The Guardians
In the small north Florida town of Seabrook, a young lawyer named Keith Russo was shot dead at his desk as he worked late one night. The killer left no clues behind. There were no witnesses, no real suspects, no one with a motive. The police soon settled on Quincy Miller, a young black man who was once a client of Russo’s. Quincy was framed, convicted, and sent to prison for life. For twenty-two years he languished in prison with no lawyer, no advocate on the outside. Then he wrote a letter to Guardian Ministries, a small innocence group founded by a lawyer/minister named Cullen Post. Guardian handles only a few innocence cases at a time, and Post is its only investigator. He travels the South fighting wrongful convictions and taking cases no one else will touch. With Quincy Miller, though, he gets far more than he bargained for. Powerful, ruthless people murdered Keith Russo, and they do not want Quincy exonerated.They killed one lawyer twenty-two years ago, and they will kill another one without a second thought.

The Guardians Details

TitleThe Guardians
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 15th, 2019
PublisherDoubleday Books
ISBN-139780385544184
Rating
GenreFiction, Mystery, Thriller, Legal Thriller, Crime, Mystery Thriller, Audiobook, Suspense, Novels, Adult Fiction

The Guardians Review

  • Lou
    January 1, 1970
    After a few recent novels that failed to live up to Grisham's usual, exacting standard I heard many people pondering whether his time as a master of the legal thriller was over. Well, in The Guardians he replies in a way which will shut the naysayers up pretty damn quickly; here he is back to his barnstorming best, and I will undoubtedly be adding this to my favourite reads of 2019. The plotting is superb, the characters engaging, and the twists and turns plentiful and truly shocking; this is de After a few recent novels that failed to live up to Grisham's usual, exacting standard I heard many people pondering whether his time as a master of the legal thriller was over. Well, in The Guardians he replies in a way which will shut the naysayers up pretty damn quickly; here he is back to his barnstorming best, and I will undoubtedly be adding this to my favourite reads of 2019. The plotting is superb, the characters engaging, and the twists and turns plentiful and truly shocking; this is definitely up there with his most accomplished in my opinion. From the first page, I was gripped and ended up devouring it in a mere afternoon. Grisham's storytelling when at its peak is some of the most proficient in the whole of the literary sphere. But this book doesn't just focus on providing us readers with thrills and spills, it also has an emotional aspect to it which was very refreshing.It centres around a group of lawyers who have turned their hand to investigating miscarriages of justice and are actively working to exonerate those who've become victims of a broken legal/court system. The fact that we are told at the end that this is based on a real-life group made it all the better and temporarily restored my faith in humanity. The story is impeccably structured and extensively researched; the information on miscarriages of justice was spot on, which I appreciated, and our narrator Post's ability to see situations from all perspectives is fascinating. This translates into him being able to understand the sentiments of both the defence and prosecution in the cases featured. If you enjoy legal-based thrillers then you simply can't go wrong; this is Grisham back to his finest and most addictive. Highly recommended.
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    Did not finish. Gave up about page 220. I have read and enjoyed most of John Grisham’s books. This was an informative fictional account of a non-profit organization that advocates for and exonerates prisoners who have been wrongly convicted of a crime they did not commit. In Canada, there is Innocence Canada which has helped exonerate 23 innocent people since 1993. In the United States, the Innocence Project has branches in many States. In 2018 alone, 9 innocent people were exonerated in the USA Did not finish. Gave up about page 220. I have read and enjoyed most of John Grisham’s books. This was an informative fictional account of a non-profit organization that advocates for and exonerates prisoners who have been wrongly convicted of a crime they did not commit. In Canada, there is Innocence Canada which has helped exonerate 23 innocent people since 1993. In the United States, the Innocence Project has branches in many States. In 2018 alone, 9 innocent people were exonerated in the USA. These 9 wrongly convicted prisoners had spent a combined 215 years in prison and now have their freedom restored. We often see news releases about the prisoners at long last being released, but the hard work of the dedicated and heroic people of organizations such as the Innocence Projects is little known. The use of DNA evidence is a vital part of proving innocence. This book tells the story of Cullen Post who founded Guardian Ministries. This is a small firm working to prove the innocence of the wrongly convicted. Post is the right man to advocate for his clients. His experience leading him to be selected to defend a very bad man whom he knew to be guilty of a violent, brutal attack caused him to have a nervous breakdown. He is now a minister, as well as a lawyer and works for Guardian Ministries. They only advocate for a small number of clients, working diligently to free the innocent.Such an unfortunate man is Quincy Miller, a black man who has been languishing in prison for 22 years. He was accused and imprisoned for the shooting to death of a lawyer, Russo, and Quincy has had no advocate on the outside until now. Post learns that Quincy was certainly framed through a series of lies, missing evidence, and incompetent expert witnesses. It seems Russo’s actual murder involved a powerful criminal gang. Post’s diligence in gathering affidavits from people who lied under pressure at Quincy’s trial, and the forensic testimony from highly skilled expert witnesses which contradicts previous sloppy evidence has put his life in danger. The ruthless criminals will not hesitate to kill Post to cover up past crimes, including their murder of Russo. I found the book to be informative regarding the number of prisoners who may be innocent, and those working tirelessly to free them. I wanted to like the book and did admire its premise, but found that for me it became slow and tedious rather than a compelling read. I realize there are some highly positive reviews, and prospective readers should not be deterred by my misgivings.
