This week CCPL Great Reads features John Grisham’s new legal thriller, “The Guardians.”
Vicky Gourley founded Guardian Ministries over a decade ago. Years ago, she was on a jury that convicted a young man of murder and sentenced him to die. Twenty-four months later, the wrongful conviction was exposed, and the real killer was identified by DNA. Vicki sold her business and used the money to start Guardian Ministries. Cullen Post was her first employee.
Cullen Post began his career as a public defender, but at the age of 30, he quit the law and found a new career path as an Episcopal priest. At 35, after completing seminary and being ordained, he accepted an associate priest position in a Savannah Church. Three months later, while working with the church’s prison ministry, he met Frankie Tatum, a prisoner who was obsessed with his innocence. Two years later, he walked him out of prison. Cullen Post had found his calling.
Guardian spends months evaluating a case and accepts only a few innocence cases at a time. Quincy Miller’s case is one that has tormented them for a long time, primarily because they are confident he was framed.
Twenty-two years ago, in the small rural town of Seabrook, Florida, when lawyer Keith Russo was found shot to death in his office, there were initially no suspects in the case. However, when Diana suggested the name of Quincy Miller, a former and disgruntled client of the firm, he became the prime suspect.
The murder weapon was never found, and Quincy swore he had never owned a shotgun, although his ex-wife told the police she believed he had one. Two weeks after the murder, when the police confiscated his car with a warrant, they found a flashlight with specks of a substance splattered across the lens in the trunk. Quincy claimed he had never even seen the flashlight, but again, his ex-wife contradicted him. Quincy was subsequently tried, convicted, and sent to prison for life. Quincy’s appeals ran their course, and his conviction was unanimously affirmed at every level. For 22 years, he has maintatined his innocence, but no one has listened until now.
Cullen Post is used to traveling the country battling on behalf of clients forgotten by the system. The battles are never easy, and there are always risks involved. This time though, he’s up against ruthless, powerful people who are determined to keep Quincy Miller in prison even if it means killing another lawyer to make sure he stays there.
“The Guardians” is based upon a true story, is meticulously researched, and filled with Grisham’s complex, layered characters, intricate plotting, and “edge of your seat” suspenseful twists. It is truly John Grisham at his finest—highly recommended!
“The Guardians” is available in a variety of formats, including print, eBook, and eAudio at the Calloway County Public Library. CCPL is located at 710 Main Street, and online at www.callowaycountylibrary.org.