The Reckoning by John Grisham

This novel follows Peter Banning, 1940’s land owner, farmer, father, respected figure, decorated war hero who one October walks into his local church and guns down the town pastor. 

John Grisham recounts the tale of Banning’s life, growing up, WWII including the Bataan Death March and guerilla fighting in the jungles of the Philippines, his unexpected return from the war through the murder of his Pastor, trial and its outcome. 

This novel also follows Banning’s family, their history, the crimes effect on all, and the potential instability now upon them. 

The Reckoning is less a legal drama more of a historical novel which to me is a change of pace from the Grisham novels usually read. Despite this departure the Banning story is informative, gripping and filled with sorrow, leaving the reader satisfied enough to push away from the table when done. 

I was surprised and very impressed at the writing range shown here by Grisham. His recounting of the Bataan Death March and Banning’s involvement in Guerilla fighting is so detailed I could easily see the author taking on these subjects in the future.