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  • Mads Bruynesteyn
    January 1, 1970
    What a great story. Sure that this novel has to be placed on the same level as A Time To Kill, The Pelican Brief etc. One of his best!!
  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    I will give him one more chance. His last few have been terrible, so much so that I haven't read anything since Gray Mountain (I'd give that zero stars if I could). Fingers crossed!
  • Greville Waterman
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes you get the feeling that he’s phoning it in a bit but when he’s in form there is no thriller writer out there who can match John Grisham for sheer excitement, thrills and great plotting. The Guardians is up there with his best and engaged me from the opening chapter. I finished it in a day and can thoroughly recommend it as an exceptional legal thriller. Highly recommended.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    I recieved a digital copy of this book from Netgalley and Hodder in exchange for an honest review.This book was thoroughly amazing and well throughout, well researched and well executed. The plot was intriguing and kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire read - I read this in one sitting! Having never been in any of the character situations I could empathise but I ould certainly sympathise with the majority of the characters. I was definitely drawn to Post and the Guardians. Th I recieved a digital copy of this book from Netgalley and Hodder in exchange for an honest review.This book was thoroughly amazing and well throughout, well researched and well executed. The plot was intriguing and kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire read - I read this in one sitting! Having never been in any of the character situations I could empathise but I ould certainly sympathise with the majority of the characters. I was definitely drawn to Post and the Guardians. They do such good and get hardly anything in return. The pace was really well done, it kept the plot of information, backstory and mystery flowing very nicely and I was on the edge of my seat waiting for what was to happen, guessing what was going to happen - wrongly - and wanting to cry for Quincy and the other innocent convicts.From my limited view and none existent experience, and skewed view of America... Its completely believable and I loved reading the descriptions of some of the states and travelling around them... It always seems unfathomable to me that you can spend so long travelling from one state to the next. Post is a fantastic narrator, because he can see both sides of the entire story he relates to both the prosecution and the defendents which I think is brilliant. He's toes many lines very carefully aware of the consequences of his actions even as he undertakes them.I am definitely interested in reading more books by this author at some point in the future
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    I hadn't read a John Grisham novel for years and I have to say they are like returning to a well known cereal.You tend to forget just how good they are.The author has an almost unique style of writing that draws you in in such a way that you feel you are talking to a great friend and really rooting for them all the way through.Even the legal jargon is written in such a way as to make it interesting, which is no mean feat.Fell a little bit in love with both of the central I hadn't read a John Grisham novel for years and I have to say they are like returning to a well known cereal.You tend to forget just how good they are.The author has an almost unique style of writing that draws you in in such a way that you feel you are talking to a great friend and really rooting for them all the way through.Even the legal jargon is written in such a way as to make it interesting, which is no mean feat.Fell a little bit in love with both of the central characters, especially Post (I mean who wouldn't?) and desperately wanted them both to succeed.Don't expect any twists (I've learned that with John Grisham) but you can certainly guarantee an excellent story, tense at times, even gruesome in parts but one you will struggle to put down.
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  • Kim Kaso
    January 1, 1970
    This arrived on Tuesday with my pre-order delivery, I picked it up on Saturday & was intrigued by the Episcopal priest who was a lawyer and was using his skills in service of the wrongfully convicted. Finished it in a day. Full of interesting characters and plot twists, kept me entertained as my power went on and off due to power lines suddenly needing to be replaced at the end of our street. Fortunately, daylight lasted until the power came back on so I read last few chapters by lamplight. This arrived on Tuesday with my pre-order delivery, I picked it up on Saturday & was intrigued by the Episcopal priest who was a lawyer and was using his skills in service of the wrongfully convicted. Finished it in a day. Full of interesting characters and plot twists, kept me entertained as my power went on and off due to power lines suddenly needing to be replaced at the end of our street. Fortunately, daylight lasted until the power came back on so I read last few chapters by lamplight. The author’s note was inspiring and heartbreaking. Highly recommended, especially of you like legal thrillers.
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  • Karen Ng
    January 1, 1970
    As a 20- something 30 years ago, I was a devoted Grisham fan who read every one of his courtroom drama books centered around business crimes. Then I stopped like I stopped reading King, Cornwell, Patterson, Kellerman, and all the authors who averaged one, or even more than one, book a year... worrying about quality, ghost writing, molding, lack of growth, and other deterring factors when an author over produce.The Guardians was the first Grisham books I read since my obssesion in my past l As a 20- something 30 years ago, I was a devoted Grisham fan who read every one of his courtroom drama books centered around business crimes. Then I stopped like I stopped reading King, Cornwell, Patterson, Kellerman, and all the authors who averaged one, or even more than one, book a year... worrying about quality, ghost writing, molding, lack of growth, and other deterring factors when an author over produce.The Guardians was the first Grisham books I read since my obssesion in my past life. Now as a 58 yo, retired person that is vastly different than my younger self, I'm glad I picked up the copy. Although this book was not a page-turner like his earlier works. I enjoyed the humane side of it. Congrats, Mr. Grisham, with you, wisdom came with age. Keep writing.
