Wednesday 28 February 2018

Camino Island By John Grisham

John Grisham produces books as much as most of us have holidays - once or twice a year. That's a lot of books. And when his main writing style for so long was legal thrillers, we got used to the type of book. The formula worked, but after a while, maybe a little boring? With a few exceptions that we watched on the big screen too, they did blend into each other. So I think I've been (un)consciously avoiding them. At then end of a long reading holiday (i.e. a holiday on which one reads, NOT a holiday from reading - never), I found myself alone with this one, for various reasons.

What a pleasant surprise.

From Goodreads: "A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, but Princeton has insured it for twenty-five million dollars.

Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts.

Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable’s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets."

If this sounds like fun, and not really legal at the heart of it, you'd be about right. I also found it quite compulsively page turning and had more than a few smiles and moments of reading pleasure. After all, John Grisham knows how to keep our interest.

It also manages to be warm and sweet as well as exciting and tense. I really enjoyed it - especially reading with the crashing waves in the background and the sun tingling my skin. Happy times.

4 stars

You may also enjoy The Racketeer by the same author. Or what about Anita Shreve's Fortune's Rocks - I loved that one.

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