The Brethren by John Grisham Review


3 convicted judges known as The Brethren, the CIA and a powerful politician combine to make a fantastic, totally absorbing and gripping thriller.

I love John Grisham novels, they are always thrilling, totally gripping and The Brethren is no exception. Fantastic from start to finish.

Florida’s Trumble minimum security prison is home to 3 convicted ex-judges; Joe Roy Spicer – convicted of skimming bingo profits, Finn Yarber – convicted of tax evasion and Hatlee Beech – convicted of drunk driving and killing two hikers. Once a week they hold court to settle disputes and fights among the prison population, which they are allowed to do as it creates a bit of stability within the prison. This is known as The Inferior Court of North Florida but they are simply known as “The Brethren”.

Each day they meet in the prison’s law library to write letters. These are not letters to their nearest and dearest or their lawyers but a mail scam to try and snare as many victims as possible with the ultimate aim of blackmail. With help from a corrupt lawyer they are soon bringing in lots of money from it.

Soon they ensnare the wrong man and with him soon to be very powerful he has very powerful and extremely dangerous friends that will do whatever it takes to keep his secrets. The Brethren are now involved in a very dangerous game, but who will win?

Overall, The Brethren is a fantastic, gripping thriller that I found very hard to put down. It has two plots; one of mail scams and blackmail and the race to become President of the United States and the CIA’s involvement in politics and Grisham combines them very well into one excellent story. It features crime, shady judges, CIA tactics, American politics, the Presidential race (a fictional one, not Trump and Clinton) and the race for information and power.

This was a different style than previous Grisham novels that I have read, but was well-written and I loved it.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £9.99 (Paperback) / £3.99 (Kindle)

Available to buy from Amazon here.

For more information on John Grisham and his books visit


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