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  • Mairi
    January 1, 1970
    Grisham is a practiced master of the legally based thriller and this one doesn’t disappoint. The guardians are a group of pro bono lawyers working on a shoestring to exonerate the wrongly convicted. I was interested to read at the end that the novel was based on a real life group and partially based on a real life case. The action moves swiftly and the characters are strongly portrayed. A good read.
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  • Hebridean Reader
    January 1, 1970
    John Grisham deserves his reputation as a crime writer. Normally I loathe present tense writing as it often smacks of immaturity, so my heart sank when I saw that's what this was, but within the first few pages I was gripped as Grisham wove his typically tight, tense and compelling narrative.The Guardians of the title are pro bono legal sharks who pursue exonerations for the wrongfully convicted and this novel, some of which is sadly based on true cases, looks at two particularly int John Grisham deserves his reputation as a crime writer. Normally I loathe present tense writing as it often smacks of immaturity, so my heart sank when I saw that's what this was, but within the first few pages I was gripped as Grisham wove his typically tight, tense and compelling narrative.The Guardians of the title are pro bono legal sharks who pursue exonerations for the wrongfully convicted and this novel, some of which is sadly based on true cases, looks at two particularly intricate cases. The characters are interesting, the plot is believable and also insane and the story is riveting. Another Smash.
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  • Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller
    January 1, 1970
    The millions of readers of John Grisham novels in America and around the world will not be disappointed in his latest legal thriller, THE GUARDIANS.Unlike many of his fellow popular authors, Grisham does not rely on a continuing main character or a recurring plot line to drive his story. Each of his works is a tabula rasa, usually involving a struggle between the good and bad guys. Grisham generally adds one other ingredient to his winning formula, as his novels are often focused on The millions of readers of John Grisham novels in America and around the world will not be disappointed in his latest legal thriller, THE GUARDIANS.Unlike many of his fellow popular authors, Grisham does not rely on a continuing main character or a recurring plot line to drive his story. Each of his works is a tabula rasa, usually involving a struggle between the good and bad guys. Grisham generally adds one other ingredient to his winning formula, as his novels are often focused on a significant issue in American legal society. He has touched upon the crisis in legal education brought about by for-profit law schools, the growth of tort lawyers and class actions, the election of judges and the poisoning of those elections with massive campaign spending, and the one dearest to his heart, the wrongfully convicted in our nation’s legal system.Guardian Ministries is an organization that was founded to address this very problem --- a tiny group of understaffed and underfunded attorneys and investigators seeking justice for those who the legal system has failed. As Cullen Post, a Guardian attorney, tells one of his prospective incarcerated clients, “[I]t’s fairly easy to convict an innocent man and virtually impossible to exonerate one.” Grisham has used Centurion Ministries, which was founded in 1980 and has exonerated 63 men and women in those four decades, as the lodestar for THE GUARDIANS.This is a subject for which Grisham has great passion. Before his writing career exploded, he was a practicing attorney. As a writer, he became aware of exoneration organizations and now supports their work in a variety of ways. THE GUARDIANS is almost like a legal textbook, offering explanations and strategies for how a successful exoneration can come about. I say “almost” because as in most legal thrillers, there do come moments when readers must suspend disbelief as the plot demands something other than the real-life slow grind of our legal system.In addition to Post, whose primary exoneration work is undertaken outside the courtroom, THE GUARDIANS is the story of Quincy Miller, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of Keith Russo, a Florida attorney who represented him in an antagonistic divorce. Miller was convicted but spared execution when one juror would not vote for the death penalty. With the assistance of Post and the Guardian organization, Miller seems to be making progress towards establishing his innocence.Grisham painstakingly provides readers with the difficulty of the process of exoneration. It takes time, money and passion. Witnesses must be located and questioned again, and evidence reexamined by competent experts. And reluctant prosecutors and judges must face the possibility that justice may not have resulted in obtaining the original conviction.Because this is a thriller and not real life, Grisham gives readers an interesting twist often not present in actual exoneration cases. Miller was convicted in a knowing conspiracy to frame an innocent man. The real murderers are still around and need to protect themselves. Post must find evidence not only to clear Miller, but to prove the conspiracy to frame his client. As always in a Grisham novel, that effort is a page-turning thriller.Grisham’s formula is fairly simple: “I start with a story, usually one I ‘borrow’ from the headlines…. When you live in this world, the material is endless.” But turning this formula into a wonderful novel is what makes Grisham a bestselling author. He shows no signs of slowing down, and why should he? Every day there are new stories available for him to share with his loyal readers.Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman
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  • Nilesh
    January 1, 1970
    This is a brilliant book...except at the end.The main story is from Grisham of the yore. Its main characters are underdogs. Stakes are high and the entire system is stacked against them. They have good intentions, smarts, and a lot of resolves. The author excels while building his cases. With deft turns of phrases and cute interactions, he manipulates readers' emotions, punctuating them a great number of heartwarming highs. Courtroom dramas do not contain anything surprising but are This is a brilliant book...except at the end.The main story is from Grisham of the yore. Its main characters are underdogs. Stakes are high and the entire system is stacked against them. They have good intentions, smarts, and a lot of resolves. The author excels while building his cases. With deft turns of phrases and cute interactions, he manipulates readers' emotions, punctuating them a great number of heartwarming highs. Courtroom dramas do not contain anything surprising but are filled with enough excitement to please any fan of the genre.The book has all the makings of turning into one of Grisham's all-time best and material for a highly successful movie until the end. For some reason, the leading legal case is left abandoned with no proper resolutions to tens of open questions posed by the author. Yes, to a degree, the author attains the primary objective, but the rushed climax needs to be re-written for a far more significant impact. I had to take a couple of stars off simply because of the way it ends.
