John Grisham. Chapter 1. It came by mail, regular postage, the old-fashioned way since the Judge was almost eighty and distrusted modern devices. ONE. INDIAN. GIRL. Chetan Bhagat is the author of six bestselling TIME magazine named him as one of the most influ. Download The Tumor by John Grisham. JOHN GRISHAM. Dear Reader: I am often asked what I do E-BOOK IN PDF FORMAT. E-BOOK IN EPUB FORMAT.
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The wait is over! For the very first time, you can read all 23 of John Grisham's bestsellers as eBooks. You've enjoyed his work in print, in audio, on screen and. Author: Grisham John Grisham, John - Brethren, The. Read more (ebook-txt) John Grisham - The Brethren · Read more. 1 Mark was eleven and had been smoking off and on for two years, never trying to quit but being careful not to get hoo The Client. The Client John Grisham 1.
The Aftermath Four years after the release of Williamson and Fritz, on June 24, , the real murderer was found. Surprise, surprise: it was Glen Gore, the guy who, in retrospect, had been an obvious suspect from the start. He was sentenced a few years later to life in prison without parole — but by that time, Ron Williamson was already dead.
Diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, Williamson died in a Broken Arrow, Oklahoma nursing home on December 4, , a year after he won a settlement for wrongful conviction from the City of Ada, and two years before Grisham published his book and Glen Gore was sentenced. Married about a year before her disappearance, Haraway was a year-old student at East Central working at a convenience store. Two young men were seen in the vicinity of the store on the night of her disappearance.
Naturally, they were the prime suspects. Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot The police received many calls from concerned citizens; no less than 25 names were given by these callers as suspects. Two names immediately stood out by the sheer number of mentions: Billy Charley and Tommy Ward.
Billy Charley had an alibi: he had been with his parents all through the night.
Hm... Are You a Human?
The police were rather sure that they had their man; or, better yet: their men. And one day, after a grueling eight-hour session, Ward confessed to the crime; shortly after Fontenot did as well.
They were tried for first-degree murder even though they could not tell where the body of Haraway was and even though they had both recanted their confessions. And it gets even weirder. How do we know that? Well, on January 21, , in the woods some twenty miles from Ada, the body of Denice Haraway was discovered by a hunter.
The body was neither stabbed nor burned. The cause of death? A single gunshot wound through her head. It did not. The prosecution was forced into the bizarre position of admitting Ward and Fontenot were lying while asking the jurors to believe them.
There was an expired discount card from a grocery store, then a collection of business cards—two from lawyers, two from bail bondsmen, one from a rehab clinic, and one from a parole officer.
The beer arrived as Roger returned and found his wallet. Calvin, his lap still on fire, watched his beloved Amber weave through the crowd.
Aggie watched the girls too, but he was also watching the time. He had no idea how long it took to give a pint of blood. Midnight was approaching. Roger was fading fast. His eyelids were drooping and his head was nodding. Which one? You know the city? Take Lamar to Parkway, Parkway to Poplar. They dragged Roger to the truck, tossed him inside, then spent half an hour roaming midtown Memphis in a hopeless search for Lutheran Hospital.
Where you from? Mercy was the city hospital, the principal destination for late-night victims of crime, domestic abuse, police shootings, gang disputes, drug overdoses, and alcohol-related car wrecks. Almost all of said victims were black. Ambulances and police cars swarmed around the ER entrance.
Packs of frantic family members roamed the dungeonlike hallways searching for their victims. Screams and shouts echoed through the place as Aggie and Calvin walked for miles looking for the information desk.
They finally found it, tucked away as if it were intentionally hidden. A young Mexican girl was at the desk, smacking gum and reading a magazine. Who you giving blood for? Aggie and Calvin frowned at each other, clueless. Jerome Bailey, aged forty-eight, black, gunshot wound.
For some reason it resumed in the parking lot of Mercy Hospital. Roger, dead to the world, was jolted from his blackout by a burst of gunfire close by. It took a second or two for his brain to react, but before long he knew damned well that, again, someone was shooting at him.
There were rows of cars parked all around, a tall parking garage nearby, buildings everywhere, and in the distance flashing red and blue lights. More gunfire, and Roger ducked low, lost his equilibrium, and was on the floorboard, where he frantically searched under the seat for a weapon of some sort. Fully loaded. He heard angry voices, then saw what was most certainly a gangster car easing suspiciously through the parking lot.
