A Time To Kill Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Time To Kill

Grisham's first novel centers around a white lawyer fresh out of law school and struggling to pay the bills comes to be council for Carl Lee, the father of a young girl, Tonya, who was sexually assaulted, raped, beaten, and left for dead by two backwoods hicks. Carl Lee decides to take the "law into his own hands" and eradicate the two criminals who are white and will most likely be let out with a small tap on the wrist. Throughout the novel, Jake and Carl Lee must overcome the stigmas of the times centering around race, fight attacks from the KKK, and other such personal attacks.
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The review of this Book prepared by Vineet

The book is based in Clanton, Mississippi. Two drunk rednecks decide to rape a ten year old black girl. Her dad, Carl Lee Hailey, decides to kill the two rednecks. He gets his justice. He kills the two rednecks with an M-16 Automatic. He also accidentally hits one of the security guards. The security guard's leg has to get amputated. Carl Lee has to find a good lawyer. He finds a white man named Jake Brigance. The KKK comes back to Ford County for the first time in a long time. Carl Lee and Jake almost get killed many times throughout the book. At trial, Jake says that anyone with a daughter would kill the person that raped her. Carl Lee and Jake use an insanity defense. The case goes to the jury.
The review of this Book prepared by Geoff Pears

The daughter of an African-American is beaten and raped by two white men. The father of the girl kills the two men and is on trial for murder.
The review of this Book prepared by Amarjot Biring

Chapter Analysis of A Time To Kill

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 10%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 30% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   1960's-1970's Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Legal Thriller    -   Yes Legal Plotlets    -   finding out whether someone is really guilty Crime Thriller    -   Yes Crime plotlets:    -   vigilante getting revenge General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   hunted by BAD vigilante getting revenge

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Deep South    -   California Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   dumb rednecks, like Gomer Pyle

Writing Style

Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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John Grisham Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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