Book review: The Brethren

August 6, 2009

Title: The Brethren
Author: John Grisham
Pages: 441

I’ve always struggled with reviews of thrillers; how does one avoid giving away too much of the plot? So, for this book, i’ll restrict myself to paraphrasing the back cover and saying that is a good thriller. Trust me, good novels in the thriller genre are few and far between.

The Brethren tells the story of three ex-judges in a minimum-security prison. They get together to blackmail wealthy gay men who are still in the closet. They put ads in the classifields of a gay magazine claiming to be a young man soon to come out of drug rehab and looking for the companionship of a mature man.

The men who reply to the advertisement end up becoming pen-pals with who they think is a handsome young man. They soon start making mistakes and reveal their true identities. That is when the brethren threatens to expose their secret unless they pay up thousands of dollars.

Everything goes well and the judges are starting to making money from their scam until one day they ensnare a powerful man with dangerous friends.


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