Roger fired twice, hit nothing, but succeeded in changing the strategy of the gang shooting.
The rear window exploded, sending glass throughout the cab and into the long hair of Roger, who hit the floor again and began scrambling to safety. Behind him were more angry voices, then another gunshot. He kept going, his thighs and calves screaming as he kept his head at tire level. He failed to complete a turn between two cars and crashed into the front fender of an old Cadillac. He sat for a moment on the asphalt, listening, breathing, sweating, cursing, but not bleeding.
Slowly, he raised his head, saw no one chasing him, but decided to take no chances. He pressed on, cutting between parked cars until he came to a street. A car was approaching, so he stuck the pistol in a front pants pocket.
It was apparent, even to Roger, that this part of town was a war zone. The buildings had thick bars over the windows.
The chain-link fences were crowned with razor wire. Only the gun kept him from total panic. He eased along the sidewalk, pondering strategy, and decided it was best to get back to the truck and wait on his friends. The shooting had stopped. Perhaps the police were on the scene and things were secure. There were voices behind him, on the sidewalk, and a quick glance revealed a group of young black men, on his side of the street and gaining. Roger picked up the pace. A rock landed nearby and bounced for twenty feet.
They were hollering back there. He eased the gun out of his pocket, put his finger on the trigger, and walked even faster. There were lights ahead, and when he turned a corner, he stepped into a small parking lot outside an all-night convenience store. There was one car parked directly in front of the store, and beside the car a white man and a white woman were yelling at each other. As Roger stepped onto the scene, the man threw a right hook and clobbered the woman in the face.
The sound of her flesh getting smacked was sickening. Roger froze as the scene began to register in his muddled mind. But the woman took the shot well and counterpunched with an unbelievable combination.
He squealed like a burned animal and fell in a heap just as Roger took a step closer. The woman looked at Roger, looked at his gun, then saw the gang approaching from the dark street. If there was another conscious white person within four blocks, he or she was not outdoors. Roger squealed tires, and they were soon racing west on Poplar Avenue. He placed it on the seat between them. They gawked at the damage, then cursed profusely when they realized Roger had vanished. There was a quick conversation about looking for Roger, but they were fed up with him.
The Mexican girl at the information desk had given them directions to Central Hospital, the most likely place to find Bailey. The lady at the desk at Central explained that the blood unit was closed for the night, would reopen at 8: The hospital did not currently have a patient with either the first or the last name of Bailey. As she was dismissing them, a uniformed security guard appeared from nowhere and asked them to leave. They cooperated, and he walked them out of the front door.
Rough place. It was not. The reception area was a grungy little room with a row of plastic chairs and magazines scattered everywhere. An addict of some variety was in one corner, on the floor, under a coffee table, curled into the fetal position, and obviously dying.
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Both had forgotten about poor Bailey. Clipboards were handed over. The attendant did not crack a smile. They swore in writing that they had no known allergies or diseases. Lying on the first bed on the right was a thick-chested white woman in gym sweats and hiking boots.
A tube ran from her left arm down to a clear plastic bag that was half-filled with a dark red liquid. Aggie glanced at the tube, the bag, the arm, then realized that there was a needle stuck through the skin.
He fainted headfirst and landed with a loud thud on the tiled floor. Calvin, in a plastic chair near the front door nervously flipping through a magazine with one eye on the dying addict, heard a loud noise in the back but thought nothing of it.
Cold water and ammonia brought Aggie around, and he eventually managed to crawl onto one of the beds where a tiny Asian lady with her mouth covered by white gauze began explaining, in a thick accent, that he was going to be fine and there was nothing to worry about. She did not understand. When she placed a tray filled with accessories next to him, he took one look and felt faint again. The attendant returned to the front and Calvin jumped from his chair. When he entered the square room, and when he saw the woman in the hiking boots on one side and Aggie wearing a strange blindfold on the other side, he, too, collapsed and fell hard near the spot where his friend had landed just minutes earlier.
Cold water and ammonia helped again. Aggie listened to it all from behind his shroud. Two pints were eventually extracted. A hundred dollars changed hands. At ten minutes after 2: He was not there. Inside, the crowd had thinned and the girls were exhausted. An aging stripper went through the motions onstage.
