Monday, January 6, 2014

Grisham, Turow and Cornwall

My mom and her best friend from high school got together over the holidays and talked about books they loved this year (among other things...) and three books made both of their lists, John Grisham's SYCAMORE ROW, Patricia Cornwell's DUST and Scot Turow's IDENTICAL. It's so fun that after all these years these two have stayed in touch AND they still like the same books. I asked them why they liked these books and this is what they said.

SYCAMORE ROW by John Grisham

This is the sequel to john Grisham's first book, A TIME TO KILL. Here is the description of the book from John Grisham's website: 

"Now we return to that famous courthouse in Clanton as Jake Brigance once again finds himself embroiled in a fiercely controversial trial—a trial that will expose old racial tensions and force Ford County to confront its tortured history.

Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County’s most notorious citizens, just three years earlier.

The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly? And what does it all have to do with a piece of land once known as Sycamore Row?

In Sycamore Row, John Grisham returns to the setting and the compelling characters that first established him as America’s favorite storyteller. Here, in his most assured and thrilling novel yet, is a powerful testament to the fact that Grisham remains the master of the legal thriller, nearly twenty-five years after the publication of A Time to Kill."

The plot is intricate and fresh. Both my mom and her friend loved it because it was set in the old south and both the characters and the plot were interesting. Both also loved it because it wasn't set in a big city and the characters seemed like ordinary people.There were good people to root for. 

DUST by Patricia Cornwell

This book starts right after the shooting tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut and is about Kay Scarpetta dealing with a serial killer. 

Here is a description of the book from Kim Hammond: 
"Dust by Patricia Cornwell features Massachusetts Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, trying to unravel a posed corpse's impossible death while her FBI-profiler husband involves her in the case of D.C.'s sexual predator, the Capital Murderer."
The dust in the title refers to florescent dust found on the bodies of the victims. They both liked this book because of the way the plot kept moving forward and wasn't as technical as some of Cornwell's book. Even though both of them thought it was a long book before they started, it didn't seem long once they were in the midst reading.

IDENTICAL by Scott Turow

Currently number one on the best seller charts, IDENTICAL is about identical twins. Here's the jacket copy:

"State Senator Paul Giannis is a candidate for Mayor of Kindle County. His identical twin brother Cass is newly released from prison, 25 years after pleading guilty to the murder of his girlfriend, Dita Kronon. When Evon Miller, an ex-FBI agent who is the head of security for the Kronon family business, and private investigator Tim Brodie begin a re-investigation of Dita's death, a complex web of murder, sex, and betrayal-as only Scott Turow could weave-dramatically unfolds..."

This book made their list because the of the intricate plot that was full of twists and turns. Some of these were so unpredictable, both of them admitting to gasping out loud as they read. Both of my mom and her friend would like Turow to write faster. 


  1. Your mom and her pal have excellent taste. I so want to read Sycamore Row that I actually gave copies to a few folks for Christmas in the hope that by the time my writing schedule lightens, they will all have finished it and I can "borrow" a copy.

    1. What an excellent plan. I will have to do that next year!