Reading Grisham at this stage of his writing career is like going home to visit relatives at Thanksgiving for roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and roast potato dinner. You’ve sat down to eat it for the past 25 years just because that’s what everyone does, no matter if you even like or enjoy it.
This isn’t even really a novel; as Grisham himself states, it’s just a half-remembered, rumoured anecdote from the limited time he spent in public service. The entire middle section is entirely superfluous and we care nothing for the characters in a story that has no rising action, tension or climax.
It’s not a novel. It’s not even decently prepared roast beef.
Connelly wisely transitions away from his steadfast go-to Harry Bosch, who has grown tired, cliched and repetitive. Det. Ballard is a welcome addition. One can hope she will turn out as well as Connelly’s other “newer” additions, Mickey Haller and Terry McCaleb , did.
Furst provides us a grim reminder of how even the commonest of people’s lives were upturned and capsized by the base, selfish actions of European despots as the events leading to WWII unfolded around their legs.
It should give us pause to remember how much of the world’s populace still lives such capricious lives today, and a stark reminder of how fragile the system put in place in the post-war West, one that provided peace and prosperity for close to 100 years, could just as quickly unravel, as today’s modern leaders once again put their personal selfish needs above the world’s.