Camino Island by John Grisham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is not so much a legal thriller like most of Grisham's other books, although he does occasionally write in different genres. It was mostly a mystery, and it took a while to catch on at the beginning. So many characters were introduced without knowing which ones would be important in the remainder of the book or if and when these characters would intersect. Some did. Some didn't.
The premise is that The Princeton Library has been burglarized. Five manuscripts by F. Scott Fitzgerald were stolen. Not only do they need to locate the men who stole them, they need to locate the people to whom they were sold. One possibility is the eccentric Bruce Cable, a bookstore owner in Santa Rosa on Camino Island who deals in rare books.
Then, there is the insurance company who is going to have to pay Princeton in the event the priceless manuscripts are not found and returned. They turn to a woman, Mercer Mann, whose teaching position has been let go, who has loads of student debt, who is a published author, and who happens to be half owner of a beach house on Camino Island.
While the plot is rather far-fetched, as most of them are, it was entertaining. Grisham includes a zany cast of characters, although none of them are truly likable. The dialogue was less than stellar. One character must have said, "Now, Myra" two dozen times. And the abrupt ending was a set-up for the next novel. However, taking these two characters into the next novel doesn't make sense based on things that happened in this book. I could explain better, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone.
I liked it, maybe not as much as his legal thrillers like A Time to Kill (which I consider a modern To Kill a Mockingbird) and The Firm. But it was good.
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