My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Witness to a Trail is a short teaser to The Whistler. It’s been a very long time since I have picked up John Grisham’s books. Thrillers in varying forms had made me forget the pleasure of reading a good legal thriller. I haven’t read The Whistler but don’t think Witness to Trial adds anything special to the main story. It’s more or less like a prologue chapter introducing the various characters.
Junior Mace, a Tappacola Indian, husband and father to 3 is accused of killing his wife Eileen and his best friend Son Razko. Junior was found drunk with the murder weapon a Smith & Wesson firearm in his truck, so the obvious conclusion was reached by the sheriff and his deputy, that Junior found his wife and friend in flagrante delicto and shot them dead. But Junior claims his innocence having no recollection of doing the crime. The court is set with jailhouse snitches, a biased jury, a disinterested defense lawyer and preconceived notions with no proper ballistics check or thorough examination. The whole process is open and shut with only Junior’s family worrying about him and the injustice that is meted out in front of their eyes.
As a prequel to the main courtroom drama that John Grisham is known for, this is the perfect pitch. It gives a tantalizing glimpse of the fireworks that can be expected in The Whistler so much that I really want to read The Whistler next.
A judge’s first murder trial.
A defense attorney in over his head.
A prosecutor out for blood and glory.
The accused, who is possibly innocent.
And the killer, who may have just committed the perfect crime.