top of page

The Reckoning

A suspenseful and intriguing Southern family drama with layers and layers of legal wrangling.



Pete Banning was Clanton Mississippi‘s favorite son. He had recently returned from the Philippines as an decorated war hero. He was the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, father, neighbor, and a faithful member of the Methodist church.

One cool October morning in 1946 he rose early, had breakfast with his sister, drove into town, walked into the church, and calmly shot and killed his pastor and friend, Reverend Dexter Bell. As if the murder was not shocking enough it was even more baffling that Pete’s only statement about it—to the sheriff, to his lawyers, to the judge, and to the jury, and his family was —“I have nothing to say.”

“After a tragedy, those with even the slightest connections to it often exaggerate their involvement and importance.”


THE RECKONING is an intriguing and tragic southern family drama with layers of legal suspense. We are skillfully transported to the 1940’s and the Deep South culture of Clanton, Mississippi. The writing was captivating and detailed. Perhaps a little to detailed. While Pete’s experiences in the Philippines during WWII was a great part of the story, it was a bit longer than it really needed to be.

The story contains a perfect cast of characters and all were masterfully created, from Pete and his beautiful wife Liza, to his brave sister Florry and his two children Joel and Stella. I listened to this book on Audible and found the performance mesmerizing, although the story was somewhat long at 17 hour and 36 minutes.

John Grisham has captured a suspenseful story and keeps us on the hook until the very last chapter. Why in the world would Pete Banning have killed Reverend Bell?

Grisham is an international best selling author of over 40 novels. He has an Accounting degree from Mississippi State University and graduated from law school at Ole Miss in 1982. He served in the Mississippi legislature from 1983 to 1990. He is married with two children and splits his time between Mississippi and Virginia.

““Hearing the truth is like grabbing smoke in our family,” Joel said.”

Publisher Doubleday

Published October 23, 2018

Narrated Michael Beck

24 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All



bottom of page