Three-drink minimum. Reckon where he is. Do you really care? One put his arm around the waist of a waitress, and she quickly jerked away.
Everything was funny. Calvin was crushed. For hours he had relived the brief moment when Amber had straddled his enormous loins and gyrated happily to the music. He could feel her, touch her, even smell her cheap perfume.
A rather large and flabby young lady appeared onstage and began dancing badly. She was soon unclothed but drew little attention. Calvin hardly noticed. He was watching Amber as she sashayed through the club. She was definitely moving slower. It was almost time to go home. She found the enthusiasm and was soon grinding away as his friends offered all manner of commentary. She was surrounded by gawking drunks. The one upon whom she was dancing evidently lost control of himself.
It was an enormous mistake. In a split second, several things happened at once. Since the bouncers had been watching the suits closely, they, the bouncers, were at the table instantly. Two cops in plain clothes rushed forward. The music stopped cold. The crowd backed away. Things were under control during the first few seconds, until Amber somehow stumbled and fell over a chair. This caused her to wail in an affected, dramatic manner, and it also caused Calvin to rush into the melee and throw the first punch.
At that moment, at least eleven grown men, half of them drunk, began throwing punches in every direction and at every target. Calvin was hit hard by a bouncer, and this brought Aggie into the brawl. The suits were swinging wildly at the bouncers, the cops, and the rednecks. Someone threw a glass of beer that landed across the room near a table of middle-aged bikers, who, until that moment, had done nothing more than shout encouragement to everyone throwing punches. However, the breaking glass upset the bikers.
They charged. Outside the Desperado, two uniformed cops had been waiting patiently to help carry away victims of the vice squad, and when they were alerted to the excitement inside, they quickly entered the club. When they realized the fight was more like a full-blown riot, they instinctively pulled out their nightsticks and began looking for a skull or two to crack. Glass was shattered. The cheap tables and chairs were splintered. Two of the bikers picked up wooden chair legs and attacked the bouncers.
The melee roared on with loyalties shifting rapidly and bodies falling to the floor. Blood was everywhere—on the floor, on shirts and jackets, and especially on faces and arms. More police arrived, then the ambulances. Aggie was unconscious and rapidly losing blood from his already diminished supply. The medics were alarmed at his condition and rushed him into the first ambulance. He was taken to Mercy Hospital.
He was placed in a second ambulance. Calvin was handcuffed and manhandled into the rear seat of a police car, where he was joined by an angry man in a gray suit and a white shirt soaked with blood. Five hours later, from a pay phone in the Shelby County jail, Calvin was finally allowed to make a collect phone call to his mother in Box Hill. He had no idea where Roger was.
There was no mention of Bailey. The phone call rippled through the community, and within an hour a carload of friends was headed to Memphis to assess the damage.
They learned that Aggie had survived a surgical procedure to remove a blood clot in the brain, and that he, too, was charged with felony assault on a police officer. A doctor told the family that he would be in the hospital for at least a week.
The family had no insurance. His truck had been seized by the police, and the procedures required to retrieve it appeared impenetrable. He would be represented by a public defender unless they could raise enough cash to hire a Memphis lawyer. Calvin wore an orange jumpsuit and orange rubber shower shoes and looked awful. His face was bruised and swollen, his right eye still closed. He was scared and depressed and offered few details.
Still no word from Roger. His right leg was broken, not crushed, and his other injuries were minor cuts, bruises, and a very sore chest. Hours passed before he was told of the efforts by his friends to donate their blood. Eight days later, Aggie came home to recuperate. His doctor expected a full recovery, but it would take time. His lawyer had managed to reduce the charges to a simple assault.
In light of the damage inflicted by the cops, it seemed fair to give Aggie a break.
His girlfriend stopped by, but only to end the romance. The legend of the road trip and the brawl in the Memphis strip club would haunt them forever, and she wanted no part of it. Plus, there were significant rumors that perhaps Aggie was a bit brain damaged, and she already had her eye on another boy. Three months later, Calvin returned to Ford County. His lawyer negotiated a plea to reduce the assault from a felony to a misdemeanor, but the deal required three months in the Shelby County Penal Farm.
