Books are companions. The better the writer, the more the fun. Legal thriller, crime fiction, sci-fi, mystery and the likes are even better companions. They tease your brain, pull you along and tell a story in the most unusual but appealing manner.
John Grisham. Author of many bestsellers, master of legal thrillers and crime fictions. I imagine he has been given many more accolades by readers and writers alike. This brings me to the point. His books are good. Yes! I said good, not great! So I’m wondering what the hype was about. I’m disappointed because people make it seem like he’s the best.
To be fair, I’ve only read two of his books; The Partner and The Testament. Some people will argue that two books are not enough to go by. I can’t agree especially because of his acclaimed mastery. I’ll go on to explain the things I liked and disliked in these books.
The Testament was my first one. I loved the beginning. A crazy billionare (Troy Phelan) committing suicide and leaving his entire estate to an unknown illegitimate daughter much to the chagrin of his conniving wives and children. I mean!! The wives, children and their lawyers plotted. As they should have. It struck me as odd though, that there wasn’t at least one sane, respectable and quite wealthy child.
I was bored during the search for the daughter named Rachel Lane. The recovering alcoholic litigation lawyer(Nate) was a good twist since it was unlikely that such a person could navigate through the Pantanal in Brazil to find the missionary/heiress. Honestly though, the search was bland, wordy and documentary-like.
The vultures were still circling and trying to contest the will. They eventually settled for $50 millon each. I hated this. No legal warfare. Just talks and negotiations. Nate found the heiress who refused it all; understandable. He almost died from dengue fever. Why didn’t he just relay the message and die? Why? Why? She died after suffering from malaria leaving a holographic will that left everything to a trust to be controlled by Nate. Anything extraordinary about this plot? NO. So here is one review from Goodreads that I can relate to;
The Partner…. Interesting story but it was like gist. ‘Cool story’ type gist. So junior partner at a law firm got tired of his mundane life and marriage, steals a ghastly $90 million, and flees. So we know before and after but in between there somewhere there are holes. Grisham filled them while trying to create suspense that I could not feel.
The smart lawyer leaves the money to a woman he is in love with so he doesn’t know where it is. He knows they’ll find him eventually. She invested with it and let it grow until the ‘owner’s’ blue collar errand boy (Mr Stefano) came looking and captured Patrick or is it Danilo now? So she was on the run and appearing smart. The way she was caught though, so annoying.
Well, the end was good. All the bad guys were apprehended. Not fun. My dear Patrick Lanigan, the original BAD guy got away. Now that, I really admire! His partner in crime, the Brazilian lawyer named Eva Miranda ran away with the money he stole. His pain! It was live!
Here’s one review also from Goodreads. I do not agree with wanting to pull his books outta people’s shelves but the end surprised me. And Yes! What did happen to Eva?
All in all I wasn’t blown away which was what I expected. You don’t agree? Recommend his best work if you will. I strongly advise that you read Betrayal by John Lescroart. You cannot but love that book.