thin Dark Line especially, and Michael Connelly.

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Grisham's best book

    I read this book for the first time at least 12 years ago. It was not the first John Grisham book that I read but it is, and will always be, his BEST! I could not put it down until I finished it. Unforgettable!!

    17 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2010

    An Amazing Novel

    A Time to Kill by John Grisham is an excellent novel. The story takes place in the small town of Clanton, Mississippi. The story covers an uneasy relationship between blacks and whites. A black man named Carl Hailey kills two white men who are on trial for the rape of his little girl. The irony is that Carl Hailey is defended by a white attorney named Jake Brigance. The novel contains humor and action. The story is moving and emotional. I like that Jake Brigance is a young, white attorney who does what he feels is the right thing to do. He is so determined to keep Carl Hailey out of jail and let him return to his family that he suffers consequences in his own marriage and within the town. Some of the people around him treat him differently than before he made the decision to be Carl Hailey's lawyer. They don't understand why Jake wants to help a black man stay out of prison. My favorite part of the plot and the main point of the novel is that Carl Hailey would do anything to take revenge against the people who hurt his daughter, even if it means that he will have to spend the rest of his life in prison. Every parent would feel the same way. If my daughter was raped and tortured, I would want to kill those guys too. The obstacle is to encourage the jury to realize this. They would have done the same thing if they were in Carl Hailey's place. They need to look past the color of his skin and judge him on what he did. Although killing two men was wrong, his intensions were right. Carl Hailey did it for his daughter. The love that he has for his daughter is extremely touching.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    A Time to Kill by John Grisham is a fantas

    A Time to Kill by John Grisham is a fantastic novel about the negative effects of racism, both the purities and impurities of the United States legal system, and the overall theme of good vs. evil. The book takes place sometime around the 1990s in Ford County, Mississippi and begins with a ten year old African American girl, Tonya Hailey, getting raped by two white racist men, Cobb and Willard. This horrible crime caused the two men to be arrested and taken into custody by the county sheriff, Ozzie Walls. Once they are in the hands of the legal system, the process of indicting and trying the two criminals. However, the legal process is interrupted when Carl Lee Hailey, the father of Tonya Hailey, hides in the courthouse and murders Cobb and Willard while they are being transported back to the county jail. In the process, Carl Lee also accidentally injures a deputy, DeWayne Looney. Carl Lee hires Jake Brigance, a young lawyer, to defend him. The book records the events leading up to and the actual trial of Carl Lee. Throughout the book, the question is raised of whether a father murdering two criminals that raped his daughter is legal or not.
    This book was exceptional. I would rate it five out of five stars. I enjoyed many aspects of the book, but I especially enjoyed the author’s writing style. Grisham’s writing is easy to read, yet it is packed with themes and also gripping and thrilling. Every time I put the book down, I honestly could not wait to continue reading it and find out what happens next. Also, I normally do not become emotional when reading a book; however, I actually reacted emotionally when the final verdict was delivered at the end of the trial. In addition to the author’s writing style being easy and enjoyable to read, the book’s themes were extraordinary and well delivered. Its many themes include: the battle of racists vs. non-racists, both the impurities and purities of our legal system, and above all, good vs. evil. All of these themes are excellently included in the plot of the novel. In addition to the book’s wonderful themes, I also noticed similarities to the trial in the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I greatly enjoyed reading Lee’s novel, so I was surprised and excited when Grisham’s novel was somewhat similar. Overall, the book was phenomenal. Although the subject matter was somewhat disturbing, the author balances the novel with intriguing characters and a gripping and suspenseful plot. I would recommend this book to anyone probably over the age of thirteen who enjoys more realistic books that address the legal process. If you enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird or like legal books in general, you must read this book!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    The book was far better than the movie. It's a gripping tale of

    The book was far better than the movie. It's a gripping tale of a young lawyer defending a black Vietnam war hero who has killed two white men (who raped his daughter). The tale is a mixture of the Grisham-style legal story and of America's tragic history of slavery and black repression. Grisham tells the story perfectly. His dialogue is spot on. There is one, superb passage where the local reverend is preaching to his flock. If you can imagine a 'Blues Brothers' type of scenario with 'I have seen the light' coming from the congretation as the preacher winds them up, you'll get the picture.
    Carl Lee Hailey (the Vietnam war veteran) gets hold of an M-16, kills the rapists on the courthouse steps, then turns for help to attorney Jake Brigance. Some of the local folk want to give Carl Lee a second medal for his action, but premeditated murder is hard to ignore, and anyway, the town is divided. Blacks note that a white man shooting a black rapist would be acquitted. The KKK turns up the heat. The NAACP gets involved. Due to the publicity, a big local firm of lawyers get in on the act and try to outmaneuver Jake. Jake has a secret weapon though - his brilliant, but disbarred ex-partner.
     The characters are well crafted - not all likeable, but at least, for the most part, believable. The pace of the story nicely snowballs - adding in essential tension with the addition of the Klu Klux Klan's involvement in the proceedings. The main character, Jake Brigance - defense lawyer for Carl Lee Hailey, is hardly endearing - he's openly hateful towards his secretary, lies to his wife, submits to the temptation of alcohol when the heat comes down. However, in reality, it makes the character more real - nobody's perfect, everyone has their dark sides. Sure, he's hounding after the publicity at first, but he also comes to care about the fate of his client, and while he flirts with his law clerk (always got a chuckle out of "Row Ark") he doesn't submit to THAT temptation and stays true to his wife.  Throughout the book, the odds stack against Brigance and his client, and the novel will definitely keep you turning the pages. No matter what your personal opinions on the death penalty or vigilante justice are, you won't be disappointed. As Jake's mentor, disbarred lawyer Lucien Wilbanks, says, If you win this case, justice will prevail, but if you lose it, justice will also prevail.    

