Monday, October 8, 2007

John Grisham "The Appeal" Legal Thriller

Grisham's next legal thriller has been titled as "The Appeal"

John Grisham’s upcoming 384-page legal thriller that will be released for sale on January 29, 2008, has been titled as “The Appeal.”

In an interview to Des Moines Register, Grisham said the fictional book, set in Mississippi, will focus on the election of state Supreme Court judges.

“It’s a real political hotbed issue right now,” he said. “And these races have become just rotten with special-interest groups, cash and judges taking huge campaign donations from lawyers and parties with cases pending before the court.”

“It’s turned into a terrible system, and I hope to bring some attention to that issue.”

Source: Random House, Des Moines Register

Looks like 2008 will be THE year full of legal thrillers for John Grisham, with "The Innocent Man" lawsuit, and his new book "The Appeal."
For those who do not know John Grisham has been named in a libel lawsuit filed over his nonfiction book, "The Innocent Man". The book is about the 1982 murder of Debbie Sue Carter in Ada, Oklahoma.

At the center of the lawsuit is an Oklahoma prosecutor by the name of William N. Peterson. He got murder convictions on two men, Dennis Fritz and Ron Williamson, who did 12 years in prison before they were cleared by DNA evidence. Fritz and Williamson's experiences are chronicled in two books, John Grisham's first nonfiction book, "The Innocent Man," and Fritz's, "Journey Toward Justice".
Bill Peterson got questionable convictions on two other men, Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot, in a separate murder case. They are still in prison.
Robert Mayer, is the author of “The Dreams of Ada.” A book written primary about the murder of Denice Haraway and the subsequent investigation, prosecution and conviction of Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot.
The other Plaintiff is Gary Rogers, a former agent for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Bill Peterson and Gary Rogers were instrumental in the conviction of Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz in the murder of Debbie Sue Carter in Ada, Oklahoma in 1982.

The lawsuit also names:
•Dennis Fritz, the author of “Journey Toward Justice.”
•Robert Mayer, author of “The Dreams of Ada.”
•Barry Scheck, one of Fritz’s lawyers who helped exonerate him, and a co-author of “Actual Innocence,” that discusses the case of Williamson and Fritz.
•The Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, publisher of “The Innocent Man” and “Actual Innocence.”
•Random House Inc., which owns Doubleday Dell.
•Broadway Books, publisher of “The Dreams of Ada.”
•Seven Locks Press and/or James C. Riordan, publisher of “Journey Toward Justice.”
The lawsuit, filed in federal court, alleges civil conspiracy, libel, placing a person in a false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Peterson says the defendants "coordinated their efforts to launch a massive joint defamatory attack" on him and the detective.

"There's no merit," to the suit, James C. Riordan says. The reason his book published two days before Grisham's was competitive.

Comment from Dennis Fritz, author of "Journey Toward Justice".
“The problem is that Mr. Peterson convicted two innocent men, sent Ronnie and I to the penitentiary for 12 years, based upon alleged evidence that did not go beyond a reasonable doubt." Fritz said the lawsuit is merely a power play by Peterson “to regain what he has lost because of his actions, or mis-actions.”
“He cannot handle the truth that’s been brought out in both Mr. Grisham’s book as well as mine. Dennis Fritz said every word in his book is true as he remembered the events of that time.
“Factually, it’s backed up exactly by every word out of the transcript,” he said. Fritz said that Peterson achieved their convictions through “several huge mistakes, worse than mistakes, travesties of justice.”

I will have updates on my blog, Barbara's Journey Toward Justice here
UPDATE - OCT. 2008
Dennis Fritz, "The Innocent Man" and John Grisham's Real Life, "Appeal" This story is just unbelievable. A libel lawsuit against Dennis Fritz, author of Journey Toward Justice and author, John Grisham headed to court of appeals. Click here for more on story


Tommy Ward's Sister Joice said...

I need to know something - why is Peterson suing Robert Mayers? Has his book changed in the last 22 years? Has he rewritten any of the book, or is the fact his book has come to a new light? He didn't sue him the first time. It came out because he thought that he was only writer and no one really could do anything. It was his word against Petersons, but now here are 2 more books, The Innocent Man and Journey Toward Justice, about the same town and the same prosecutor. I'm sorry Mr. Grisham, I haven't read your book because I've lived hell that Peterson can give you when you're on the other side of the bench. Peterson, you shouldn't be suing anyone, and I can't wait until my brother gets another trial and we prove that he and Carl are innocent. Joice
Plus your conspiracy facts on your lawsuit of the 3 books being released together as a conspiracy are WRONG. Only The Innocent Man and Journey Toward Justice came out in 2006.

Tommy Ward 's Sister Joice said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tommy Ward's Sister Joice said...

Peterson doesn't know the meaning of mental anguish is. He doesn't care about the people lives he crushed. just as long as he looks good. I know every word in Mr. Mayers book is true.
I was there,and I know my brother didn't do it, because he was at home with me.But,Peterson changed records and talked to people and they changed there stories.
Well, Mr.Bill Peterson how does it feel now that America knows the same thing I have known all these years about you.
I was always taught that the law was there to protect the innocent. and the people that are being sued . Please not in Oklahoma. You see you wont get a fair trial. I can remember when Mr. Mayers was at my sisters house and they were talking about what to call the book. My older brother, Joel told him to call it "Guilty Until Proven Innocent". You see, my brother was never presumed innocent - he was guilty in the eyes of people of Ada - that's the way that Peterson told everyone in the news and the papers. I moved from Ada because of death threats against me and my children. and all this is thanks to Mr. Peterson. Joice - Tommy's sister

EGREGIUS said...

I adore John Grisham.
I'm waiting to next lega thriller.
Bye from Roma (italy)

New Yorker said...

Just read Journey Toward Justice by Dennis Fritz and found your blog. I did read the Innocent Man and wanted to know more about Mr. Fritz and found your blog."Journey Toward Justice" is a legal thriller filled with twists and turns and well written. Grisham did a great job with story, But, Dennis Fritz lived it,and it does bring tears to your eyes and hard to put down, and hard to believe. Good Luck with your Journey Toward Justice.

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