Daring thieves break into the vault at Princeton University and steal the original F Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts from his five novels. This stuff is worth maybe $30 million and the great and the good at the Uni sit back and wait for the inevitable ransom demand to appear. This is all fiction, of course, and Mr G even includes a wee apology at the end, just in case he should upset anyone at Princeton.
But could the thieves actually be stealing the items for a specific order, with some wealthy collector hanging around in the background interested in buying? The insurance company don’t feel like sitting back and waiting and a plan is hatched to get those expensive papers back.
So begins John Grisham’s novel “Camino Island”.
But if you are imagining and waiting for long drawn out court scenes with a cutting finale you are going to be disappointed, because there is barely a court scene in the entire book.
So this is something of a departure for Mr G, but don’t let that put you off because this is an engaging story and certainly a page-turning one. There’s even something of a love story element in there too, dare I say that in parts this book borders on chicklit, (shock horror!), though it never strays entirely that way.
Being somewhat different to Mr G’s normal fare it has come in for some (unwarranted) criticism. I have mentioned before about how ultra-successful writers attract trolling reviewers who seem to get a real high out of trashing top selling authors.
You only have to check out the one star reviews for John Grisham, Lee Child, Dan Brown, J K Rowling, etc etc, to see that, but people seem to forget that the reason these writers, and many others besides, sell books in great quantity, is because they write engaging books, something that the one star review brigade conveniently forget.
“Camino Island” is different, but it does suck one in, and in the end I read this work in as quick a time as any book I have read this year, and the reason for that is because this is good book. Don’t let the one star review-moaners put you off. I enjoyed it, and I think you will too.