Troy Phelan is a self-made billionaire, one of the richest men in the United States. He is also eccentric, reclusive, confined to a wheelchair, and looking for a way to die, His heirs, to no one's surprise especially Troy's - are circling like vultures. Nate O'Riley is a high-octane Washington litigator who's lived too hard, too fast, for too long. His second marriage in a shambles, he is emerging from his fourth stay in rehab armed with little more than his fragile sobriety, good intentions, and resilient sense of humour. Returning to the real world is always difficult, but this time it's going to be murder. Rachel Lane is a young woman who chose to give her life to God, who walked away from the modern world with all its strivings and trapping and encumbrances, and went to live and work with a primitive tribe of Indians in the deepest jungles of Brazil. In a story that mixes legal suspense with a remarkable adventure, their lives are forever altered by the startling secret of the Testament.
About the Author
One day at the Dessoto County courthouse, John Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.
That might have put an end to Grisham's hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career - and spark one of publishing's greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.
Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 225 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. The Innocent Man (2006) marked his first foray into non-fiction.
Grisham is dealing wisely with the syndrome that affects so many popular novelists: the temptation to endlessly repeat a winning formula cannot simply be junked (readers do want more of the same), but it's essential to introduce new elements into the mix to keep the writing fresh. Grisham is using a two-pronged approach: broadening the legal parameters of his earlier books, and introducing a Graham Greene-like examination of religion. The latter element (prompted by Grisham's own growing faith) will not be to everyone's taste, but is handled with intelligence, and The Testament is a promising development. Troy Phelan is a self-made billionaire, but is confined to a wheelchair and wishes to die. His relatives circle him like vultures. Nate O'Riley, a top-drawer Washington litigator, is dealing with a crumbling marriage and a drink problem, while dreading his return to professional life. Grisham's third protagonist is Rachel Lane, a young woman who has devoted her life to God by opting to work with a primitive tribe of Indians in the jungles of Brazil. The author's commingling of their three destinies (with the defining secret of the eponymous testament) is handled with real panache, and readers prepared to take on board Grisham's new approach will be more than rewarded. (Kirkus UK)
Number Of Pages: 480
Published: December 1999
Publisher: Random House
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 17.9 x 11.1 x 3.2
Weight (kg): 0.24