One can never dislike a John Grisham book as his style of writing is always polished and entertaining. Camino Island does not disappoint.
But it isn’t Grisham at his best, that’s for sure.
A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, but Princeton has insured it for twenty-five million dollars.
Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts.
Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable’s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets.
But eventually Mercer learns far too much, and there’s trouble in paradise as only John Grisham can deliver it.
Grisham’s novels never disappoint. Sometimes they do not live up to their expectations but they are always enjoyable reads. He writes tightly and keeps his story flowing in every book. This holds true for this book also. He lays out the story as if it is a storyline suited for an episode of “Murder She Wrote,” the well-known Angela Lansbury TV series. Camino Island would have made an excellent episode. As you read the story, you can just picture an American seaside town with its quaint beach homes and colourful locals. This book may become a TV episode for someone yet.
It’s a good story about a ‘writer’s blocked author’ who needs to revive her creativity. Because she is deeply in debt with student loans and living expenses, she needs a better paying job than being a untenured university prof. She gets drawn into doing some undercover work set in the world of first editions, old manuscripts and original manuscripts.
Grisham’s style of writing keeps the story moving along with interesting characters, unexpected plot twists and unexpected events. This book will not let a reader down, especially if they are Grisham fans. However, it isn’t a profound work with deep plot development and really intriguing characters. But it definitely is a book for the beach or for a winter night when the snow is whirling around outside.
4 stars, very enjoyable.