©2008 John Grisham; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
This story was very well read by Vincent Marcello who gave each character a different 'feel' so that the story came alive.
Having read all of John Grisham's previous novels, this one was slightly disappointing for me as it did not quite grab my attention in the way his stories usually do. I found the concept of the story interesting but it was not quite as captivating as I had hoped.
Grisham is back to his 'suspense' style of writing. From the very 1st page you are captured as he superbly introduces the main characters. Small sub-plots intertwine with a balance that keeps you wanting to 'turn the next page' in anticipation.
The 3 judges that make up the Brethren, lead by Joe Roy Spicer, are a delight to read about. Far from being criminals they become 3 infamous heroes with their clever '1-step-ahead' routine that keeps the CIA on their toes.
Aaron Lake is supposedly a mild-mannered 'never done anything wrong' would-be president - but then again isn't that like real life today?
Grisham's in-depth knowledge of the legal, and probably, illegal world coupled with his sense and perception of the 'behind the walls' everyday activity both in Government and Prison environments makes this book truly compelling.
Grisham is back to his best
"The Brethren (Unabridged)"
As an avid fan of John Grisham, I recently downloaded the unabridged version of the book, having only heard the abridged version previously. At once, the change was incredible. Having previously only experienced the "highlights" the full story presented me with the background to the characters, the full depth of the plot, more graphic locations and everything else that had been previously lacking. This book came to life in my ears as the characters themselves came to life. Their emotions of power, cunninging, deception and fear felt closer than ever before. I, for one, will only listen to unabridged books again.
"A great listen"
I've enjoyed several of the author's books and thought this was a bit different from his usual style in which a court-room tussle is central to the story. It reminded me of Frederick Forsyth in that there is a huge, well-orchestrated conspiracy by the intelligence services to manipulate the outcome of an election. Grisham's legal background, and generally low opinion of his former profession, is manifest in the second story that intertwines with the conspiracy, in which several lawyers, including judges, who are in prison engage in a black-mailing scam. It's a very engaging story that kept me listening and the narrator's voice suits the book.
I really enjoy this book. The story is well told and the characters are believable and likeable. The plot involves a group of prison inmates who set up a scam which takes a turn they could not have foreseen. The impact of their scheme has far reaching effects that make it very hard to put the book down. I highly recommend it.
"A Great Read"
Slightly disappointing ending but overall an excellent book to listen to. Still highly recommended if you are a John Grisham fan.
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