Written By: John Grisham

Narrated By: Michael Beck

Date: October 2018

Duration: 17 hours 37 minutes


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • John Grisham's most powerful, surprising, and suspenseful thriller yet • “A murder mystery, a courtroom drama, a family saga.” —USA Today
October 1946, Clanton, Mississippi

Pete Banning was Clanton, Mississippi’s favorite son—a decorated World War II hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, father, neighbor, and a faithful member of the Methodist church. Then one cool October morning he rose early, drove into town, and committed a shocking crime.  Pete's only statement about it—to the sheriff, to his lawyers, to the judge, to the jury, and to his family—was: 'I have nothing to say.' He was not afraid of death and was willing to take his motive to the grave.
In a major novel unlike anything he has written before, John Grisham takes us on an incredible journey, from the Jim Crow South to the jungles of the Philippines during World War II; from an insane asylum filled with secrets to the Clanton courtroom where Pete’s defense attorney tries desperately to save him. 

Reminiscent of the finest tradition of Southern Gothic storytelling, The Reckoning would not be complete without Grisham’s signature layers of legal suspense, and he delivers on every page.


  • Savannah S.

    Amazing story, enthralling. Great narrator

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful.

  • Robert G.

    I’m surprised with the previous listeners reviews. My feelings about this book are completely contrary to those reviewers. The book was extremely slow. I would describe it as boring. The mystery is no mystery at all. If you half half a brain you will be able to predict the ending. I would not recommend this book. Very disappointing.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

  • Janice M.

    Grisham never disappoints! Another fantastic book, each book just gets better and better.. I will be thinking about this one for awhile.. this was a complete surprise ending.. can’t wait till his next one!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Brandie R.

    This book kept me wondering all the way through, so realistic and human.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Katherine K.

    I’ve read or listened to all John Grisham’s works...and until The Reckoning, liked them all. This one took much of my fortitude to get thru because for me, it was a depressing, sad horror story. I’ll think twice about buying any of his books in the future...this one completely turned me off!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Chris D.

    Way too long of a story, I just didn't like it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Richard S.

    Truly great book. I really enjoyed listening to this book and made me think even after it was finished. Strongly recommend and hold onto your seat, it will have you coming back for more!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Arthur B.

    Good story Terrible southern accent

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Robert E.

    A very good story. Looking forward to the next John Grisham volume

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Jeffrey M.

    Wow! I endured it. Too much between the covers that keeps repeating. Too simple of plot, too predictive of what happens next. I am a Grisham fan, so I stayed with it. But this was too much to endure. Narration was fine, but SLOW.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    I like Grisham's books, but this one was slow moving. I didn't like the ending.

  • Dietmar B.

    Not great. Too many repetitions. Statements like: "The Japanese had an endless supply of troops" are just silly. The plot was good, but thin. The narration was powerful!

  • Dan B.

    Not his best effort. Kinda plodding in the middle, lots of filler. Narration was pretty good.

  • Anonymous

    Good story but 4 hours too long. Great narrator.

  • Frank G.

    Way to slow of a story. I finally finished it because I had paid for it already. If not, I would have abandoned it, for sure.

  • Anonymous

    Enjoyed the story, but the narrator is outstanding!!

  • Dennis L.

    I am not usually negative but this story is so predicable and goes on forever!!! There is nothing mysterious this book.

  • Lee P.

    Good listen, definitely not the outcome I wanted.

  • Ursula Berliner

    Be prepared for a depressing ride. Wonderfully written, but slow and very grim.

  • Roxanne M.

    The book is very long and detailed. But the accents performed by the narrator were wonderful. It is a very sad book to read. The book is full of twist and turns and I could not stop listening. It takes place in Clanton, Mississippi in the 1930’s and ends about 1950. It follows a family who farm cotton and the farm has been in the family for 100 years. The main characters are Pete and Liza pre and post WWll. There is a saying, “Every lie has a life” and this book is written on that premise. It can be hard to read at times due to the graphic nature of some of the some of the chapters. However. As usual John Grisham does not disappoint.

  • Josh P.

    1st, I could listen to Michael Beck for ever. His voice has a way of creating a very detailed and heartfelt experience. And as for the “Reckoning” it’s amazing. It even had a little twist at the end that made me gasp, like I was one of the “kids” listening.

  • Teresa M.

    Unlike some of the others, I did enjoy this book. It was a little long, but that's fine. Sad ending, had an idea of how it might end. So much heartache because of a lie. I always enjoy John Grisholm's work.

  • Tim F.

    excellent !!!!!!

  • Lupe C.

    I really enjoyed it until the end..not what I expected. I find myself feeling a little unsatisfied.

  • Vanessa C.

    I usually loveGrisham books but this was too long, too repetitive and a boring ending that was predictable. And although the ending may have been somewhat shocking back in the 1940’s, it is more insulting today.

  • Jeff N.

    arguably the worst ending of a book I've ever read. the story had so much potential but never came together. extremely disappointed in the author. the narrator was great....only good thing about the book.

  • Cindi F.

    The narrations was great, and the info about World War II was very interesting. However, the overall plot plodded along and the end was not worth the extensive buildup. I have long been a John Grisham fan, but this one was disappionting to me. I kept waiting for the clever twist that was not the obvious mystery solution, but it never came. I was actually more upset that I gave 17 hours to it than anything else. It is not one that I recommend.

  • Gary L.

    Great story and the ending not what you would believe. Greatly written by Mr Grisham.

  • Tina P.

