Camino Island

Camino Island

By John Grisham

Review by Roberta

If you are a John Grisham fan, you may be slightly disappointed in this latest novel.  It does not have quite the drama, pace, and legalese of previous novels.  However, it is a good story and worth reading.

The novel begins with an intricately planned and nearly perfect heist of rare F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts from Princeton University by some very clever thieves.   Although the manuscripts are insured for $25 million dollars, the university wants the manuscripts back and the insurance company also prefers this outcome.

The insurance company uncovers a tip that the manuscripts may be in the possession of a bookseller on Camino Island who occasionally deals in rare books on the black market.    The woman in charge of the investigation at the insurance company, Elaine Shelby, concocts an elaborate scheme to place someone on the island to get close to the bookseller.  Enter Mercer Mann.   Mercer is a young novelist who sold one novel but has crushing debt and no job.  Although Mercer protests that she is no spy, the money is just too good to pass up.

Mercer meets the bookseller, finds him charming and intelligent, and learns more than she really wants to know.   She needs to make a decision about what to report to Elaine.

The book starts out fast paced with the thieves and the heist of the manuscripts and then the pace slows considerably when Mercer is introduced and things do not pick up until near the end when Mercer discovers the bookseller’s secrets.

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About the reviewer: Roberta Earle is an avid reader and has been a member of the library for over 20 years!

This review is part of Book Your Summer, our 2017 Adult Summer Reading program.