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  • Ruth
    January 1, 1970
    Grisham hits it out of the park with his latest offering. Cullen Post, a lawyer and Episcopal priest, works for a very small operation called The Guardians, made up of three people who have devoted their lives to gaining freedom for prisoners who have been wrongly convicted and imprisoned. Post’s main efforts in The Guardians are devoted to getting Quincy Miller, first, saved from execution and second, released from prison after twenty-two years. Grisham painstakingly reveals the horrific wrongs Grisham hits it out of the park with his latest offering. Cullen Post, a lawyer and Episcopal priest, works for a very small operation called The Guardians, made up of three people who have devoted their lives to gaining freedom for prisoners who have been wrongly convicted and imprisoned. Post’s main efforts in The Guardians are devoted to getting Quincy Miller, first, saved from execution and second, released from prison after twenty-two years. Grisham painstakingly reveals the horrific wrongs that have been committed against Miller. Along the way he also manages to gain release for another man who has been on death row, wrongly convicted for raping and murdering a teenager and murdering her boyfriend. We don’t want to believe that law officials can be so evil as those we meet here, but Grisham makes it very clear that many are and in far too many cases work with little or no oversight to restrain their wrongdoings.If you loved A Time to Kill, you really should have The Guardians on your “to read” list.
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  • Evelyn Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    I love reading John Grisham books. This was different. It is an amazing look at a different type of practice of law. Representing innocence after believing they were put in prison and are innocent! Under no circumstances should you miss reading the AUTHOR’S note At the end of this book!!! It explains SO much!!!
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  • David Highton
    January 1, 1970
    An absorbing story about a not-for-profit innocence project which seeks to free prisoners wrongfully convicted - including death row inmates. This book contains many explicit and implicit criticisms of the US Justice system and the second half moves at real pace. Grisham’s books generally move along at a cracking pace but the first half of this one was a little slow.
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  • Veronica Hemphill
    January 1, 1970
    Great bookIt ended too soon. I would love to read another book with these characters. I highly recommend this Grisham book.
  • Michael Colburn
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent
  • Kay
    January 1, 1970
    How can I not like this book? The premise was great - a non profit that exonerates those wrongly accused and incarcerated. The Guardians is based on a true story, highly admirable group of people. I would much prefer a faster pace book, it could have been a 5 star read.
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  • Scott
    January 1, 1970
    It has become one of my annual late Fall rituals. The leaves are falling. College and Pro football are in high gear, which means it is time to open the new John Grisham novel, “The Guardians”, and re-visit the law in action in the South.This time out, Grisham introduces us to Cullen Post, an innocence lawyer and an ordained Episcopal minister, working for Guardian Ministries, a small non-profit in Savannah, Georgia. Guardian specializes in accepting cases of those criminals sitting o It has become one of my annual late Fall rituals. The leaves are falling. College and Pro football are in high gear, which means it is time to open the new John Grisham novel, “The Guardians”, and re-visit the law in action in the South.This time out, Grisham introduces us to Cullen Post, an innocence lawyer and an ordained Episcopal minister, working for Guardian Ministries, a small non-profit in Savannah, Georgia. Guardian specializes in accepting cases of those criminals sitting on death row or serving life that they believe are truly innocent and wrongfully convicted. Post can only handle a few cases at a time, but he throws all of his focus, time, and energy is trying to get their sentences overturned.Quincy Miller is one of the cases that Post is working on, and it will be the deadliest situation he’s ever found himself in. Twenty-two years ago, in the small Florida town of Seabrook, a lawyer named Keith Russo was shot dead in his office while he worked late one night. There were no clues left behind, but the local county Sherriff Pfitzner immediately put his focus on Quincy Miller, a young black man who was once a client of Russo’s and appeared to harbor a grudge. Then a local drug addict remembers seeing someone run away from the scene. Quincy was tried, convicted, and sent to prison for life without a fair trial. He’s spent twenty-two years struggling to survive in prison while maintaining his innocence to no avail. No one would represent him and his appeal. In complete desperation, Quincy writes a letter to Guardian Ministries, proclaiming his innocence and begging Post to take on his case. After serious review, Post takes Quincy on as a client. However, there is reason that Quincy was framed for murdering Keith Russo, and as Post begins the appeal process work, he starts to realize that he is being followed. Those who he interviews are scared and refused to talk with him. It seems that strong and powerful drug cartel members were involved in Keith’s murder and they want Quincy left alone in prison. Theses people have no fears of killing more to keep their cover in place. This time it may include Post himself who pays the price.Over the