The Brethren
by John Grisham
Kindle Edition-

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

They call themselves the Brethren: three disgraced former judges doing time in a Florida federal prison. One ...

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  "The Bethren" by vtreader (see profile) 11/07/11

A quick read - nothing too startling.

 
  "Loved the plot, had an ok ending" by leschukm (see profile) 01/09/12

 
  "The power of the written word" by brightpoweruk (see profile) 02/27/12

Our bookworms are predominantly female and this novel was specifically chosen by us because the author is known for appealing more to men. Most of us were aware of ‘John Grisham’s thrillers’, but few had read any of them. Predictably our reactions to both the seemingly unconnected plots and the Americanisms (especially in politics) were mixed. We all agreed that the book can be divided into parts and some of them are more enthralling than others.
One storyline involves ‘The Brethren’, three ex-Judges who are now long-term prisoners themselves. They host in-house trials, hold positions of strength in their open prison environment and have taken to extortion like true professionals.
The other activity is a focus on the involvement of the CIA and the implications of its implied power to corrupt, manipulate and abruptly end lives. In this case, apparently they have the world’s salvation at heart, as they speed-launch a presidential candidacy with all the subtlety of a suicide bomber.
We discussed the huge amounts of money and influencing involved in political battles and why it is presumed that politicians generally lack morality and scruples. A comparison situation involving similar funding and panic mongering in the U.K. could mean that anyone from anywhere could make it here as Prime Minister.
The plot was not predictable and it was an engaging book for the most part, although it was lacking in action at times. None of the main characters is particularly appealing, even those who are supposedly innocent victims of blackmail scams. One of the more likeable prisoners is a young hapless chap who finds himself adopted by ‘The Brethren’ and is offered a ‘free ticket’ out of the prison because they need a letter delivered.
As a group we gave it an average of 5.5 out of 10.

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