In 1982, a 21 year old cocktail waitress in Ada, Oaklahoma, Debra Sue Carter, was raped and murdered. For five years the police could not solve the crime. For reasons that were never clear, they suspected Ron Williamson - a major league drop-out - and his friend Dennis Fritz. The two were finally arrested in 1987 and charged with capital murder. With no physical evidence, the prosecution's defence was built on hearsay and unreliable testimonies. Dennis Fritz was found guilty and given a life sentence; Ron Williamson was sent to Death Row. John Grisham's first work of non-fiction is an exploration of small-town justice gone awry.