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The Brethren : The CIA at its mightiest June 28, 2011

Posted by cmfry in Books, Reviews.
Tags: , , ,
Cover of "The Brethren"

Cover of The Brethren

I’ve been reading a heck of a lot of non-fiction in the past 3 years. So it was high time I started reading something that was different, yet just as stimulating. And what better an author to read than John Grisham.

The Brethren‘s plot is based on 3 judges, who through various twists of fate, all land up at Trumble Federal Prison in Florida. While serving their time, they set up court inside the prison and hear all sorts of cases, and dispense justice among the inmates as if they were authorised to do so.

They also run a sideline business of a mail scam using a pseudonym of a gay inmate at a drug rehab facility. This scam seems to be working well, and the money starts rolling in think and fast, with the help of a dead-beat lawyer on the outside who facilitates the mail and collects the wires of money.

Until they net the wrong man.

Inadvertently, they catch the front runner in the race for the President of the United States of America. And Aaron Lake, previously a low-profile congressman, is backed by the CIA and very rich and very powerful organisations, who put him on a ticket of doubling defense spending in an increasingly volatile world. He rises from obscurity late in the primaries, to being virtually assured of the White House in less than 7 months. But his little secret of replying to Ricky threatens to scupper the entire campaign to put him in the Oval Office. Something that Teddy Maynard, director of the CIA and chief architect of world events, cannot afford to happen.

Soon enough, the CIA leave no stone unturned in tracking down the triumvirate, and what ensues is a masterful plot of connivery, suspense, reconnaissance and deception that is truly believable and  makes this book a page-turner of note.

I’m not entirely sure if John Grisham meant this (although I won’t be surprised if he did), but he very clinically demonstrates the might of the CIA in manipulating events anywhere at anytime on the planet to satisfy its own ends. The scene of the terrorist bombing in Egypt is so well written, it would not seem out of place on the front page of a leading news site in today’s age. His portrayal of their might is magnificent as much as it is scary.

If you want to read a well-written suspense thriller that will keep you hooked all the way….




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