Just Finished: Conviction by Richard North Patterson

This book is the April selection of my book club click here for a list of the collected readings of my book club, “The Indy Reading Coalition” . Oddly, it is the third book my club has read that has dealt with the death penalty and someone on death row.  The other two were John Grisham’s The Innocent Man and Stephen King’s The Green Mile, both of which were well-received by my club.

This selection was heavier on the ‘legal’ side of things – indeed, this is where the book made its greatest impression on this reader.  Almost all of the major characters are lawyers and judges, and it has really made me think about how wildly different the work life of people in the legal profession is from other professional people.

The book includes a fictional Supreme Court, and an ‘inside view’ into its workings and machinations.  It also was one of those books that I’m not sure I liked, but am glad I read it nonetheless.  I know that lawyers are, on the whole, pretty smart people (I’ve always assumed they have to be to pass the bar and survive law school, etc.), and I like to think I’m a fairly smart person myself, relatively speaking.  But… I don’t think I could use my ‘smarts’ as effectively as those who have made the law their profession.  The only parts of the book that made me think otherwise were those in which both sides of the case would prepare their arguments while anticipating the other side’s response, and how they would meet that response, and so on, and so on.  I guess I could confess here that, in a ‘former life’ I was a pretty serious ‘amateur’ tournament chess player, and these deliberations and calculations were not unlike those I remember while contemplating a move or tactical sequence in a game of chess.  Where I would fail on the legal side, however, is in what I would call my lack of preciseness in language and its nuances.  This is probably why many of us ‘other professionals’ find reading legal documents so tedious.

The author of this book did a good job in writing for the non-legal profession readers, but I still would have no desire to ever partake in legal proceedings of any kind…  🙂


  1. Kim said,

    April 23, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    How coincidental I read this, too! 🙂 I enjoyed the book, despite all the legalities in it. I good never be a lawyer, way too much stress for me. The ending was a bit of shock to me. I was hoping for something different, but I think that is what made this book more realistic.


    • stentorpub said,

      April 23, 2010 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Kimmie!
      Thanks for visiting my blog (make sure to bookmark it and check in from time to time) :-). We missed you at book club last night. Dale and I were the only ones who had actually finished the book – although Jan read all but the last page while the food was cooking.

      I agree that the ending was a bit surprising. I guess we could have seen the way things were heading after the Supreme Court rendered their decision, but I’m not used to ‘unhappy’ endings…



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: