Camino Island

Well, well, well…. what is Grisham playing at?!? No courtroom?!? Hardly any lawyers in the book?!?! What a CHANGE!

Nevertheless, I did like it – Grisham did what he does best – writes a fantastic story full of suspense, twists and smart characters.

When Fitzgerald’s manuscripts are stolen from Princeton University and the insurance company needs to pay $25 million, it is no surprise that the company tries to find out where the manuscripts are hidden… it will save them a LOT of money.

Having just been sacked, unable to write a second novel and drowning in student debts; it’s also not a surprise when Mercer gets approached by Elaine to help spy on a lead for a tonne of cash that she says yes.

Mercer ends up living on Camino Island and befriending Bruce and his wife (!!) Noelle. Bruce owns a fantastic bookstore which attracts many authors each year for book tours and has a lucrative business in rare books. Could Bruce have the manuscripts? It’s Mercer’s mission to find out.

I enjoyed this plot, it was typical Grisham – punchy, descriptive and packed full of suspense. 

Even though this book wasn’t set in a court room, Grisham followed his usual formula: give the reader the facts on the crime, let the reader understand the characters, let the reader form an idea in their head, throw in a few plot twists for good measure and finally end on a high with a clever manoeuvre – and it works every time.

Following the robbery, following the FBI hunt for the criminals, following Bruce’s rise to becoming a successful bookstore owner and following Mercer as she collects key evidence created a page-turner at it’s best.

Finally, what I loved most was the strong connection I felt to this book. The bookstore, the book tours and the numerous writers living on Camino Island made me feel closer to the plot. I also adored the references to France; having just visited for two weeks, where Noelle sources her furniture pieces for her store located next door to the bookstore.

The characters were likeable, I felt Mercer had the perfect balance in her personality to come across as helpful, smart and interesting. If I think of all of the characters in the book and tell myself to think of three words that describes them, it is unbelievably easy and I feel this shows how much effort Grisham puts into each of his characters… an example: Bruce – canny, wise and hippy…. another, Elaine – professional, approachable and clever… I’ll stop, hopefully I have proven my point!

Grisham will always remain my favourite author, I wouldn’t be the avid bookworm I am today, if it wasn’t for his books…. therefore it will come as no surprise that I fully recommend everybody rushes out and grabs this book NOW!!!

I have to say though… I do prefer his legal thrillers.

If only he brought out more than one book a year….. a girl can only dream!!

Until next time, Chloé x



  1. I enjoyed the book and Grisham’s a fine writer. The pacing of the character development and the plot are deliberate and thoughtful. HOWEVER, there is a large hole in the unfolding of the plot. There is no way that Bruce would have been able to ship the writing desk with the manuscripts after Mercer saw them and told Elaine without her team and the FBI catching and inspecting the shipment, especially because they knew of the connecting door in the basement between Bruce’s bookstore and Noelle’s store. To me this is a big weakness in the book and one which Grisham could have and should have avoided, especially because the rest of the book is so well constructed!


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