Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Summons - Book Review

Carrying three million dollars in your trunk can be stressful.
Summoned to his father's deathbed, Ray Atlee discovers a dark little secret for his father - a retired judge.  Stuffed away in cardboard stationary boxes are piles and piles of hundred dollar bills.
How did it get there?  Where did it come from?  Who does it belong to?  Who are these people who want it back?
Complicating everything is that Ray's brother and co-inheritor is a life-long drug addict.  Giving him a small fortune would be like handing him a grenade with no pin.
Grisham manages to string us along in suspense as the action picks up.  Meanwhile he is teaching us lessons about greed, the addictive power of money, the essential impotence of money to make us happy, and yet the power of money when used as a tool for healing.  In the midst of immense family brokenness, Grisham even manages to work in some surprising hope and hints of reconciliation.
Also, Grisham takes us back to Clanton, Mississippi, where several of his novels are based, and reintroduces us to one of his more colorful supporting characters, Harry Rex Vonner, a good friend, who is also an alcoholic womanizer.  Ah, Grisham, thanks for the complexity.
And thanks Emma for another good Father's Day gift.

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