The BOYS OF BILOXI, John Grisham

John Grisham

For most of the last hundred years, Biloxi was known for its beaches, resorts, and seafood industry. But it had a darker side. It was also notorious for corruption and vice, everything from gambling, prostitution, bootleg liquor, and drugs to contract killings. The vice was controlled by a small cabal of mobsters, many of them rumoured to be members of the Dixie Mafia.

Keith Rudy and Hugh Malco grew up in Biloxi in the sixties and were childhood friends, as well as Little League all-stars. But as teenagers, their lives took them in different directions. Keith’s father became a legendary prosecutor, determined to “clean up the Coast.” Hugh’s father became the “Boss” of Biloxi’s criminal underground. Keith went to law school and followed in his father’s footsteps. Hugh preferred the nightlife and worked in his father’s clubs. The two families were headed for a showdown, one that would happen in a courtroom.

Life itself hangs in the balance in The Boys from Biloxi, a sweeping saga rich with history and with a large cast of unforgettable characters.

Richard says
Every Grisham book is a good read. Of course, some of his earlier books are sharper, tighter and grittier. The ones with the character, Jack Brigance, would be in this category, page-turners, page after page, faster, more quickly. You just want to know what is about to happen. As late-night reads, these books were masters of keeping one away from the arms of Hypnos.

The Boys of Biloxi is a very well-written book. A good story, engaging all the time. The plot is simple: two young boys, good friends, sports competitors with promising possibilities. Their lives take divergent paths only to cross again in adult life with one holding the life of the other in his hands. The one sentenced to execution was found guilty of conspiring the death of the other’s father, a celebrated district attorney.

The setting is southern Mississippi, the gulf coast surrounding Biloxi. The area is painted as being rampantly infested with Mafia-like crime bosses profiting from various illegal activities from gambling and prostitution to drug and gun trafficking. It’s a well-developed story, intricate, sophisticated and very authentic sounding.

Grisham weaves his tale in an engaging way. The tale unravels in an entertaining way. A reader will enjoy the descriptions, the plot development, the story’s flow. Simply put, this is a very enjoyable story, nicely written, well-developed and tied together well at the end. There’s no rush to finish the book as is common with many other writers. Grisham leads one, page by page, to the end and even the end is a resounding cacophonous crescendo, merely “this is what you expect, and let me give it to you like that.” A reader will finish the book with a satisfying exhalation.

A good read.

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