    I did not like this book at all. There was way too much detail going and the story seemed to drag out. I thought it would never end. The first part was ok. But part 2 was absolutely horrible. As I said, way too much detail.

  • Eric G.

    One of the best listens in a long time, John Grisham's attention to accuracy made this an amazing book!

  • Charlnita B.

    always been a fan always will be. John Grisham writes a darn good story. The Reckoning is no exception. Not a favorite but definitely a good listen

  • Shana B.

    This may have been the worst book I’ve ever endured. Don’t waste your time or money!

  • Jodie L.

    I agree with the reviewer below. As a longtime Grisham reader, I expected far better then this slow, dragged out story. By “part 2” I’m ready to give up. I’ve just had enough. If I can get a refund for this I would. John Grisham used to write exciting stories that captured and kept you reading. This is not the Grisham I remember, I’m sorely disappointed that I wasted money on this terribly boring book.

  • Nadine R.

    I enjoyed the story but found it a little slow/overly descriptive. Not one of my favorite Grisham novels.

  • Sharon H.

    Great book with twist and turns that keep you listening. Good narrator.

  • Patricia V.

    This is a great read Great characters , great writing , surprise ending.

  • Travis H.

    Its a book that keeps you thinking what could it be.

  • Anonymous

    Not even close to his prior success. The story drags and fails to launch. Truly disappointed.

  • Cindy C.

    This book failed. It had opportunities for twists and turns that would have helped this story take off. It never takes off. It became painful to finish. I have always liked Grisham, but his books lately have been a disappointment.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent book.

  • Aimee H.

    The person reading did an excellent job. I listened whenever I could. Great story.

  • Jack B.

    In my opinion Grisham’s best work. Normally I can figure out the ending with a 100 pages to go, not so here. This is more like a Faulkner story with lots of broken people, tragic stories and no happy ending. A great read.

  • Joseph P.

    My first John Grisham novel and absolutely will be the first of all of his work. What a writer. Loved every piece of this book and story and the ending I did not see coming although I’d ran through a hundred scenarios as I listened. Great book. So entertaining.

  • Glenice N.

    This book hemlock my attention from start to finish. Throughly enjoyed it It kept me guessing from start to finish. Highly recommend this book. Well written and I through the that the narrator did an excellent job.

  • Pamela F.

    Narration was great, the voices were fantastic, I just wish the book wwould've been a little faster for the reader or listener in this case the story is great just a little slow

  • Paul T.

    Love grisham, hated this book. Gratuitist heart-tugging, unrelated events, and slow. Could have been a good short story with adequate editing.

  • Autumn H.

    Great story.

  • ROBYN M.

    I enjoyed the presentation of this novel by the narrator. Driving from South Carolina to Chicago is a long arduous drive however. this novel kept my interest and made the drive much more plesant!!!

  • John M.

    (warning: spoilers in this review) Contrary to the negativity so far, I really enjoyed this book. During part 2 I was wondering why Grisham had put so much effort into the battle of the Philippines when I felt it could have been condensed a bit not needing to come here for a history lesson on historic fact already learned. After diving into Part 3 I fully understood why he did and the purpose for it. The Only part that had me scratching my head over was, why didn't Florry come clean with the story when the farm was in jeopardy with the civil suite. At that time Liza hadn't revealed the true truth and I think most people would have broke there silence if there was an injustice being committed. Wholly crap the parasites are coming to take the family farm that's been in the family for generations and your going to sit on your thumbs and say nothing. I don't think so.

  • Anonymous

    Although this book has the usual great Grisham character development, the plot line is too depressing.

  • Gillian W.

    It was a read that keep you wanting to find out what really happen. It wasn’t what you thought.

  • Kathleen M.

    The narrator is good. The story itself is well told, but I found it a bit predictable and disappointing in the end.

  • Nancy K.

    Grisham’s books are usually good, but this one was somewhat predictable and 5 times too long for the story. Would a man of Clanton’s character and intelligence do what he did and not realize the lasting implications on his family? I don’t believe so.

  • Christine H.

    Great story. Kept it interesting all the way through and wanting the reader to know the truth. Was a little disappointed with the ending, but it was true to life.

  • Jennifer R.

    Truly a twist! John Grisham wrote a story that you will NEVER figure out. The narration is BRILLIANT! ONE OF THE BEST!!


    Sad realistic story that kept getting worse - like life sometimes. I was hoping for some restitutions, but I felt empty and sad. Well written and good narration of the importance of loyalty and truth.

  • Anonymous

    Never expected a book like this. Cried listening to what our service men went through. I was a young child during the war, even though I do remember the end of the war. What a different book from this writer.

  • Anonymous

    Master storytelling. Riveting tomorrow the end

  • Steffanie C.

    You have to be curious and wonder why as you listen to the book. Grisham keeps you wanting to know each character’s motivation and how it plays into the big picture. The second part of the book is lengthy but necessary to establish the motivation of the main character. It keeps you thinking long after the story. I hate to see the bad reviews and people who accused Grisham of creating length for no reason. Every word and every action is necessary to the development of the story. It is a very masterful piece of storytelling.

  • Anonymous

    Very mediocre.

  • Joanie G.

    Narrator was great, but the book; it was so depressing. I really liked all the characters but what they did to each other broke my heart. Not one of John Grisham's best :(

  • Karen G.

    The story line dragged on there was no suspense could not wait for it to be over. Not one of his best book.

  • Jacob B.

    I don’t know if I am just bored with Grisham or what, but this book is very, very, very boring

Reckoning: A Novel

by John Grisham

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Reckoning: A Novel, John Grisham
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