Sycamore Row

16 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 20½ hrs. Books on Tape. 2013. ISBN 9780385366496. $45; 16 CDs. retail ed. Penguin Random Audio; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Grisham returns to Clanton, MS, and Jake Brigance's law practice, both of which were last seen in his 1989 novel (and 1996 film adaptation) A Time To Kill. It is 1989 in Clanton, and shortly before he committed suicide, Seth Hubbard sent Jake a letter hiring him to carry out the wishes in Seth's handwritten will. Jake knows the document will be contentious since Hubbard has divided his sizable estate among his black maid, his brother, and his church but cut out his own children and grandchildren. The children's lawyers set out to prove undue influence by the maid, thanks to the medications Hubbard was on for his terminal cancer. Reader Michael Beck does a masterly job with all the characters, imbuing each with differences in pitch and accent; his portrayal of Jake brings to mind Matthew McConaughey, who played Brigance in the film.
VERDICT Grisham's works are always in high demand, and patrons will not be disappointed.

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