If found guilty on the felony, he would spend years in prison. In the days following the melee, to the surprise of everyone, the bloody corpse of Roger Tucker was not found in some back alley in downtown Memphis. A month after the road trip, he called his father from a pay phone near Denver. He claimed to be hitchhiking around the country, alone, and having a grand time.
Two months later he was arrested for shoplifting in Spokane, and served sixty days in a city jail. Almost a year passed before Roger came home. Fetching Raymond M r. McBride ran his upholstery shop in the old icehouse on Lee Street, a few blocks off the square in downtown Clanton. The van, always clean and never in a hurry, was a common sight in Clanton, and Mr. McBride was fairly well-known because he was the only upholsterer in town. He rarely lent his van to anyone, though the requests were more frequent than he would have liked.
Most of Ford County was listening to the radio, and it was widely known that things were not going well for the Graney family. Should be plenty to get you there and back. McBride shook his head and spat on the gravel beside the van. Just bring it back with a full tank. Mind if I leave my truck? He started the engine, adjusted the seat and the mirrors. He was preoccupied and not in the mood for small talk. He settled into the seat, tested the brakes, slowly gunned the engine to check the power.
Twenty minutes later he was far from Clanton, deep in the hills of northern Ford County. Out from the settlement of Pleasant Ridge, the road became gravel, the homes smaller and farther apart. Leon turned in to a short driveway that stopped at a boxlike house with weeds at the doors and an asphalt shingle roof in need of replacement. A jerry-rigged plywood ramp ran to the side door so that his mother, Inez Graney, could come and go in her wheelchair.
By the time Leon turned off the engine, the side door was open and Inez was rolling out and onto the ramp. Sixteen of his forty-six years had been behind bars, and he looked the part of the career criminal—long ponytail, studs in his ears, all manner of facial hair, massive biceps, and a collection of cheap tattoos a prison artist had sold him for cigarettes.
In spite of his past, Butch handled his mother and her wheelchair with great tenderness and care, speaking softly to her as they negotiated the ramp. Leon watched and waited, then walked to the rear of the van and opened its double doors. He and Butch gently lifted their mother up and sat her inside the van. Butch pushed her forward to the console that separated the two bucket seats bolted into the floor. The journey began. Within minutes they were back on the asphalt and headed for a long night.
Ernie was still blamed for everything—for her bad health and poverty, her reduced status in life, her seclusion, her lack of friends, even the scorn of her own family. But her harshest condemnation of Ernie was for his despicable treatment of his three sons.
Abandoning them was far more merciful than beating them. By the time they reached the highway, all three needed a cigarette. At three packs a day he was always reaching for a pocket. Is the air conditioner on, Leon? Once inside the van, the wind had no exit, no other windows, no vents, nothing to let it out, so it roared back toward the front and engulfed the three Graneys, who were staring at the road, smoking intently, seemingly oblivious to everything as the van moved along the county road.
Butch and Leon casually flicked their ashes out of the windows. Inez gently tapped hers into her cupped left hand. Leon shook his head. Even filled up the tank. Hot air shot out and minutes passed before the heat was broken. All three were sweating. Thank you. Does the air conditioner work? Leon, the oldest, had felt more of the brutality than his younger brothers, and as a small boy equated alcohol with the horrors of an abusive father. He had never taken a drink, though with time had found his own vices.
Raymond, the youngest, had chosen to follow the example of Butch rather than of Leon. Inez, as always, perked up when discussing the ailments and treatments of her neighbors, and herself as well. The air conditioner finally broke through, and the thick humidity inside the van began to subside.
When he stopped sweating, Butch reached for his pocket, fished out a cigarette, lit it, then cracked the window. The temperature rose immediately.
Soon all three were smoking, and the windows went lower and lower until the air was again thick with heat and nicotine. Raymond had been making calls, collect, for days now, and not only to his mother. Others around town were also declining to accept charges. He knew exactly what Raymond had said, maybe not verbatim, but certainly in general.
You know Raymond. Nothing was said because words were not necessary. Can you imagine? Inez had cataracts, and her peripheral vision had declined. If she had seen the looks being passed between her two oldest, she would not have been pleased. What do you thank about that, Leon? Butch grunted and mumbled, but his words were not clear. Both had been chewed up by the law in Ford County, Butch much more so than Leon. And though they had pled guilty to their crimes in negotiated deals, they had always believed they were persecuted simply because they were Graneys.