last several years, it seemed to me that Grisham was shifting his writing from pure legal thrillers to more plots addressing his personal feelings of injustice within the American legal system. His themes have been more aimed on exposing serious societal issues like the death penalty, wrongful convictions, race inequality, and how the law can be abused by those in positions of power. Grisham is definitely an advocate of the underprivileged and mistreated, and well, this book allows him a large soapbox to stand on and deliver both a legal drama combined together with resolving the inequalities of an imperfect legal system. Last year Grisham published a historical based novel. “The Reckoning”, in which I struggled greatly in reading. It was one of the rate times that I found him to be full of overwhelming negative and emotional experiences for many of the characters and their outcomes, which destroyed any good feelings on the reader’s part. It was a downright depressing read. And his book the previous year, “The Rooster Bar” was weak and flat. This year’s book is a big bounce back to when Grisham was at his best. “The Guardians” is multi-layered, legal thriller that wipes the bad taste of his last two books and provides an enthusiastic and enthralling read. This book was more of the Grisham style story that we’ve come to know and love. His descriptions are brief, focused, and vivid. His dialogs are sharp and flow like a Robert B. Parker Spenser novel at its best. More importantly. Like Stephen King, Grisham is a pure in heart storyteller, and his storytelling skills are pretty flawless – smooth and flowing prose with no wasted or unnecessary words, a constant focus on moving the conflict forward. Overall, this is an excellent book, a page-turner from beginning to end. Post is an authentic down to earth flawed hero who wants to make the world a better place. The plot is crisp and tight, moving from scene to another smoothly and effortlessly. Thee mystery is revealed one steady step at a time, like the peeling of a ripe onion, not too fast and not too slow, building to a strong climax that delivers a solid pay off. And the Author’s note provides additional background and source for the story and main character. It is a nice personalized touch. “The Guardians” is a prime example of Grisham’s power to tell a captivating tale and it will probably find it’s way on my top ten best reads of 2019.Thank you, John, for giving me one of my favorite Fall season experiences. See you again next year…
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  • Judy Collins
    January 1, 1970
    Quick notes. I LOVED, LOVED THE GUARDIANS! I am an avid John Grisham fan and this is the author at his FINEST! A legal thriller/historical fiction classic. This is one for the home library. Top Books of 2019! If I could give it 10 stars I would. Here you go: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟I have always been fascinated with innocence work and ministries for many years. I love books surrounding this topic. The people who work with little pay to help save the innocent from the needle. Justice for crimes th Quick notes. I LOVED, LOVED THE GUARDIANS! I am an avid John Grisham fan and this is the author at his FINEST! A legal thriller/historical fiction classic. This is one for the home library. Top Books of 2019! If I could give it 10 stars I would. Here you go: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟I have always been fascinated with innocence work and ministries for many years. I love books surrounding this topic. The people who work with little pay to help save the innocent from the needle. Justice for crimes they did not commit. Those who are serving long sentences because of unqualified experts and their unfounded theories of guilt, as well as small-town police corruption, and witnesses who lie.The clock is ticking. A man is charged with a crime he did not commit. Exonerating Quincy Miller is their goal. They must unravel the State's case. Twenty-three years in prison. No one is working on solving the case. Finding the real killer is not a priority. It is not a cold case. The State of Florida got a conviction. The truth is irrelevant. Post and The Guardians must help. They have a track record and many successes. Frankie being one. Another black man serving fourteen years in Georgia for someone else's murder. Now a rich man. Will a (white) Episcopal priest turned lawyer (Post) and his team, THE GUARDIANS, uncover the information they need before it is too late? The author states inspiration came from two sources: one, a character, the other a plot. Based on a real story (you can read about it at the end of the book). You will be Googling the real Ministry and a way to help. PLEASE, Please, more Guardian Ministries From Savannah GA, Carolinas, Seabrook, FL, to the entire state of Florida. (got to love this fellow Floridians and the familiar spots). What a dedicated and tireless team. Bring it on! I could see this as an ongoing series with different cases. I ADORED these characters! Cullen Post was dynamite as well as Quincy, Frankie, Duke, Vicki, Mazy, and the others. OMG! 🙌💕 A TV series, please. This book checks all the boxes. If you loved John's earlier books you will devour this one. I could not put this down. This is where the audiobook came in handy so I did not have to miss a beat. Let me say, I enjoyed this so much, I purchased the audiobook, e-book, and ordered the hardcover which is coming today! I have been telling everyone about this book. The audiobook narrator was one of the BEST. A superb award-winning performance by Michael Beck. On my Top audiobook for the year and top narrator. He was the perfect voice. I could listen to him day and night. Now that I have hopefully shared with you a bit of my enthusiasm for THE GUARDIANS, move this one to the top of your list. Buy this book! A novel that will remain with you and its characters. You will laugh and you will cry. Well done Mr. Grisham!!! Fingers crossed for more Guardians. I think this may be his BEST book yet and one of my very favorites. You were meant to write this book. I need to gather my thoughts and will circle back this week for a more formal and complete review. I cannot wait to hear everyone's thoughts!#JDCMustReadBooks
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  • Zarsmuseshtern Ya
    January 1, 1970
    After the hugely heavy-going previous novel set during the WW2 in the Philippines, this is a much overdue return to form to the area he does better than anybody - the legal thriller.Some statistics note that as many as 10% of people in American prisons are incarcerated for a crime, they did not commit.This novel is masterfully paced and the heroes are lawyers - but not for profit lawyers, who investigate a case thoroughly, become convinced of a person doing time for someb After the hugely heavy-going previous novel set during the WW2 in the Philippines, this is a much overdue return to form to the area he does better than anybody - the legal thriller.Some statistics note that as many as 10% of people in American prisons are incarcerated for a crime, they did not commit.This novel is masterfully paced and the heroes are lawyers - but not for profit lawyers, who investigate a case thoroughly, become convinced of a person doing time for somebody else's crime and do everything to get them out, with the criminal justice and court system fighting them every step of the way.It is an emotional novel - Imagine spending over 20 years in prison and coming within 1 jury vote of being executed - for a crime committed by somebody else, for which you were deliberately set up?Throw up a corrupt local sheriff with links to the Mexican drugs cartel and unravelling the dirty truth in a small town in Florida 2 decades hence from the events that led to the victim going to prison originally - this is what this novel is broadly about.And lawyers as true heroes for once. As a solicitor, this really warmed the cockles of a frozen, cynical heart.Recommended to anybody who loves a legal thriller and wants to read one with this basic premises. I got given this as a gift so got no horse in the race - I simply enjoyed this novel so much that I read it in under 3 days.Grisham shows how easy it is to put a person away for life, sometimes even on death row - and just how hard it is to get somebody exonerated once this has been done. The old cliched phrase 'the wheels of justice turn slowly' could easily be applicable here - the criminal justice system (and I doubt this is only the case in America) simply does not like admitting, in any level, that mistakes were made - and somebody did over 20 years in prison for a crime they did not commit. Grisham takes us on a tour de force of a hypothetical example of exactly the sort of heroic efforts that are required from a few under paid and overworked people who truly believe in justice for all - and why they should be more heralded, and, especially, supported financially, than they mostly are. Truth is, rescuing a person from a life sentence even if it was for a wrongful conviction does not pay - and nobody gets into this branch of the law for the money, nor fame. They truly get into it for altrustic, deeply human reasons - and they are my heroes.(Hyperbole alert!) A magnificent return to form from Josh Grisham. Welcome back sir!
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  • Patricia Ogden
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to like this book better, as Grisham is a thoughtful, engaging writer. I'd still recommend reading it if you haven't ever learned of this compelling history from news reports. I distinctly remember reading about this topic, vacated convictions of innocent individuals imprisoned for many years. I can't recall the actual book/article, but a story was published last year in the New York Times Magazine. I mostly don't like thinly fictionalized history - I'd rather read an actual historian's I wanted to like this book better, as Grisham is a thoughtful, engaging writer. I'd still recommend reading it if you haven't ever learned of this compelling history from news reports. I distinctly remember reading about this topic, vacated convictions of innocent individuals imprisoned for many years. I can't recall the actual book/article, but a story was published last year in the New York Times Magazine. I mostly don't like thinly fictionalized history - I'd rather read an actual historian's seminal report, though an exception is "The Island of Sea Women", by Lisa See.That said, this book is based on actual events: the narrative borrowed is about Centurion Ministries and its founder, James McCloskey, who worked in the South for many years clearing wrongly accused prisoners of their alleged crimes. He's an inspiring figure - perhaps this really should have been a biography. It's very procedural, much explication. Very interesting material on self-styled evidence experts who testify and support prosecutors to skew evidence that leads to conviction of the innocent. Institutional and personal racism is a large part of this reality.Unfortunately, it's rather a rather dull book. The major story line is about a prisoner whose conviction is overturned when the priest/lawyer is able to disprove evidence about blood spatters on a flashlight - this story I remember very clearly, so it spoiled whatever mystery/resolution was waiting for me. Fascinating to see how slowly justice is to attain in a democratic system.But that's the real story here: that our legal system is an adversarial structure that is woefully ill-designed to discover the truth about any crime, and favors institutionalized power.
