Hope you’re all well and have had a good week. I have had what can only be described as an eventful week. I was in Paris the weekend before last and was supposed to fly home on the Sunday evening. That flight got cancelled and I ended up stuck in Paris until Wednesday. Paris is obviously not the worst place in the world to be stuck, but it was still quite stressful. Then to top it all off, I tested positive for COVID the day after we got back. So that’s everything I’ve been up to. Fantastic.
Thank you so much to @hodderbooks and @tandemcollectiveuk for this copy of The Boys from Biloxi by @johngrisham in return for an honest review. I was so happy to be given the opportunity to take part in this readalong so thank you so you much to Tandem, it’s been so much fun. The Boys from Biloxi was published on October 18th 2022 and you can get a copy here.
For the majority of the last hundred years, the coastal town of Biloxi has been known for its beaches, resorts and seafood. There’s more available than that though. Biloxi was also home to lots of establishments offering gambling, prostitutes, bootleg liquor and drugs. All of this was controlled by a small group of mobs; many of which rumoured to be part of the Dixie Mafia.
Keith Rudy and Hugh Malco grew up together in the sixties and played little league together. As they approached their teenage years, they drifted apart as their fathers pursued very different lives. Keith’s father became a legendary criminal prosecutor, hell bent on cleaning up the coast. Hugh’s father became the big man in Biloxi’s criminal underworld, consumed by crime and money. The boys followed in their fathers footstep; Keith going to law school and Hugh joining the family business. The two families were bound to clash at some point and that clash is due to take place in the courtroom.
General Thoughts 🤔
I’ve not read a John Grisham book before (craziness I know), so I was really happy to be reading my first book by him. I love thrillers and I particularly enjoy legal thrillers so I knew that this would most likely float my boat and I wasn’t disappointed.
I have to admit that I struggled to gain momentum for the first part of the book. Not a lot really happened and I think quite a bit of it could have reduced, however the pace soon picked up and I was then hooked in on the story. There was a chapter that I won’t mention or discuss in detail that changed things for me and from that moment, I was invested in the legal side of the book and I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough.
In any other genre of book, I think that the character development and character likability is really important, but I don’t feel quite as precious about it in legal thrillers. Which is a positive thing because I don’t think I felt particularly close to any of the characters in this book. For instance, I could have really gotten behind Jesse and Keith as the good guys but I didn’t particular want them as characters to succeed, I wanted their cases to succeed. Likewise with Lance and Hugh. I could have felt strong negative feelings towards them, but I didn’t. I was quite indifferent.
Writing Style ✍️
As I mentioned, I think that there was a good chunk of the beginning of this book that could have been chopped out, but after I had gotten through that, I really liked the style of John Grisham’s writing. The court scenes weren’t overly dramatic as some can be and I liked the way that it felt realistic. It reminded me of following along with high profile live trials and I really enjoyed it.
I’m still undecided on how I felt about the ending. I liked the concept of it being open ended and I have sat and thought for some time about what may have happened. What I’m on the fence about was the introduction of quite an emotional exchange between characters. I think that this was not in-keeping with the rest of the book and either more emotion should have been written into the characters earlier in the story, or the ending should have been more transactional.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖
Overall I really enjoyed this book and I think I will definitely be adding more John Grisham books to my TBR. I loved the court room scenes in the story and if anything would have loved to have had more included. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like I connected with any of the characters, but I didn’t see this as a huge drawback for the book overall. Obviously John Grisham is already up there as one of the best legal thriller authors, but as a comparison, if you like James Patterson, Steve Cavanagh or Michael Connelly, you will definitely enjoy this book.