John Grisham's October novel A Time for Mercy will be his third book featuring lawyer Jack Brigance, Hodder & Stoughton has revealed.
The new novel follows Brigance to the "epicentre of a sensational murder trial" that divides the residents of a town in Mississippi. The book revolves around "all the courtroom machinations, small-town intrigues and plot twists that have become hallmarks of the master of the legal thriller," H&S said.
Publisher Oliver Johnson acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to the book from David Gernert at The Gernert Company in New York.
Johnson, who has been Grisham’s UK editor for the duration of his writing career, said: “A Time for Mercy is a very special book for me because it has the same setting (Clanton, Mississippi) and the same lawyer hero (Jake Brigance) as the second book I ever bought from John 30 years ago, the multi-million bestseller A Time to Kill, the film adaptation of which launched the career of Matthew McConaughey.
"The second Jake Brigance book, Sycamore Row, is to date our most successful Hodder publication with John, with over a million copies sold. A Time for Mercy is superb courtroom drama and I feel sure his fans will love it as much as I did.”
The synopsis summarises the novel: "Deputy Stuart Kofer is a protected man. Though he’s turned his drunken rages on his girlfriend, Josie, and her children many times before, the police code of silence has always shielded him. But one night he goes too far, leaving Josie for dead on the floor before passing out. Her son, 16-year-old Drew, knows he only has this one chance to save them. He picks up a gun and takes the law into his own hands.
"In Clanton, Mississippi, there is no one more hated than a cop killer—but a cop killer’s defence lawyer comes close. Jake Brigance doesn’t want this impossible case, but he’s the only one with enough experience to defend the boy. As the trial begins, it seems there is only one outcome: the gas [execution] chamber for Drew. But, as the town of Clanton discovers once again, when Jake Brigance takes on an impossible case, anything is possible."
The novel will be published in hardback, e-book and audiobook on 13th October.