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The Summons

John Grisham

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Ray Atlee is a professor of law at the University of Virginia. He's forty-three, newly single, and still enduring the aftershocks of a surprise divorce. He has a younger brother, Forrest, who redefines the notion of a family's black sheep.

And he has a father, a very sick old man who lives alone in the ancestral home in Clanton, Mississippi. He is known to all as Judge Atlee, a beloved and powerful official who has towered over local law and politics for forty years. No longer on the bench, the Judge has withdrawn to the Atlee mansion and become a recluse.

With the end in sight, Judge Atlee issues a summons for both sons to return home to Clanton, to discuss the details of his estate. It is typed by the Judge himself, on his handsome old stationery, and gives the date and time for Ray and Forrest to appear in his study.

Ray reluctantly heads south, to his hometown, to the place where he grew up, which he prefers now to avoid. But the family meeting does not take place. The Judge dies too soon, and in doing so leaves behind a shocking secret known only to Ray.

And perhaps someone else.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from John Grisham's The Litigators.

Publishers Weekly Review

Feb 04, 2002 – Last year's historical family drama A Painted House and the Christmas satire Skipping Christmas demonstrated that Grisham is willing to take risks. But fans of his legal thrillers already knew that, with his last three, particularly The Testament, making Play-Doh of the rules of the genre. Sometimes Grisham's friskiness works, and sometimes it doesn't. There's much to admire in his newest thriller, particularly his colorful evocation of a Deep South legal setting, his first use of this milieu since his debut novel, A Time to Kill, and some finely drawn characters. Even so, this isn't one of his most satisfying books, for while the narrative engages, it never catches fire. The setup is prime Grisham: Ray Atlee, a professor of law at the University of Virginia, is summoned home to Clanton, Miss., to the deathbed of his father, legendary judge Reuben V. Atlee; also summoned is Ray's younger brother, Forrest, a chronic drug abuser. Ray arrives home first, to find the judge dead and more than $3 million stored in boxes in a cabinet—cash not mentioned in the judge's will and whose source baffles Ray. Grisham does a wonderful job of digging into Ray's increasingly frazzled head as, stunned, the professor decides to keep the money a secret, even from Forrest, and to safeguard it until he figures out what to do. Greed, frayed nerves and fear plague Ray during the coming weeks, as he investigates, scrambling from one hideout to the next, becoming ever more aware that someone dangerous is following him and wants the money. Several scenarios—Ray's indulging his passion for flying small planes; his playing some of the cash at casinos to test it for counterfeiting; his dealings with screwed-up Forrest and his father's cronies, notably an ex-mistress and a wily old attorney—propel the story, and Ray, forward to the source of the money, a revelation that allows Grisham to take his usual swipes at big lawyerism but which will register for many as anticlimactic—though there's a final twist that as nifty and unexpected as anything Grisham has wrought. Grisham's writing is silky smooth here, his storytelling captivating; but the novel's lack of action—a stone thrown through a window is as violent as it gets—and the dissipation of all tension too far from the end make this, while a clever tale, one that's just too quiet. Grisham's fans might as well trim their nails while reading this, because they sure won't be biting them. (On sale Feb. 4)

Customer Reviews

Amazing

The is the first Grisham book I read and still the best... I've read nearly all of his other books now... His story telling here motivated me to the point where I now do leisure reading, something I never enjoyed before. Do yourself a favor and check out this title. I don't think you'll be disappointed... This is an extremely vivid tale; Grisham at his best.

Drawn out

For the type of ending this story had, it should have ended maybe 4 chapters ahead.. Seemed very drawn out, and lacked drama. Didn't do for me what the confession or the testament did. Not a bad read at all, but it could have been better.....

Go to the library

John Grisham has written some of my all-time favorite books--The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Runaway Jury, The Rainmaker (also all really good movies that run pretty true to the novel). This book would fall into Grisham's "wandering" category--he introduces some wonderful characters but all they do is wander around for awhile. One of the worst endings ever. I open a Grisham novel expecting clever characters who can think on their feet and clever twists in the plot. The first half of the book was interesting and well-written as always but then it just kind of fizzled out. I will be previewing the rest of his books from the library as I know I will never read this one again and feel a bit like I wasted my money.

The Summons
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  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Mysteries & Thrillers
  • Published: Feb 05, 2002
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings