Framing the Dialogue

The Guardians

“Since gas is slightly cheaper than cheap motels, I spend a lot of time driving lonely roads at dark hours. As always, I tell myself that I will sleep later, as if a long hibernation is waiting just around the corner. The truth is that I nap a lot but rarely sleep and this is unlikely to change. I have saddled myself with the burdens of innocent people rotting away in prison while rapists and murderers roam free. Duke Russell was convicted in a backwater redneck town where half the jurors struggle to read and all were easily misled by two pompous and bogus experts…”

The Guardians is a small, not well funded group who take on “innocence” projects (i.e. people that they feel were wrongly convicted of crimes, many of them capital crimes).  The novel follows Cullen Post as he works on cases while considering new cases and hopefully winning one here and there.  Often, losing means one of his clients is put to death.  Sometimes the real killer doesn’t really want the client exonerated and will stop at nothing to prevent this from happening.

What I liked most about this book is that the author, John Grisham, didn’t seem compelled to follow the generic thriller flowchart of “wait, I need a plot twist three quarters into the story.”  Having read so many books, I was waiting for it…waiting for it…waiting for it.  I was pleasantly surprised that the book kept working through the storyline.  Mr. Cullen didn’t turn out to be a serial killer.

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