I have just read Sycamore Row, another legal thriller by John Grisham, and now I can see what all the fuss is about. I read a couple of previous books, and although they were well written and had interesting plots, I wasn’t tempted to look for more of his books, because I wasn’t interested in any of his characters.
Sycamore Row checks all the boxes; the writing is fine, the plot has plenty of twists and turns, and the characters are very well drawn. None of them are perfect, but none of them are completely evil, either, (including opposing counsel).
And this brings me to another thought that occurred to me after reading this book. I now realize why I hate the idea of living in a small town; I’m not a nice enough person. Grisham brings to life a whole gallery of characters who populate a small town in Mississippi, and his lawyer protagonist (based on Grisham himself, I suppose), manages to find almost all of them interesting and worthy of respect, in spite of their failings. Even more impressively, he is neither judgemental nor upset by the universal penchant for minding everybody else’ s business.
Hat’s off to John Grisham, a good writer and a nice guy!