Sycamore Row by John Grisham
3 words: detailed, solid, storytelling
Don’t tell anyone, but this is the first Grisham novel I’ve ever read. And it was rather an enjoyable experience.
Of course, everyone knows he’s the reigning monarch of the legal thriller. But just because someone is popular doesn’t necessarily mean he’s terrifically talented.
But Grisham’s a skilled storyteller. The plot here canters along steadily. There’s a fair amount of legal detail, but nothing tedious—he keeps it moving. And the characters are more than cardboard cutouts, so characterization isn’t sacrificed in the name of plot.
In other words, Grisham has everything you’d want from a storyteller.
In Sycamore Row, Grisham returns to his roots: handsome, young attorney Jake Brigance, the legal star of his first novel, A Time to Kill, is again called upon to take a complex and somewhat unpopular case in his rural Mississippi county. This time around, a local millionaire has left his fortune to his nurse, which raises some eyebrows around town—and seriously stirs up his wasp’s nest of a family.
Brigance’s job is to prove that the will should be upheld. Sounds simple, but obviously isn’t, or we wouldn’t have a big old novel to read.
Reading Grisham was perfectly pleasant. I had the sensation of being on board a plane flown by a capable, long-time pilot who takes the scenic route for the benefit of the passengers. Takes a little longer to reach the destination, but the journey is part of the fun.
P.S. Thanks to the two kind people who lent me their copies.