The accused was a wealthy man by the name of Pete Duffy, and his alleged crime was murder. According to the police and the prosecutors, Mr. Duffy strangled his lovely wife in their attractive home on the sixth fairway of a golf course where he, the accused, was playing golf that day, alone. If convicted, he would spend the rest of his life in prison. If acquitted, he would walk out of the courtroom a free man. As things turned out, the jury did not find him guilty, or not guilty.
This was his second trial. Four months earlier, the first trial had ended suddenly when Judge Henry Gantry decided it would be unfair to continue. He declared a mistrial and sent everyone home, including Pete Duffy, who remained free on bond. In most murder cases, the accused cannot afford to post a bond and stay out of jail while waiting on a trial. But because Mr. Duffy had money and good lawyers, he had been free as a bird since the police found his wife’s body and the State accused him of killing her. He had been seen around town—dining in his favorite restaurants, watching basketball games at Stratten College, attending church (with greater frequency), and, of course, playing lots of golf. As he waited on his first trial, he seemed unconcerned with the prospect of a trial and the possibility of prison. Now, though, facing his second trial, and with a new eyewitness ready to be used by the prosecution, Pete Duffy was rumored to be very worried.
The new eyewitness was Bobby Escobar, a nineteen-year-old illegal immigrant who was working at the golf course on the day Mrs. Duffy was murdered. He saw Mr. Duffy enter his home at about the same time she died, then hurry away and resume his golf game. For a lot of reasons, Bobby did not come forward until the first trial was underway. Once Judge Gantry heard Bobby’s story, he declared a mistrial. Now, with Bobby ready to testify, most of the folks in Strattenburg, who had been closely watching the Duffy case, were expecting a guilty verdict. It was almost impossible to find someone who believed Pete Duffy did not kill his wife.
And it was also difficult to find a person who did not want to watch the trial. A murder trial in the Strattenburg Courthouse was a rare event—indeed, murder was rare in Stratten County—and a large crowd began gathering at 8:00 a.m., just after the front doors of the courthouse opened. The jury had been selected three days earlier. It was time for the courtroom drama to begin. At 8:40, Mr. Mount got his eighth-grade class quiet and called the roll. All sixteen boys were present. Homeroom lasted for only ten minutes before the boys went off to first period Spanish with Madame Monique.
Mr. Mount was in a hurry. He said, “Okay, men, you know that today is the first day of the Pete Duffy trial, round two. We were allowed to watch the first day of the first trial, but, as you know, my request to watch the second trial was denied.”
Several of the boys hissed and booed.
Mr. Mount raised his hands. “Enough. However, our esteemed principal, Mrs. Gladwell, has agreed to allow Theo to watch the opening of the trial and report back to us. Theo.”
Theodore Boone jumped to his feet, and, like the lawyers he watched and admired, walked purposefully to the front of the room. He carried a yellow legal pad, just like a real lawyer. He stood by Mr. Mount’s desk, paused for a second, and looked at the class as if he were indeed a trial lawyer preparing to address the jury.
Copyright © 2012 by Boone & Boone LLC
Theo Boone might only be thirteen, but he’s already uncovered key evidence in a groundbreaking murder trial and discovered the truth behind his best friend’s abduction. Now with the latest unfolding of events in Strattenburg, everyone’s favorite kid lawyer will face his biggest challenge yet.
John Grisham ramps up the excitement, adventure and suspense in the third installment of his critically acclaimed series for young readers. Filled with the intrigue and page-turning suspense that made John Grisham a #1 international bestseller, Theodore Boone: The Accused will keep readers at the edges of their seats until the very last page, and cement Grisham’s standing as a master of the legal thriller—for kids! (Ages 9-12)
Hardcover Book : 288 pages
Publisher: Penguin Group (Usa) ( May 15, 2012 )
Item #: 13-575420
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 inches
Product Weight: 12.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Theodore is a realistic, unique, teenager with a gift for nosing things out. He is a good person, too. John Grisham takes time to ground the reader and allow things to escalate naturally, gradually, yet I was never bored because the settings and family dynamics easily kept my attention. The use of swearing in books for children is often a deal-breaker for me, and these books contain very little.
This book proves that John Grisham is a great writer. I am alwasy looking for writers/books to bring young people to the company of lifelong readrs andthis book hits the makr. Characters are credible, story rings true and it is well told in a way that will interest young readers. Highly recommended!
Reviewer: Bj S
Mr Grisham's knowledge of the law is very evident in this book.
Another great read in the Theodore Boone series.
Reviewer: Linda L
I ordered this book but I never received it. This is the first this has ever happened. I was under the impression that the book had not been released. So please send the book to me. Thank you
Reviewer: Linda D