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