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They call themselves the Brethren: three disgraced former judges doing time in a Florida federal prison. One was sent up for tax evasion. Another, for skimming bingo profits. And the third, for a career-ending drunken joyride. Meeting daily in the prison law library, taking exercise walks in their boxer shorts, these judges-turned-felons can reminisce about old court cases, dispense a little jailhouse justice, and contemplate where their lives went wrong.

Or they can use their time in prison to get very rich -- very fast.

And so they sit, sprawled in the prison library, furiously writing letters, fine-tuning a wickedly brilliant extortion scam...while events outside their prison walls begin to erupt. A bizarre presidential election is holding the nation in its grips -- and a powerful government figure is pulling some very hidden strings. For the Brethren, the timing couldn't be better.

Because they've just found the perfect victim...

Product Details

About the Author

John Grisham is the author of The Testament, The Street Lawyer, The Partner, The Runaway Jury, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, The Client, The Pelican Brief, The Firm, and A Time to Kill.

Reviews

No, they're not monks but three former judges in a minimum security prison who meet in the law library and scheme to make money. But then one of their schemes gets them in trouble with someone on the outside who is very, very powerful. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Only a few megaselling authors of popular fiction deviate dramatically from formula--most notably Stephen King but recently Grisham, too. He's serializing a literary novel, A Painted House, in the Oxford American; his last thriller (The Testament) emphasized spirituality as intensely as suspense; and his deeply absorbing new novel dispenses with a staple not only of his own work but of most commercial fiction: the hero. The novel does feature three antiheroes of a sort, the brethren of the title, judges serving time in a federal prison in Florida for white-collar offenses. They're a hard bunch to root for, though, as their main activity behind bars is running a blackmail scheme in which they bait, hook and squeeze wealthy, closeted gay men through a magazine ad supposedly placed by "Ricky," a young incarcerated gay looking for companionship. Then there's the two-bit alcoholic attorney who's abetting them by running their mail and depositing their dirty profits in an overseas bank. Scarcely more appealing is the big fish the trio snare, Congressman Anthony Lake, who meanwhile is busy selling his lifelong integrity when the director of the CIA offers to lever him into the White House in exchange for a doubling of federal defense spending upon Lake's inauguration. The expertly orchestrated and very complex plot follows these evildoers through their illicit enterprises, devoting considerable attention to the CIA's staging of Lake's presidential campaign and even more to that agency's potentially lethal pursuit of the brethren once it learns that the three are threatening to out candidate Lake. Every personage in this novel lies, cheats, steals and/or kills, and while Grisham's fans may miss the stalwart lawyer-heroes and David vs. Goliath slant of his earlier work, all will be captivated by this clever thriller that presents as crisp a cast as he's yet devised, and as grippingly sardonic yet bitingly moral a scenario as he's ever imagined. Agent, David Gernert. 2.8 million first printing. (Feb. 1) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"Gripping ... engaging and fast-paced ... will hook you from the first page and won't let you go."--"New York Post""A crackerjack tale."--"Entertainment Weekly""Fast-paced and action-packed...you'll be thoroughly entertained."--"New Orleans Times-Picayune""The plot is as up-to-date as tomorrow's newspaper, with allusions to presidential polls and debates, campaign financing, money laundering and offshore financial finagling.... Add to these tantalizing ingredients the steady action, with some clever surprises." --"The New York Times"A Main Selection of the Doubleday Book Club, the Literary Guild, and the Mystery Guild " Gripping ... engaging and fast-paced ... will hook you from the first page and won't let you go." -- "New York Post" " A crackerjack tale." -- "Entertainment Weekly" " Fast-paced and action-packed...you'll be thoroughly entertained." -- "New Orleans Times-Picayune" " The plot is as up-to-date as tomorrow's newspaper, with allusions to presidential polls and debates, campaign financing, money laundering and offshore financial finagling.... Add to these tantalizing ingredients the steady action, with some clever surprises." -- "The New York Times" A Main Selection of the Doubleday Book Club, the Literary Guild, and the Mystery Guild

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