But neither said a word. How can we forget about it?
And he begged me for it. This gets so old. After a long, quiet smoke, they settled in for another round. Why bring it up now? Guess I was lucky I never had all three behind bars. What was the magazine? Hot Rodder? Paid him forty bucks for a story about a man who stole a thousand hubcaps.
They say you write what you know. If my little brother would also realize that he has no artistic talents whatsoever, then he could save some money and hundreds of people would not be subjected to his nonsense.
But no. You read his books and his poetry and his short stories and told him the stuff was great. So he wrote more, with longer words, longer sentences, longer paragraphs, and got to the point to where now we can hardly understand a damned thang he writes.
A dictionary helps. Paper, postage, typing, copying, shipping to New York and back.
That right, Momma? He spends money on guitar strings and sheet music. Plus, they now allow the prisoners to rent tapes. He listened to B. King and Muddy Waters, and, according to Raymond, he now entertains his colleagues on death row with late-night sessions of the blues.
They were on the bypass around Oxford, two hours away from Parchman. The upholstery van seemed to run best at sixty miles an hour; anything faster and the front tires shook a bit.
There was no hurry. West of Oxford the hills began to flatten; the Delta was not far away. Inez recognized a little white country church off to the right, next to a cemetery, and it occurred to her that the church had not changed in all the many years she had made this journey to the state penitentiary.
She asked herself how many other women in Ford County had made as many of these trips, but she knew the answer. Six months after Leon was paroled, he was driving her so she could visit Butch. Then it was Butch and Raymond, but in different units with different rules. Then Raymond killed the deputy, and they locked him down on death row, which had its own rules. With practice, most unpleasant tasks become bearable, and Inez Graney had learned to look forward to the visits.
Her sons had been condemned by the rest of the county, but their mother would never abandon them. She was there when they were born, and she was there when they were beaten.
All of it was her fault. He sent her some poems, love sonnets, and she became obsessed with him. They met in the visitation room at death row and, through a thick metal screen window, fell in love. Raymond sang a few blues tunes, and Tallulah was swept away. After a brief period of mourning, she traveled to Parchman for a bizarre ceremony that was recognized by no identifiable state law or religious doctrine.
Anyway, Raymond was in love, and, thus inspired, his prodigious letter writing reached new heights. The family was forewarned that Tallulah was anxious to visit Ford County and see her new in-laws. She indeed arrived, but when they refused to acknowledge her, she instead paid a visit to the Ford County Times, where she shared her rambling thoughts, her insights into the plight of poor Raymond Graney, and her promises that new evidence would clear him in the death of the deputy.
Tallulah made the front page, photo and all, but the reporter had been wise enough to check with Parchman. Conjugal visits were not allowed for the inmates, especially those on death row. And there was no official record of a marriage. With time she faded away, though Inez, Leon, and Butch lived with the horror that another Graney might soon be born, somewhere. In spite of the rules regarding conjugal visits, they knew Raymond. He could find a way.
This touched off another nasty episode of bickering and name-calling, and the money was raised only after he threatened suicide, and not for the first time. Not long after the checks had been mailed, Raymond wrote with the great news that he and Tallulah had reconciled.
He did not offer to return the money to Inez, Butch, and Leon, though all three suggested that he do so. Raymond declined on the grounds that his new team of lawyers needed the money to hire experts and investigators.
In the early days of his imprisonment, both Leon and Butch had reminded Raymond that he had not sent them the first penny when they were behind bars and he was not.
This had led to another nasty episode that Inez had been forced to mediate. She sat bent and unmoving in her wheelchair, with a large canvas bag in her lap. As the thoughts of Tallulah began to fade, she opened the bag and withdrew a letter from Raymond, his latest. She opened the envelope, plain and white with his swirling cursive writing all over the front, and unfolded two sheets of yellow tablet paper.
Dearest Mother: It is becoming increasingly obvious and apparent that the cumbersome and unwieldy yes even lethargic machinations of our inequitable and dishonorable yes even corrupt judicial system have inevitably and irrevocably trained their loathsome and despicable eyes upon me.
