26 Feb 2020


Book Review / The Brethren by John Grisham

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.

Published:     27th December 2005
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


A very interesting read that, to me, seems very politic heavy.  There are elements of the legal system in here with Judges who are imprisoned handle cases where they are also they also have a side 'business' which not many know about apart from a set few, including a lawyer who does is their 'runner'.

Being honest, it did take me two goes to actually start this novel but that is more my fault rather than anything else.  I do not normally read the descriptions of novels as I much prefer the author to take me on the journey and tell me what the story is all about rather than reading a 'briefing of it'.  I had not fully appreciated that this would feature a lot more politics than I would normally like to read - it is not one of those types of stories that I would naturally gravitate towards.  The first time around I think I reached just over the 50 pages and then set it aside and that was back in January this year.  I decided to give this one another go now as I really want to read more of John Grisham's books and this was the next on the list (I am reading them in publication order).  This time I knew what I was getting into, took my time and really got stuck into the story.  This second time, I really enjoyed it once I got used to the political system in the US (I am from the UK).

This story has a very interesting plot that can still mostly be applied today although I would like to hope that society is a lot more open about certain issues now than it was back in 2005 (this was originally written in 2005).  The main plot is you have three judges who exploit vulnerable males in a money scam.  Each of these males have a secret that they would not want their family to find out.

A really great political legal thriller that centers around social issues.