This is Grisham near, but not quite at, his very best. In many respects, it's absolutely standard - small town Mississippi, nasty murder, the killer gets a long prison sentence, but vows revenge... The biggest variation is that this time the main character is a journalist rather than a lawyer.
Grisham hasn't forgotten how to write a page-turner, there's good use of suspense, and a reasonable twist, which I saw coming quite a way before it happened.
It's interesting to see the use of Christianity in this one. Grisham manages at the same time to point out some of what people see as oddnesses of the church and to portray it in a sensitive light. The main character here is an atheist living in a very heavily church-going area, and he gets the gospel explained to him clearly and lovingly by the nicest character in the book. But he doesn't do anything about it (unlike in The Testament).
Good fun, fairly light reading, some disturbing bits, but the book is based around a nasty rape/murder, so that's to be expected.