The Brethren, John Grisham

Title: The Brethren
Author: John Grisham
Link: Goodreads

Start: 11 March 2020
End: 26 September 2020

From inside Trumble, a minimum-security federal prison, three former judges calling themselves “The Brethren” organise a legal advice and inmate ‘social trial’ system. However, their main occupation is running a mail extortion scam with the assistance of their outside lawyer, Trevor and a fictitious persona, Ricky from rehab. They have carefully and meticulously set it up, getting to know their victims before threatening to expose them through blackmail, to make a great deal of money from a few unfortunate victims who thought they were responding to an advert to no longer be lonely.

Outside of the open prison, the CIA is planning to back a political candidate to increase military spending in the real world. Aaron Lake seems to be the perfect man, no hidden agenda, no hidden skeletons in the closet and a likeable character. He is the perfect candidate. The orchestrated drive to become president has the CIA pulling several stunts to drive up interest in military power.

What could go wrong?

Well, Mr Lake (aka Al Konyers) had unfortunately responded to the advert using an alias and thinks he is in the clear. Late one evening, returning home from the election campaign he wrote a letter to Ricky terminating their correspondence. The mistake was that he inadvertently included a thank you letter for one of his sponsors and at the same time the CIA wrote a letter carrying on their correspondence. The Brethren soon realised who he was and started the plan to get themselves freed and loaded through blackmail.


Another great John Grisham book which I can add to me collection. Well written and a good page-turner. A few twists and turns throughout the story. I enjoyed reading this book, and even though there are a few different main characters and no main protagonist, it worked well. It is well written and the story flows.

The ending feels a little rushed but does leave you to decide how you want it to end.