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  • Katie (kati.reads)
    January 1, 1970
    THE GUARDIANS • John Grisham • Started & Finished October 2019 • ⭐⭐⭐Synopsis: This is Grisham’s latest legal thriller, published earlier this month. The story centers around Cullen Post, a lawyer and minister who had dedicated his life to fighting wrongful conviction cases. His newest client is Quincy Miller, a man who has spent 22 years in prison for a crime he did not commit — killing a lawyer named Keith Russo. Trying to prove Miller didn’t commit the crime won’t be easy. Powerful, ruthle THE GUARDIANS • John Grisham • Started & Finished October 2019 • ⭐️⭐️⭐️Synopsis: This is Grisham’s latest legal thriller, published earlier this month. The story centers around Cullen Post, a lawyer and minister who had dedicated his life to fighting wrongful conviction cases. His newest client is Quincy Miller, a man who has spent 22 years in prison for a crime he did not commit — killing a lawyer named Keith Russo. Trying to prove Miller didn’t commit the crime won’t be easy. Powerful, ruthless people murdered Keith Russo, and they do not want Miller exonerated. They killed one lawyer twenty-two years ago, and they will kill another one without a second thought.••Pros: This was a unique subject matter for Grisham. He normally writes about lawyers with one goal: making a sh*t ton of money. Post is not in it for the money by any means, which is refreshing. What I loved the most about this book is that Grisham takes care to show how wrongful convictions DO happen, and how the U.S.’s legal system is broken because of it. The ending was also very satisfying, which if you’ve read my other reviews, is a huge plus to me.••Cons: I did not care for the way this book was written. If I explained to you the plot, you’d think “WOW, this sounds like a great book!” It should be, but it fell flat. Grisham writes the story in a way that seems dry and makes it hard to feel invested in the story. It is told in first person by Post, but feels more like he’s just going through the motions of writing a report or rushed diary entry of his day.••TL;DR: This is not Grisham’s best. For whatever reason, the writing style just didn’t work with this story. If you can get past the way the story is written though, the story itself is pretty good and about a really important issue in the legal field.
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  • Simon
    January 1, 1970
    Grisham Hits a Home Run!This is precisely where I have always liked John Grisham to spend his time. Cases mired in the American legal system, rank injustices, dodgy judges, shady dealings. Of course if I can see one criticism it's that some might feel that Grisham has done this all before but into all this hem thrusts Cullen Post, a man, a lawyer, a minister with a mission. Post works for Guardian Ministries, a non-profit Innocence law firm set up to try and exonerate victims of the greates Grisham Hits a Home Run!This is precisely where I have always liked John Grisham to spend his time. Cases mired in the American legal system, rank injustices, dodgy judges, shady dealings. Of course if I can see one criticism it's that some might feel that Grisham has done this all before but into all this hem thrusts Cullen Post, a man, a lawyer, a minister with a mission. Post works for Guardian Ministries, a non-profit Innocence law firm set up to try and exonerate victims of the greatest injustices.It really is this author at his finest as he cleverly takes us through the absolute morass that is the US legal system with rulings and judgements and clever twists along the way. Constantly in the background is the spectre of dark forces at work. The book pretty much states its intentions from the opening scenes as we meet one of those they are trying to save on the brink of execution. It's stirring stuff and it's clear from those early moments that Grisham has found a new lead in Post who could really have some miles in him if the author so chooses.I really enjoyed Michael Beck's narration. He fitted the key characters like a glove and kept the story moving at just the right pace.All in all I'm really happy to see Grisham back to doing what he does best after what for me has felt like quite varied output in recent years. It's always a great sign when you finish a book and start to hope that you'll see these characters again and in Cullen Post and his associates at Guardian Ministries I think there are extremely strong foundations for more stories to come. Come on John . . . how about it?
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  • Rayni
    January 1, 1970
    I finished this book in one weekend. Actually, not quite a full weekend. It read it on Audible.I think the highest tribute I can pay the author is that many times in this novel it felt like I was reading a "true story," a biography, or a news story. This was true because the characters were so well-developed, the plot was clear and cogently put together, the story was compelling, and I believe in the cause the author expounded. I, like the author, am a Southerner. Like the author I h I finished this book in one weekend. Actually, not quite a full weekend. It read it on Audible.I think the highest tribute I can pay the author is that many times in this novel it felt like I was reading a "true story," a biography, or a news story. This was true because the characters were so well-developed, the plot was clear and cogently put together, the story was compelling, and I believe in the cause the author expounded. I, like the author, am a Southerner. Like the author I have spent much of my life in Mississippi and all of my life living in the South. But, unlike the author, I have neither a voice nor expertise and cannot write about what can only be described as injustice. I am not naive enough to believe that such things happen only in Southern U.S., but the diversity of the population in our Southern states makes the potential for injustice when non-white citizens are accused of crimes more noticeable and more prevalent. But whether or not one believes in the cause, one cannot escape the fact that this was a finely crafted and beautifully written novel. I have been a fan of John Grisham for many years. I confess I have not enjoyed many of his more recent novels, particularly the disaster "Camino Island" and the ho-hum "The Rooster Bar." I am delighted that in my opinion this novel ranks as one of my favorites. This is the one that should be a TV series!
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  • J. F.
