Book Review: Camino Island by John Grisham

Title: Camino Island
Author: John Grisham
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Doubleday
Release Date: June 06, 2017
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 290
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★★☆

A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, but Princeton has insured it for twenty-five million dollars.

Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts.

Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable’s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets.

But eventually Mercer learns far too much, and there’s trouble in paradise as only John Grisham can deliver it.


While I kind of panned the last John Grisham novel I’d read, it was more because while it involved law and lawyers, it wasn’t what I was expecting.

This novel was a departure from what I recall John Grisham doing previously, but this novel worked. It really did work.

The character development wasn’t completely there, but it also didn’t really need to be. Most of the characters, even though they appeared multiple times, didn’t need the development as they weren’t the main focus of the novel. The characters who did need development had it – Mercer and Bruce Cable. The rest of the characters were more or less window dressing, regardless of how much time you spent reading their words and actions. The only characters that truly mattered in the plot were Mercer and Bruce.

And it was a great book. It was hard for me to put it down to do the other things I needed to get done, but I managed. This book just flowed and I was constantly curious to see how the story would turn out. It turns out a bit differently than you might expect, but that just makes the novel even better.

This one got 4 out 5 stars only because there were some parts of the book I thought could have been taken out and the book wouldn’t have been any less interesting.