cover image Sycamore Row

Sycamore Row

John Grisham, read by Michael Beck. Random House Audio, unabridged, 16 CDs, 21 hrs., $45 ISBN 978-0-385-36647-2

Narrator Beck turns in a fine performance in this audio version of Grisham’s outstanding sequel to the classic courtroom drama A Time to Kill. It’s 1988 and Clayton, Miss–based lawyer Jake Brigance receives a handwritten will from the recently deceased Seth Hubbard that leaves the majority of his estate—roughly $20 million—to his African-American maid, thus disinheriting his own children. Along with the will is a letter from Hubbard instructing Brigance to defend his last wishes at all costs. With millions on the line, the Hubbard family aggressively contests the old man’s will, throwing Brigance into a trial full of twists and turns. Beck’s gentle accented reading skillfully captures the old-world, Southern tone of Grisham’s novel. Beck also keeps the story moving at a good pace and infuses each character with a distinctive regional voice. A Doubleday hardcover. (Oct.)