I have to confess, ever since my eyes caught sight of THE FIRM displayed at Barnes & Noble years ago, I have been a John Grisham fan. Grisham tells a great story, but what I love about his writing is that he manages to weave a moral insight into most of his books. A TIME TO KILL is a story about justice and those who fight for it at personal risk. GRAY MOUNTAIN is a story about poverty, dishonest big business, and legitimate environmental concerns. ROGUE LAWYER is a series of vignettes about an attorney who defends the indefensible.
THE CHAMBER affected me more than most of his other writings. It is the story of one case of capital punishment. It was told in such a way, however, that the observer sees the politics involved, and the image and perception issues of politicians who make the decision to execute a convicted felon. It asks the serious question of what is justice. Sub-plots that emerge are discussions of the incredible amounts of money spent on no hope defenses, the sadness of those who cannot afford a credible defense, and the what ifs should a person be proved innocent post-execution. It made me reevaluate how I view the whole issue of capital punishment.
What I find most intriguing about Grisham's work, is his ability to expose moral issues, wrap them in a story, and facilitate thought on those issues. Psychologists point out that normally the reticular activation system (RAS) inside the brain prohibits the consideration of new facts should they run contrary to our preconceived opinions. When wrapped in a story, however, that RAS can be by-passed and serious issues can be examined. Grisham is a master at this.
In my newest book, LECTURES FROM THE GATES OF HELL, I examine how humanity is at war with Satan and his minions. I tell it in such a way, hopefully, that people will see past their preconceived notions and realize that spiritual warfare is not fantasy, but cold hard reality. I have learned a thing or two from Grisham and his writing.