The Brethren by John Grisham

Published December 23, 2019

The Brethren by John Grisham

Book info

  • Title The Brethren
  • Author John Grisham
  • Year 2000
  • Genres Thriller, Mystery

Trumble is a minimum security federal prison, home to drug dealers, bank robbers, swindlers, embezzlers, tax evaders - and three former judges who call themselves The Brethren. The Brethren meet each day in the law library, where they spend hours writing letters. They're fine-tuning a mail scam, and it's starting to pay big. The money is pouring in. But when their little scam goes awry and ensnares the wrong victim, a powerful man on the outside, they realise they're in trouble. Because this man has dangerous friends, and just as the prison failed to protect society from the Brethren, it won't protect them from their victims...


I think we all know by now that John Grisham’s books are hit and miss - the older, legal-based thrillers seem to work slightly better than the newer stuff, and then there’s that wobbly period in between.

This book wasn’t one of my favourites but it was very readable. I thought the concept of the Brethren, their scam and how it all worked was interesting, but when things flipped to the politics side, manipulating everyone into voting for a particular president, I just didn’t enjoy that as much.

I was also a bit disappointed by the ending, because it didn’t seem as though anyone got their comeuppance. None of the characters were particularly nice but they all seemed to get on with it and finish in a reasonably good position. Oh well.

Rating: 2 / 5

← Previous The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl
Next → Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings