A Time to Kill by John Grisham

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In A Time To Kill, by John Grisham, two drunken white men violently raped, beat, and nearly killed a 10-year-old black girl named Tonya Hailey. Her father, in a clouded rage, executed the two rapists with an M-16 on their way out of the courthouse. His vigilante form of justice was not well taken by many in prejudiced Ford County, Mississippi. On the other hand, he had lots of support from the black community and from any white person whom dared to step into his shoes. A young, thirty-something lawyer named Jack Brigance was hired as his defense. He personally hoped it would give him national recognition, but his outlook turned sour when an all-white jury was drawn to decide on the fate of this Negro man. As the case gained popularity, the KKK got involved, and everyone involved in the court case was put in severe danger through shootings, riots, bombings, and random acts of violence. The non-stop action this book has to offer would keep any reader on the edge of his seat through the last page of the novel.

The story begins with the horrific, detailed rape of Tonya Hailey. Besides being the most disgusting series of events in the entire book, the reader has no choice but to pray that the little girl will make it out alive. Through all of the beatings and tortures, she luckily survives, offering a sense of relief and finality. Shortly after, though, the action picks up again with the sheriff's search for the rapists. The break-in to a drug dealer's home and a barroom fight continues the trend of rising action. The opening sets a high standard for the rest of the book, which continues to go above and beyond. At no point in the book was a decrease in action evident, so the chance for a loss of interest was never possible.

The book held several different tactics to increase appeal, interest, and attention. Throughout the book, a series of attacks (on the characters and reader alike) made the element of surprise extremely valuable to the storyline....
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