    January 1, 1970
    The Guardians by John GrishamThe master of legal thrillers is back in full force!The Reverend Cullen Post isn't your typical Presbyterian minister. He's an advocate who wears a roman collar. It throws 'em off their game. They see a harmless preacher; what they don't see is the feisty lawyer hidden in plain sight. Six death row cases are his life and career. He's succeeded with eight exonerations. He feels their pain, for he too has a past.Quincy Miller h The Guardians by John GrishamThe master of legal thrillers is back in full force!The Reverend Cullen Post isn't your typical Presbyterian minister. He's an advocate who wears a roman collar. It throws 'em off their game. They see a harmless preacher; what they don't see is the feisty lawyer hidden in plain sight. Six death row cases are his life and career. He's succeeded with eight exonerations. He feels their pain, for he too has a past.Quincy Miller has been on death row for twenty-two years. He's claimed wrongful conviction, year after year. But no one would listen. Then the reverend listened. The Guardians listened. But little did they know what they had in the bargain. This wasn't the standard litigation of post-conviction issues of ineffective assistance of counsel or newly-discovered evidence.Quincy Miller had been set-up by a complex network of power, crime, money, drugs and deceit reaching far beyond the boundaries of his North Florida county home. And Cullen Post, minister of the Word, finds himself confronted with a haunted house, a curse - and a witch!John Grisham's new legal thriller is based on an actual case by a ministry in Camden, New Jersey, and puts the spotlight on "Innocence Projects", benevolent non-profit organizations located in various states, committed to exonerating wrongly convicted people, and spearheading the effort to put an end to wrongful convictions. As a John Grisham reader, I'd say this is the best he's written since "Sycamore Row" in 2013, which was Part II of "A Time to Kill".A Must Read!
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  • Bryon Butler
    January 1, 1970
    After the misfire of The Reckoning John Grisham returns with what he’s done best, providing taut, page-turning legal thrillers with a strong dose of social justice and an underpinning of Christian charity. This time around it’s the US prison system and its innocent victims locked behind bars that keeps the reader turning the page until the final, satisfying chapter. Included are the labyrinth that is the United States judicial system, the amount of money and time needed to exonerate innocent pri After the misfire of The Reckoning John Grisham returns with what he’s done best, providing taut, page-turning legal thrillers with a strong dose of social justice and an underpinning of Christian charity. This time around it’s the US prison system and its innocent victims locked behind bars that keeps the reader turning the page until the final, satisfying chapter. Included are the labyrinth that is the United States judicial system, the amount of money and time needed to exonerate innocent prisoners, and the jaded, unhelping bureaucracy which turns its back on those that common sense would want to aid. The Guardians is based on the real-life case of a man who has languished in prison for decades, and a Guardian-type ministry which attempts to free those wrongfully imprisoned. Yes, action, suspense, murder, the supernatural, opulence, and the legal system and its myriad of lawyers fill the pages of The Guardians. There is even, unstated in the pages, the unstated fear that the reader, like the fictional characters presented, could one day be unjustly imprisoned. But the gospel reality of Christian forgiveness is also present. For those in the book who cultivate vengeance, their souls rot. For those who choose, with God’s help, to forgive, there exists a freedom that goes further than an open prison door. Kudos for Grisham for writing a satisfying, substantive tale.
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  • Tony Nielsen
    January 1, 1970
    I have a bulging bookshelf of John Grisham legal thrillers, and I expected that The Guardians wouldquickly draw me in as his novels have done for years. Not so. I certainly wouldn't call this new John Grisham read a dud, but all then same it didn't engage me as much as I expected it would.Cullen Post is a lawyer cum minister, head honcho of a small-time organisation which specialises in taking on the legal system to free men and women who have been incarcerated for years, but P I have a bulging bookshelf of John Grisham legal thrillers, and I expected that The Guardians wouldquickly draw me in as his novels have done for years. Not so. I certainly wouldn't call this new John Grisham read a dud, but all then same it didn't engage me as much as I expected it would.Cullen Post is a lawyer cum minister, head honcho of a small-time organisation which specialises in taking on the legal system to free men and women who have been incarcerated for years, but Post and his fellow Guardians believe in their innocence. Post and his small team have already fought the law to free eight long-term prisoners and they're now totally focused on Quincy Miller. Miller has been inside for 22 years and he has convinced the Guardians of his innocence of the murder of a local lawyer in a small Florida town. The evidence on which he was convicted was flimsy but he was found guilty nonetheless.There were powerful and ruthless men behind Russo's murder and Quincy was an expendable side effect. But Post convinces others to help him untangle the web of deceit that resulted in Quincy's 22 years and counting behind bars.While this may not be Grisham's finest hour, it is however, a worthwhile read.
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  • Joanna Beesley
    January 1, 1970
    I have read numerous novels by John Grisham and they do not let me down. His writing is fluid and keeps the reader engrossed even with difficult and complex legal issues.‘The Guardians’ centres on ‘Post’. He is one of the individuals who make it their vocation to free those who have been convicted of crimes and are serving long sentences with one on death row. The business is non-profit making and those involved are larger than life.As usual there are points of law, which I have read numerous novels by John Grisham and they do not let me down. His writing is fluid and keeps the reader engrossed even with difficult and complex legal issues.‘The Guardians’ centres on ‘Post’. He is one of the individuals who make it their vocation to free those who have been convicted of crimes and are serving long sentences with one on death row. The business is non-profit making and those involved are larger than life.As usual there are points of law, which the author manages to explain succinctly in language I could relate to. Following the cases as they progress I became desperate for the release of those incarcerated. It became clear that the legal system in the US had ben twisted in favour of law enforcement during the time theses individuals were found guilty.There was one particular scene where I was laughing out loud and it doesn’t cease to amaze me how John Grisham can bring a scene to life so easily.Thank you to NetGalley, Hodder & Stoughton and John Grisham for my ARC in return for my honest review.Another amazing read from John Grisham, highly recommended.
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