Trumble is a minimum-security federal prison, a "camp," home to the usual assortment of relatively harmless criminals--drug dealers, bank robbers, swindlers, embezzlers, tax evaders, two Wall Street crooks, one doctor, at least five lawyers.
And three former judges who call themselves the Brethren: one from Texas, one from California, and one from Mississippi. They meet each day in the law library, their turf at Trumble, where they write briefs, handle cases for other inmates, practice law without a license, and sometimes dispense jailhouse justice. And they spend hours writing letters. They are fine-tuning a mail scam, and it's starting to really work. The money is pouring in.
Then their little scam goes awry. It ensnares the wrong victim, a powerful man on the outside, a man with dangerous friends, and the Brethren's days of quietly marking time are over.
Grisham's moral tone has been exemplary in the national debate, lacking Ken Starr's dogmatism, but maintaining a sense that some things are beyond the pale. In interviews recently, Grisham has expressed skepticism about the moral tone of the country, or rather about an absence of a moral tone. Grisham lashed out angrily at Hollywood for producing Oliver Stone's violent "Natural Born Killers," which apparently led to the copycat killing of one of Grisham's friends. Grisham, whose books tend to sell well as movies, has a voice in Hollywood, and his demand that certain lines not be crossed was widely discussed.
These recent expressions of dismay suggest that his disillusionment is deep. Nowhere is this despair more evident than in his latest, "The Brethren.... Grisham seems to have thrown up his hands, as if say, what's the point? It's a strange turn for the writer we've come to look to as, if not a moral beacon, then a bright thread in our cultural fabric.
The San Francisco Chronicle
Grisham's schizoid, occasionally diverting new novel, The Brethren, comes across like a typical Grisham legal thriller that's been infiltrated by a crack team of Tom Clancy frogmen.
The New York Times
The plot is as up-to-date as tomorrow's newspaper, with allusions to presidential polls and debates, campaign financing, money laundering and offshore financial finagling.... Add to these tantalizing ingredients the steady action, with some clever surprises.
Every personage in this novel lies, cheats, steals and/or kills, and while Grisham's fans may miss the stalwart lawyer-heroes and David vs. Goliath slant of his earlier work, all will be captivated by this clever thriller that presents as crisp a cast as he's yet devised, and as grippingly sardonic yet bitingly moral a scenario as he's ever imagined.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Linda Left hanging Thoroughly enjoyed this book until the last page. I actually thought perhaps pages were missing. The story needed to continue. I was extremely disappointed with the ending. There is no ending.
Rated of 5
by Palesa Mpuru Interesting A startling book and depicts what could be the real world of many politicians, prone to blackmailing or being victimised. The final chapter of the book was a slump I feel it needed a strong cuff to the reader. John's writing style also illustrates... Read More
Rated of 5
by Palesa Mpuru Funny It was a very good read indeed, interesting and very realistic as your mind gets glued to the book. Very funny in other episodes of the book and brilliant. The end was somehow less flattering when compared to the whole book itself, but it leaves... Read More
Rated of 5
by Kevin B. Hmmmm... I'm a big Ghisham fan, and I thought the development of the plot was great, but I was really expecting a BIG finish. The main players & plot just seemed to fizzle out. I really thought this book could have ended with a great cliff-hanger and lead... Read More
Rated of 5
I am more into hardcore literature and poetry, but this was a fun read.
A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...