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    Don't start this one unless you have time to finish it b









    Don't start this one unless you have time to finish it because you won't want to put it down. Amazing!!! John Grisham never disappoints!! Highly recommend!!!! outstanding GREAT READ

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2000

    The Best

    This is definetly the best book Grisham ever wrote. Don't be intimidated by the fact that it's 500 pages long, they go by very quickly. The first time I read it, I breezed through it in a day or two. It's the kind of book that you CANNOT put down. The questions that it raises about the death penalty and right vs. wrong will stay with you long after the last page has been read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 1999

    THIS IS THE BEST BOOK THAT YOU WILL EVER READ!!!!!

    This book was one of Grishman's best books EVER!This is truly the best book that I have EVER READ!!!!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2013

    Powerful

    Hard to put down, engaging

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    Gripping!!!

    Loved this book couldn't put it down. Can't wait for the sequel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    A Time To Kill

    I read this book many years ago. It was the first John Grisham book that I read. This book is so gripping that you won't put the book down until you get to the end and justice is served.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2012

    I've read this novel twice and like the old cliche states, the f

    I've read this novel twice and like the old cliche states, the first is the best. Grisham's first work of fiction is right on target. He has the rare ability to educate AND entertain the reader at the same time. While reading this novel the second time, I noticed that Grisham covered virtually all the steps in a state criminal case from arrest to adjudication. Within that process, he was able to create a story to thrilling that I couldn't put the book down even though I knew what was going to take place in the next chapter. Being from the South, I could related to his characters and their mannerisms. Lucien was my favorite. Being someone who is educated in the criminal justice field, I would recommend this novel to any college level intro course pertaining to criminal procedure. Coupled with its subject matter, this book is certainly to create debate on our controversial criminal justice system.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    Grisham at his best

    I have just started to read Grisham novels, but not only was this his best written book, it was one of the best that I have read, it was great, gripping and made you think.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Love it

    Even though i knew what was gonna happen it was still very unpredictable with all the details!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Great Read

    This really is a great book. I first saw the movie when I was about 11 years old and have seen it several times since then. While I really enjoyed the movie, the book provides such thought provoking details that the movie does not adequately capture. My first Grisham but definitely not my last.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Grisham's best book.

    I think that "A Time To Kill" is Mr. Grisham's best book so far. I've read many of his other novels, some are great, and some are so-so, but this novel ranks at the top. It is full of different issues like rape, murder, kkk, racism, etc. The plot just keeps on building and building. Just when you think that it is about to slow down something else happens. I recommend this book to all the folks. Enjoy it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2010

    His best!

    In my opinion, this is the best book written by John Grisham. The rest were good, some were great, but his first was his best!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    GREAT - EXCEPTIONAL PLOT

    GREAT STORY ABOUT A FATHER'S LOVE, PAIN AND ULTIMATE REVENGE. TYPICAL DEEP SOUTH ACTION. KEPT MY ATTENTION FROM BEGINNING TO THE END. FOUND MYSELF ROOTING FOR THE FATHER'S ACQUITAL. MAKES ONE ASK ONESELF, "WHAT WOULD I DO IF IT WERE MY DAUGHTER WHO WAS RAPED?" I FOUND THIS BOOK TO BE JUST A BIT OFF OF JOHN'S TYPICAL STORY LINE. NEVER THE LESS, THOROUGHLY ENJOYABLE AND REQUIRED READING FOR GRISHAM FOLLOWERS.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2008

    The Best of Grisham

    A really good read. I think this might be the best of the Grisham books overall. I have read it several times and I think it is fantastic.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2014

    Great Read, one of Grisham's best

    Although,I have read most of Grisham's books from The Client on, I had never read A Time to Kill. With Sycamore Row coming out, I decided I should backtrack and read it for background before I read Sycamore Row. I found this first novel to be an exciting read, one of Grisham's best, far better than Sycamore Row which I subsequently read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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