In the heat of the city, a man is out of time: speeding in a beat-up Ford Tempo, blasting easy-listening music. Reporter Steve Everett drinks too much, makes love to his boss’s wife, and has just stumbled upon a shocking truth: a convicted killer is about to be executed for a crime he didn’t commit.
In the cold confines of Death Row, Frank Beachum is also out of time. Ready to say good-bye to the wife and child he loves and hello to the God he still believes in, Beachum knows he did not kill a convenience store clerk six years ago. But in a few hours—if Steve Everett can’t find the evidence to stop it—a needle is going to pierce Frank Beachum’s skin.
The killing machine is primed. The executioner is waiting. And so is the priest. Now the clock is ticking down and the race is on—between the reporter and his demons, between the system and its lethal flaws, between the last innocent man and society’s ultimate crime….
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TRUE CRIME REVIEWS
Good lord, this book has you racing toward the end, and when you get there you have to get up, take a break from the Kindle, pace around with anxiety, before you can get back to it. What writing. What a writer. Others have told the storyline, but until you read it you have no idea what a great book this is. Klavan needs a new agent - he should be as famous as Stephen King. Male characters outstanding, female not as good but they are secondary. Only negative that occurred is that I had to skip some of the paragraphs in my hurry to the end. A woman can only take so much.
Congratulations, Mr Klavan! All the classic devices of the crime thriller, and some new ones, but nothing feels contrived. A condemned-cell drama, but miraculously fresh, with an almost praeternatural avoidance of clichés. I honestly would not have though that the classic situation could be so fresh. Our hero is a grievously flawed man—but redeemed triumphantly by love--of just two things his son, and the truth. More precisely of truth-telling. The humour is good to excellent. There is deep psychological accuracy in the depiction of the wrongly condemned man, his unwitting persecutors, his would-be saviour, spiritual comforters good and bad, the stricken wife.... all parts are written with sympathy and insight. Considerable learning is worn very lightly (there is a fictional vignette where Aristotle's Poetics is brought in with a deftness that had me smiling for hours). Read this book! You will want to read it again.
A terrifying depiction of an innocent man’s anticipation of his own execution. I had a stomach ache when I finished reading, the story is so gripping and profound.
Klavan is a terrific writer that pulled me into the story and made it very difficult to stop reading. This is a different kind of thriller that gets you into the head of multiple characters. It has changed the way I will think about the death penalty from now on.