Best John Grisham Books

John Grisham worked as a criminal defense attorney before being regarded as the master of legal thrillers. His first book, “A Time to Kill,” was inspired by a real-life court case. Grisham’s second work, “The Firm,” catapulted him into the limelight and inspired him to pursue a career as a writer. 

John Grisham, in his book, The Rainmaker said,

“Don’t compromise yourself – you’re all you have.”

There are a lot of autobiographical themes in John Grisham’s writings. He then goes on to describe a seven-year-old farmer boy who aspires to be a baseball player. This was roughly akin to what John Grisham aspired to as a child in life. John has published a number of best-selling books in the categories of crime fiction, Southern Gothic, and, most notably, legal crime thrillers. Both nonfiction and short stories are available.

If readers want to sample any of Grisham’s work, here’s a list of some of the favorites. His writings, fortunately, do not have to be read in any specific order.

1: A Time for Mercy (Jake Brigance Book 3)

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  • Author: John Grisham
  • Publisher: Dell
  • Publication Date: October 13, 2020
  • Pages: 469

Book Description: Many Clanton residents want a speedy trial and the death penalty, but Brigance sees things differently. When he learns more about the case, he believes he must do everything possible to help Drew, who is sixteen years old.

Jake’s dedication to the truth jeopardizes his profession and his family’s safety. John Grisham’s most compelling courtroom drama to date is A Time for Mercy.

Book Author: Since his first book, “A Time to kill,” was published in 1988, John Grisham has been penning blockbuster after blockbuster. He has published 39 additional books in the subsequent decades, making him the clear king of legal thrillers.

His books have been translated into 42 languages and have sold over 300 million copies all over the world. Only three prominent writers have sold over 2 million copies on their first publication.

Our Opinion: I stayed up late last night reading and finished early today. Jake is one of my favorite characters, and I was delighted to see him again. I believe we will see another novel concerning Jake and the others in the future, as there are too many unresolved concerns.

2: Sycamore Row: A Novel (Jake Brigance Book 2)

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  • Author: John Grisham
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • Publication Date: October 22, 2013
  • Pages: 468

Book Description: Jake Brigance finds himself engaged in a landmark trial that uncovers a painful lot of racial strife, as John Grisham returns to the legendary location of his first novel, A Time to Kill. The second, on the other hand, will create many more questions than it answers.

Why would Hubbard leave his maid nearly all of his fortune? Has his capacity to think clearly been harmed by chemotherapy and painkillers? What does all of this have to do with a plot of land known as Sycamore Row?

Our Opinion: Once more, John Grisham has outdone himself. I strongly advise you to add this book to your personal collection.

3: The Guardians: A Novel

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  • Author: John Grisham
  • Publisher: Dell
  • Publication Date: October 15, 2019
  • Pages: 386

Book Description: A lawyer was shot and died at his desk twenty-two years before, and his old client, Quincy Miller, was caught by police. Quincy is now appealing his case with Guardian Ministries, a ministry that aims to reverse the convictions of innocent people.

Cullen Post, the prosecutor in charge, analyzes Quincy’s case and uncovers a frightening group of individuals who are complicit in the murder all those years ago and are willing to kill once more.

Our Opinion: I had doubts about The Guardians because of The Rooster Bar and Reckoning. I’m glad I bought the book because I thoroughly enjoyed it.

4: Camino Winds

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  • Author: John Grisham
  • Publisher: Dell
  • Publication Date: April 28, 2020
  • Pages: 312

Book Description: In John Grisham’s latest book, Camino Winds, an odd group of wonder and criminal writers, some of whom are felons, explore one of their coworkers who has been killed in the midst of a major storm, the ideal crime scene.

Because the authorities are concerned with the aftermath of the storm, the authors decide to solve the mystery on their own, in the type of crazy but clever caper that Grisham’s fans alike. Camino Winds is a fascinating beach read and an engaging adventure.

Our Opinion: Camino Island was one of my favorite places in the world. When I first heard about Camino Winds, I was ecstatic. I am not dissatisfied, quite the contrary.

5: Sooley: A Novel

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  • Author: John Grisham
  • Publisher: Doubleday
  • Publication Date: April 27, 2021
  • Pages: 354

Book Description: Samuel Sooleymon, an NBA-bound player, is the hero of A Novel. As he aspires for a better life, he relates anecdotes about his battles with poverty and war.

