This book is officially the second novel I read on my own. The first one was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain and the second one was this one; THE BRETHREN by John Grisham. It has been 10 years since i first read it but i can still remember it as if i read it last night. I am even shocked that an 11 year old was able to read and understand such a big book at that age. Even to this day, it is still one of my favorites.
I have read several books written by John Grisham and all of his books are amazing but this one has something about it. John went to law school at Ole Miss where he graduated in 1981 and went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven so it is not a shocker that most of his novels are law based or pertaining to law in a way. The first novel published under his name was A Time To Kill in 1988 according to Goodreads but even to date is still a great read. Since publishing his first novel, he wrote a novel a year, including the one i am reviewing, and they all became international best sellers right through to The Broker, which was released in 2005. He also wrote another successful series of the Theodore Boone series, a kid who loves law.
As for The Brethren, it was first published in 1995. It is about three former judges, known as The Brethren, hence the name for the novel. The three judges were in captivity at a minimum security federal prison called Trumble. They met regularly at the law library where they handle cases of other inmates, practiced law and sometimes were judges and dispensed sentences and justice in prisoner cases. During their stay in Trumble, they came up with a perfect money making scam which preys on secretly gay rich men. They ran their perfect scam via mail where they wrote as two vulnerable gay men, even though none of them were really gay. They would develop the trust of the other party, string them along and finally ask for financial help. Sometimes they would resort to blackmail to get the money. The money they accumulated would be transferred to a Bahamian bank account with the help of their lawyer, who also got a cut. It all went well until they targeted the wrong person to scam. They tried to scam a presidential candidate who a former CIA director wanted to control and put in power so as to have an influence in matters. Aaron Lake, the candidate, is a widower with lady friends but is also secretly gay and The Brethren try to take advantage of this and this causes a vigorous and dangerous cat and mouse pursuit between the three judges and the CIA. The Brethren is a good read filled with lies, cheats, steals and kills at almost every unexpected corner so it has twists and turns here and there. Even as a lawyer, his books are surprisingly easy to understand and comprehend, even in my case as I read it as an eleven year old and that is why i would recommend anyone to grab any book of his and indulge in his writing.
The Brethren may be argued not to be one of his most enthralling reads by some people but it makes the cut into one of the best books i have read written by John Grisham because of how understandable it is. Other recommendations of books I have read and enjoyed which were written by John Grisham are THE FIRM, A TIME TO KILL, THE STREET LAWYER, THE ASSOCIATE, THEODORE BOONE: KID LAWYER & THEODORE BOONE: THE FUGITIVE.
THE BRETHREN SYNOPSIS
Trumble is a minimum-security federal prison, a “camp,” home to the usual assortment of relatively harmless criminals–drug dealers, bank robbers, swindlers, embezzlers, tax evaders, two Wall Street crooks, one doctor, at least five lawyers.
And three former judges who call themselves the Brethren: one from Texas, one from California, and one from Mississippi. They meet each day in the law library, their turf at Trumble, where they write briefs, handle cases for other inmates, practice law without a license, and sometimes dispense jailhouse justice. And they spend hours writing letters. They are fine-tuning a mail scam, and it’s starting to really work. The money is pouring in.
Then their little scam goes awry. It ensnares the wrong victim, a powerful man on the outside, a man with dangerous friends, and the Brethren’s days of quietly marking time are over.