Camino Island

Camino Island   by John Grisham

Grisham is a safe pair of hands when it comes to the penning of thrillers. Camino Island is no different.

The priceless original manuscripts of F. Scott Fitzgerald have been stolen. Although some of the culprits have been caught, the precious objects remain gone. In steps Elaine, an insurance investigator tasked with retrieving the papers. She employs the services of teacher, Mercer Mann, who is asked to insert herself into the life of a book-seller believed to have knowledge of the missing items. Mercer agrees as she is flat broke, and bored. Cue intrigue, twists and some turns.

The characters in this novel are consistent if a tad dull. The settings are well presented if a tad dull. The story-line is steady and solid if a tad dull. Are you seeing a pattern here?

Camino Island is an OK book. It won’t melt your butter but won’t make you sick either. It’s middle-of-the-road entertainment designed to offend no one. There is the potential for steamy sex scenes and erotic tension but Grisham fails at this. It reads as if it was written by someone who fears being struck by lightening should he verge on explicit portrayals.

Mercer is a boring individual without the need to be. The suspect bookseller, Bruce Kable, comes across as a Thomas Crown type, but without the physical activity and with a more sanitized sex life – even though he does have an open marriage. Perhaps Grisham does not feel it appropriate to engage in what he might deem gratuitous sexual imagery. Yet why hide what it is the characters are doing? Why remove the energy?

If you are 65+ years of age, then you might think that this is a thoroughly splendid novel. If you are a creationist then you will likely enjoy it. If you are the parent of a rambunctious teenager then you will hope that your child will enjoy it. If you are not any of these people, then you may feel cheated by the time you finish Camino Island.

Sult scale rating: 6 out of 10. Solid but bland. Won’t get you excited. Might put you to sleep.