The novel delves into problems that the majority of Americans will never face, but everyone can connect to wanting happiness and success in their own unique way. Sooley brings John Grisham’s unrivaled narrative abilities to a whole new level.

Our Opinion: Studying this John Grisham book took me by shock. I mean, the man is a fantastic narrator who never fails to entertain, but I felt like this was a departure from his regular approach.

6: Gray Mountain: A Novel

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  • Author: John Grisham
  • Publisher: Dell
  • Publication Date: October 21, 2014
  • Pages: 474

Book Description: John Grisham is returning with another nail-biter set in West Virginia’s coal country’s remote Appalachian setting. Samantha, a lawyer from the big city, relocates to Brady after being hired as legal counsel for a mining firm.

Samantha quickly finds herself immersed in litigation that turns fatal and ruthlessly exposes local secrets while facing her own personal problems, set against the breathtaking background of Appalachia coal country, where communities are violently divided and laws are frequently disregarded.

Our Opinion: It was an incredible book for me, with a pair of plot twists to maintain me guessing. Unlike some critics, I found this book to be quite enjoyable.

7: Camino Island: A Novel

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  • Author: John Grisham
  • Publisher: Dell
  • Publication Date: June 6, 2017
  • Pages: 370

Book Description: A band of burglars pulls off a daring heist from the Firestone Library vault beneath Princeton University. Bruce Cable runs a successful bookstore in Santa Rosa, a quiet tourist town on Florida’s Camino Island.

Mercer Mann is a young novelist who has recently been laid off from her teaching job due to a severe case of writer’s block.

An elegant, intriguing woman representing an even more mysterious company approaches her. A lucrative financial offer persuades Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Cable’s circle of literary buddies in order to get close to the ringleader and learn his secrets. But Mercer soon learns far too much, and trouble arises in paradise.

Our Opinion: This novel is thrilling, engaging, and entertaining. This book took me nearly no time to finish. It was impossible for me to put it down.

8: The Racketeer: A Novel

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  • Author: John Grisham
  • Publisher: Dell
  • Publication Date: October 23, 2012
  • Pages: 353

Book Description: It’s a crime and punishment epic about a man who goes rogue in the corridors of justice. Former U.S. Attorney Malcolm Bannister watched his own office turn on him for crimes he didn’t do, but now the threat to his life is more than personal.

it’s extortion from thugs who seem to be able to do whatever they want, whenever they want, to whomever they want if they can get away with it. So Malcolm only has one option, and that is vengeance.

Our Opinion: This book, like most of the Grisham works I’ve read, was fantastic. I didn’t try to guess the finish and instead appreciated where the story took me.

9: The Reckoning: A Novel

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  • Author: John Grisham
  • Publisher: Dell
  • Publication Date: October 23, 2018
  • Pages: 435

Book Description: In 1946, World War II hero Pete Banning returns a changed man, packing his wife off to a mental institution and murdering the town’s popular Methodist minister, refusing to explain either crime. His most powerful, shocking, and thrilling thriller to date is The Reckoning.

Our Opinion: I’ve read all of Mr. Grisham’s books and eagerly anticipate each new release. But none have piqued my interest quite like The Reckoning.

10: The Rooster Bar

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  • Author: John Grisham
  • Publisher: Dell
  • Publication Date: October 24, 2017
  • Pages: 376

Book Description: Mark, Todd, and Zola came to law school with the goal of changing the world for the better. These close pals discover they’ve been tricked now that they’re third-year students. They all took out large loans to attend a poor third-tier for-profit legal school whose graduates seldom pass the bar test, let alone find excellent jobs.

And when they discover that their school is part of a network run by a sleazy New York hedge-fund operator who also owns a student-loan bank, they realize they’ve been duped by The Great Law School Scam.

Our Opinion: He knows how to write a suspenseful, intriguing, and engaging thriller, and this one is no exception. I had a great time reading it, as I always do, and I’m looking forward to reading his next book.

11: A Time to Kill: A Novel

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  • Author: John Grisham
  • Publisher: Dell
  • Publication Date: March 9, 2010
  • Pages: 672

Book Description: Two intoxicated and remorseless white males wreck the life of a ten-year-old black girl. Clanton, Mississippi, a predominantly white town, reacts with shock and outrage to the horrific crime until the girl’s father obtains an assault rifle and takes justice into his own hands. 

