Book Review: John Grisham's Camino Island

Camino Island by John Grisham is my least favorite of his books so far. While the first two I read, A Time to Kill and A Time for Mercy followed Jake Brigance’s law practice, Camino Island follows a main character Mercer in a much less anxious plot. As an aside, near Seattle there is a Camano Island, Mercer Island, and Mercer street, so I was surprised when the book did not take place in Washington.

The beginning of the book grips you. The ending is fantastically dramatic and satisfying. My main gripe is the middle section, which consisted mostly of drama amongst a small clique of authors. I was left wondering where the drama went – the first chapter matched the drama of the Jake Brigance novels fantastically, as did the last chapter, but the middle section lacked all of the gut-wrenching twists and turns that defined the JB novels as a page-turner for me. This had the side effect of making the book a much slower read for me.

The ending was properly satisfying and creative, so I did leave the book with a good aftertaste. That colors my perception more heavily than it should, as the middle section was a slog. Grisham’s writing style is still pleasant to read, and I have no qualms about that.

Next up will be The Pelican Brief, hopefully more legal drama and less retired author clique drama.