Book review of ” Camino Island ” by John Grisham

Review by Vipul Murarka

It was after a very long time that I picked up a fiction novel. I had this mental block that I cant read fiction books (for the reason I am still trying to figure out). I had made it a point that I will force myself to read a fiction this month and then I came across John Grisham’s Camino island which was published on 6 June 2017. I had heard of this author and knew that he is one of the good thriller/crime writers and got hold of the book and started reading.
The book picked up really well. One could visualize the theft that has been mentioned in the early part of the book and the book seems to be fast paced. A heist at Princeton’s library allows the criminals to get hold of the original manuscripts of Fitzgerald’s. FBI Agents managed to catch 2 out of five criminals but the others along with manuscripts are still at large. Till about this point just everything was perfect with the book.
Later it seemed that the author somehow got more interested with the other characters of the books such as Mercer and Bruce Cable in particular. Mercer, a struggling author with writer’s block and loads of student loan is approached by FBI’s unit to assist in getting back the manuscripts from Bruce Cable. And that’s when the book seems to have lost its plot. The author got more interested in character building and somehow the book became a drag. From a thriller, I felt that the book
somewhat turned into a bit of romance and self discovery (for the character). It was like an amalgamation of two different books of which the second half was something I didn’t care much.
What was another turn off for me was that there was no suspense at all. You will not have to use your brains even a bit to figure out what will happen with the stolen manuscripts. The clue was given rather openly by the author. Moreover, the FBI in this book is shown to be too dumb that they would allow the main suspect to travel out of country.
First chapter and some part of the ending is bearable. Other than that, the book is just a drag. This book could probably have been better as a short story and not a novel.
Looks like Grisham tried his hand at something different with Camino Island (he is actually famous for legal thrillers) and for me he failed miserably at this one. My search for a good fiction continues.
Rating: 2 out of 5.

About the reviewer :

Vipul Murarka likes to learn something new every time he picks up a book. He has done BSc (Hons) in Plant Biotechnology from University of Nottingham after which he has done MBA in Marketing from School Of Inspired Leadership. Right now he resides in Myanmar doing business in agriculture.

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