With a nasty storm rapidly bearing down a foul murder is committed in this John Grisham whodunit.
Grisham is of course most well known for his courtroom thrillers, so this change of pace to a murder mystery set on a Floridian island is a bit different to his norm.
The story follows a group of mystery writers (a little meta) who while on the island find themselves facing down an oncoming hurricane. And if that wasn’t bad enough one of them soon winds up dead. This corpse, a Mr Nelson Kerr, is a former trial lawyer who “ratted out a client, a defence contractor who was illegally selling high-tech military stuff to the Iranians and North Koreans.”
While it’s understandable that the defence company would want the former lawyer dead that’s not the end of his list of enemies. There’s at least a few drug traffickers and other low lives who’d prefer Mr Kerr’s tongue silenced.
That’s when we’re introduced to the novels so called hero, Bruce Cable, a bookstore owner who’s also friend, editor, and drinking buddy of Camino Islands odd collection of writers.
I call Cable a so called hero because to be frank he’s a bit of a dick. He drinks all day and all night, sleeps with anything he can and seems to be quite immoral to say the least. He’s not a lawyer though so that’s a plus.
Since murder is rare on the island the local police seem inept at solving the mystery, leaving it to this amoral bookstore alcoholic and a colourful collection of supporting characters to solve.
Grisham’s tale unfolds at a leisurely pace, which is a nice way of saying it was a little slow and boring. It never really found its groove and rarely made it out of first gear.
Some of the supporting characters though are fun and well developed. Sadly the same cannot be said for the villains. I’ve only read a few Grisham’s in my time but the villains on this island appear to have been copy and pasted from any one of his other stories.
If you’re a firm fan of Grisham’s novels you will no doubt find plenty to enjoy here, but if you’re looking for an easy murder mystery to read I’d suggest you look elsewhere.
You can check out Camino Winds for yourself on Amazon.