Inez took a breath, then read the sentence again. Most of the words looked familiar. After years of reading with a letter in one hand and a dictionary in the other, she was amazed at how much her vocabulary had expanded. Butch glanced back, saw the letter, shook his head, but said nothing.
However, the State of Mississippi will once again be thwarted and stymied and left in thorough and consummate degradation in its resolution to extract blood from Raymond T. For I have procured and retained the services of a young lawyer with astonishing skills, an extraordinary advocate judiciously chosen by me from the innumerable legions of barristers quite literally throwing themselves at my feet.
Another pause, another quick rereading. Inez was barely hanging on. Not surprisingly, a lawyer of such exquisite and superlative yes even singular proficiencies and dexterities cannot labor and effectively advocate on my behalf without appropriate recompense.
She spelled it slowly, and the three pondered the word. This exercise in language skills had become as routine as talking about the weather. Come on, Momma, now is the hour for the family to join hands and metaphorically circle the wagons.
Your reluctance yes even your recalcitrance will be deemed pernicious neglect. One final note before I move on to more pressing correspondence—Butch and Leon have again neglected my stipends. Please torment, harass, vex, heckle, and badger those two blockheads until they honor their commitments to my defense fund. Love, as always, from your dearest and favorite son, Raymond Each letter sent to a death row inmate was read by someone in the mail room at Parchman, and each outgoing letter was likewise scrutinized.
They never failed to tire Inez, primarily because they required work. She was afraid she would miss something important. The letters drained her. The lyrics put her to sleep. The novels produced migraines. The poetry could not be penetrated. She wrote back twice a week, without fail, because if she neglected her youngest by even a day or so, she could expect a torrent of abuse, a four-pager or maybe a five-pager with blistering language that contained words often not found in a dictionary.
And even the slightest delay in mailing in her stipend would cause unpleasant collect phone calls. Of the three, Raymond had been the best student, though none had finished high school. Leon had been the better athlete, Butch the better musician, but little Raymond got the brains.
And he made it all the way to the eleventh grade before he got caught with a stolen motorcycle and spent sixty days in a juvenile facility. He was sixteen, five years younger than Butch and ten younger than Leon, and already the Graney boys were developing the reputation as skillful car thieves. Raymond joined the family business and forgot about school. When the first car theft ring was broken, Leon took the fall and did his time at Parchman. Upon his release, he married his second wife and managed to go straight.
Butch and Raymond made no effort at going straight; in fact, they expanded their activities. They fenced stolen guns and appliances, dabbled in the marijuana trade, ran moonshine, and of course stole cars and sold them to various chop shops in north Mississippi.
Televisions are easy to move on the black market. Chain-link proved far more difficult. He pleaded to eighteen months, his first stint at Parchman.
Raymond avoided indictment and lived to steal again. He stuck to his first love—cars and pickups—and prospered nicely, though all profits were wasted on booze, gambling, and an astounding string of bad women. From the beginning of their careers as thieves, the Graney boys were hounded by an obnoxious deputy named Coy Childers.
Coy suspected them in every misdemeanor and felony in Ford County. He watched them, followed them, threatened them, harassed them, and at various times arrested them for good cause or for no cause whatsoever.
All three had been beaten by Coy in the depths of the Ford County jail. And the Graneys became quite well-known. He kept the police radio and mailed it back to Coy in an unmarked parcel.
There was no proof at all, nothing to link him to the crime except some well-founded suspicion. You've been outbid by someone else's max bid. Try raising your max bid. You're the highest bidder! To increase your chances of winning, try raising your bid. You're the first bidder. Good Luck! You're still the highest bidder! You increased your max bid to Please enter your bid again.Come on, Momma, now is the hour for the family to join hands and metaphorically circle the wagons.
He sipped beer and gazed across the lake, a busy place in the summer with ski boats and small catamarans, but deserted in February. The executioner placed a plastic container of sulfuric acid into a tube that ran from the chemical room to a bowl in the bottom of the chamber, just under the chair that Raymond now occupied.
The two prison guards weighed at least pounds each, had twenty-four-inch necks and the obligatory shaved heads. And, Mack, I cannot stress enough our desire for confidentiality.
You've been outbid by an automatic bid placed earlier by another bidder.