For ten days, the nation watches in awe as defense attorney Jake Brigance fights to preserve his client’s life, then his own, while burning crosses and sniper fire rage through Clanton’s streets.

Our Opinion: All have a book they’ve been meaning to read but haven’t yet. For me, A Time to kill was that novel.

12: The Litigators

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  • Author: John Grisham
  • Publisher: Dell
  • Publication Date: October 25, 2011
  • Pages: 401

Book Description: Like the rest of John Grisham’s work, “The Litigators” isn’t what it seems, and things get more complicated by the page. Millions of people have been attracted by the story of David Zinc and the repercussions and joys of becoming engaged in a $25 billion class-action lawsuit.

When a desperate and unemployed guy is offered the chance to become wealthy through a lawsuit that may net him millions of dollars, he takes it without hesitation.

Our Opinion: I bought this book on Kindle and had a terrific time with both the tale and the eccentric characters. I don’t believe I’ve ever read any writer who can create and follow such a compelling cast of characters.

13: The Broker: A Novel

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  • Author: John Grisham
  • Publisher: Dell
  • Publication Date: March 9, 2010
  • Pages: 482

Book Description: The Broker is set in the Italian city of Bologna and revolves on the CIA, a presidential pardon, and a good deal of international intrigue.

The Broker appears to be merely Bologna’s tour guide, with a detailed description of meals, sites, and a romantic subplot that leads nowhere, despite the fact that it has much of the maneuvering, tension, and intrigue seen in some of Grisham’s best writings.

Our Opinion: This book is indicative of John Grisham’s brilliance, which only an author of his caliber can give. He admits at the conclusion of his research notes that he understands nothing about technology or espionage, but that just serves to demonstrate Mr. Grisham’s incredibly innovative mind.

14: A Painted House: A Novel

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  • Author: John Grisham
  • Publisher: Dell
  • Publication Date: March 9, 2010
  • Pages: 482

Book Description: Luke Chandler had never held a secret or told a lie in his life until that September of 1952. However, during his seventh year’s long, hot summer, two groups of migrant workers and two very dangerous guys traveled through the Arkansas Delta to work on the Chandler cotton field.

Luke’s world is now filled with secrets. The village is rife with rumors and suspicions after a horrible murder. The fascinating story of one boy’s journey from innocence to experience is told in A Painted House.

Our Opinion: This is clearly a departure from Grisham’s usual fare. He has such a terrific sense of writing that this was totally delightful, regardless of the subject matter.

GUIDE: John Grisham’s name is synonymous with gripping legal thrillers. He is the author of more than forty books that have sold 275 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 42 languages. It can be tough to decide where to begin studying John Grisham’s novels with so many on the market. 

A Time to Kill was originally ranked first since it was the one that started it all and tackled some challenging subject matter, but it has far too many flaws to be worthy of the top spot. It starts off with a scary introduction and doesn’t let up until the last page, however it rambles at points and gets in its own way.

Still, the story of Jake Brigance and his motley crew of supporters taking on the KKK, the National Guard, and the legal system is both inspired and motivated, and it would be the standard by which all later Grisham novels would be judged.

This is the debut novel by John Grisham. A Time to Kill went on to become a best-selling novel a few years later. If anyone wants to get into John Grisham’s books, here is the greatest place to start.

FAQs:

Which of John Grisham’s books is the most famous?

John Grisham’s novel “A Time to kill” has the highest overall rating. A Time to Kill is John Grisham’s first novel, published in 1989.

What things should be kept in mind while reading John Grisham books?

When looking for a book authored by him, bear the following in mind: Make a decision about what readers want to study, thrillers about the law, Mystery, series, and short stories.

What is the title of John Grisham’s most recent book?

‘A Time for Mercy,’ printed by Hodder & Stoughton, is scheduled to be released on October 13, 2020.

What is the first name of John Grisham?

John Ray Grisham Jr. is the first name of John Grisham.

Why are Grisham’s books so popular?

The legal thrillers written by John Grisham are the best. The writer’s courtroom dramas take readers behind closed doors, beyond the tedious paperwork, and right to the heart of twisted, high-stakes cases, from hate-crime murders to weird dive mishaps. There’s also the gratification of seeing justice done.

Is it necessary to read all of John Grisham’s novels in sequence?

These stand-alone works by John Grisham (in the legal genre) can be read in any sequence, although particularly like the analytical option of reading them in order of publication date.

 

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