The Innocent Man

Murder and Injustice in a Small Town

Publisher: Dell

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In the vein of Serial and Making a Murderer, John Grisham’s first work of nonfiction will terrify anyone who believes in the presumption of innocence. Impeccably researched, grippingly told, filled with eleventh-hour drama, it’s a book no American can afford to miss.
 
In the town of Ada, Oklahoma, Ron Williamson was going to be the next Mickey Mantle. But on his way to the Big Leagues, Ron stumbled, his dreams broken by drinking, drugs, and women. Then, on a winter night in 1982, not far from Ron’s home, a young cocktail waitress named Debra Sue Carter was savagely murdered. The investigation led nowhere. Until, on the flimsiest evidence, it led to Ron Williamson. The washed-up small-town hero was charged, tried, and sentenced to death—in a trial littered with lying witnesses and tainted evidence that would shatter a man’s already broken life, and let a true killer go free.
 
Praise for The Innocent Man
 
“Grisham has written both an American tragedy and his strongest legal thriller yet, all the more gripping because it happens to be true.”Entertainment Weekly
 
“Grisham has crafted a legal thriller every bit as suspenseful and fast-paced as his bestselling fiction.”The Boston Globe
 
“A gritty, harrowing true-crime story.”Time
 
“A triumph.”—The Seattle Times

READ AN EXCERPT

Chapter 1

The rolling hills of southeast Oklahoma stretch from Norman across to Arkansas and show little evidence of the vast deposits of crude oil that were once beneath them. Some old rigs dot the countryside; the active ones churn on, pumping out a few gallons with each slow turn and prompting a passerby to ask...
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READING GUIDE

The Innocent Man unfolds with the taut suspense, intriguing characters, and vivid scenes that have made John Grisham one of the most widely read novelists in America. But this time, he’s reporting on actual events–and a courtroom drama that results in a real-life nightmare for all the wrong people....
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PRAISE FOR

“Grisham has written both an American tragedy and his strongest legal thriller yet, all the more gripping because it happens to be true.”Entertainment Weekly
 
“Grisham has crafted a legal thriller every bit as suspenseful and fast-paced as his bestselling fiction.”The Boston Globe
 
“A gritty, harrowing true-crime story.”Time
 
“A triumph.”—The Seattle Times