William Traynor, the college dropout, is a happy come lucky guy. He takes up an offer from a small county newspaper, The Times. After a few months, the owner of The Times sells the newspaper and Willie buys it thinking it would be a gold mine. As luck would have it, turn of events made his paper selling like hot cakes. One major break was the murder by Danny Padgitt which made his paper very popular not just among the locals but also a few bordering counties.
He covers the murder, the witnesses, the trials and everything around it. Danny Padgitt gets life sentence for his murder and is sent away. Story moves on for 9 years during which William and his newspaper grow to become famous. Willie finds a new home (which again is handed to him at a much cheaper rate), new friends and is all ready to settle down. When a dry spell occurs, Willie is lucky that something interesting keeps happening for him to fill the pages. His friend Callie Ruffin and his Thursday lunches with her make a true bonding. Just when life begins to turn monotonous, Willie decides to sell the paper.
Danny Padgitt gets a parole after 9 year and the whole county is shocked. Two of the jurors gets killed and the county assumes that Danny Padgitt is back for his revenge. The whole aftermath of the murders is the end episode. Willie starts his career with a murder and finally ends his career with the newspaper with a murder.
I had read "The Innocent Man" by John Grisham and it was what made me buy this book. Though I had bought this book around 2010, I finally got the chance to finish it. But I was disappointed. In The Innocent Man, Grisham never lets us off the hook. We keep wishing and praying till the final end. But here the plot is revealed and the killer is also revealed. I had not much interest in the court scenes which he tears apart in The innocent man. Half the time I found it difficult to keep reading, partly because I had guessed the killer and it was disappointing that I had predicted the turn of events. The narration was fluid but I constantly lost track of the time, this novel being a period story. Other than that it was a very light read.