Monday, January 9, 2012

Random book review: The Chamber

Publication date: 1994
Publisher: Doubleday


The FBI recorded almost four hundred bombings in Mississippi from 1964 to 1968, virtually all related to the civil rights movement, and almost all involving black churches or black homes.

In 1967 in Greenville Mississippi, known Klan member Sam Cayhall is accused of bombing the law offices of Jewishung civil rights activists Marvin Kramer, killing kramer's two sons. Cayhall's first trial, with an all-white jury and a Klan rally outside the courtroom, ends in a hung jury; the retrial six month later has the same outcome. 
Twelve years later an ambitious district attorney in Greenville reopens the case. Much has changed since 1967, and this time, with a jury of eight whites and four blacks, Cayhall is convicted. He is transferred to the state penitentiary on death row.
In 1990, in the huge Chicago law firm Kravitz & Bane a young lawyer named Adam Hall asks  to work on the Cayhall case, which the firm has handles on a pro bono basis for years. But the case is all but lost and time is running out: within weeks Sam Cayhall will finally go to the gas chamber. Why is the world would Adam want to get involved?

Another court room legal thriller written, The Chamber touchy subject on the death penalty is an interesting subject matter throughout the whole book. You can help but root for the death row convict in spite of his wrong doings in the past and especially Adam Hall who has to deal with his past life.
I won't spoil much of the plot here, but I would say that the chamber is a good read. As usual, John Grisham is a writer that has the ability to put you right into the action. Not  as gripping as a Time to Kill but the pacing on this one is fluid and good enough for wanting to know what will happen at the end.
At the end of the day, it makes you question this: Why the death penalty? Are we as cruel as the convicted if we do so passing the judgement and killing? Would forgiveness be the better way? and why all that racism at the first place?
Highly recommendable read for its grim subject matter and the way its written.

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