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Publisher's 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 40 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 No longer on the bench, the Judge has withdrawn to the Atlee mansion and become a recluse.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, Inc., Random House Audio, a Division of Random House, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Michelle on 02-19-03


The book was enjoyable but in the manner of a cheap vanilla ice cream cone; nothing remarkable or extraordinary. And the ending was a too convenient monologue that neatly tied up most of the loose ends. A few mysteries were left unsolved, leaving me wondering if I'd missed key clues and should have figured some of it out myself. But, not being too dreadfully invested in the story, it was easy to turn it off and not worry about the faceless, never-named antagonist.

As this is my first audio book, I can't really rate the narrator. I was pleased, though, to be able to easily follow the narrator as he switched his tone, cadence, and in one case, accent, to switch from one character to another.

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27 of 31 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By John Riggs on 02-05-04

Grisham marches on

With Michael Beck's charming southern accent and Grisham's wonderful story telling technique, this book was impossible to put down. Fact is, I purchased the audio version, and have listened three times. If you like Grisham and Beck, immediately get your hands on this one.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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