John Ray Grisham Jr. is a multitalented novelist from the United States who is also a politician, attorney, and activist. The author is most famous for his legal thrillers. His works have been translated into 42 languages already and he is no doubt one of the best authors of the United States. Well, not just the United Nations but his works have a global level recognition.
The 65 years old writer has gifted us with one of the greatest novels ever written in the field of literature. He is a known personality worldwide especially because of his legal thrillers and he has sold more than 300 million copies worldwide.
The author has written around 40 books in his career and most of them are standalone novels. Readers who didn’t get the chance yet to get their hands on John Grisham novels should know that they are missing out on something special.
If you are starting to read the author’s novels there are plenty to read but the trick is to know the best ones to start with. We have created a whole list for you of the best novels ever written by John Grisham. They are great novels to start with if you have not already read any of the author’s work before.
Some of The Best John Grisham Books are Listed Below:
1. The Firm
The Firm is the best selling novel by John Grisham. The legal thriller was released in the year 1991 and it gained the author wide popularity among the readers. The book is about a young boy who is brilliant and ambitious named Mitch McDeere. The boy is top of his class at Harvard Law School and is looking for a good job.
Finally, he gets a well-paid job that he believes is the right option for him to grow and succeed. The job is at the law firm of Bendini, Lambert, and Locke. But soon his dream job becomes his worst nightmare as the tagline from the book suggests.
His life is in danger but he must help the FBI as he has no other choice left. This is the book that got John Grisham fame in his early career and it proved to be a best seller.
2. A Time To Kill
A Time To Kill is the first novel ever written by the writer. Published in the year 1988, the novel took a long time to get accepted by the publishers. Many publishing companies at first rejected the novel and Wynwood Press finally accepted the book and published it.
Even though his first legal thriller was not an instant hit but that didn’t stop John Grisham from showcasing his talent in the said genre and later he became wildly famous for the same. Since his second novel ‘The Firm’ his legal thrillers gained significant recognition and readers started following his work.
Interestingly enough, after the success of his second book, his first book then got republished and then became the national bestseller. Also, you would be surprised to know ‘A Time to Kill’ also has a theatre adaptation of the same name that did pretty good on the box office as well.
The book is based on a real-life story. It revolves around a 12-year-old rape survivor and the book features courtroom testimony by the victim.
3. The Rainmaker
This is the third book in the list that is somewhere related to courtroom drama or a law firm which is only acceptable as John Grisham is a lawyer himself so the presence of this element in his book is understood. The book was released in the year 1995 and it is basically based on the life of a lawyer.
Rudy Baylor is the newly qualified lawyer who is quite an underdog. The book will show you how this young lawyer takes on a major insurance company. This is the sixth novel written by the writer which features a different writing style. If you are looking for a quick and enjoyable read, this book is the one. The book has a film made on its concept of the same name.
4. Camino Island
Camino Island which was published in the year 2017 is different from his regular legal thrillers. The book is pretty different and is quite a good beach read. Instead of focusing on the main subjects of John Grisham’s legal thrillers, the book focuses on stolen rare books.
The story of the book revolves around a gang of thieves. The thieves who are planning to attack Princeton University and stole some priceless rare books. The books are kept in a deep secure vault in the Princeton Univerity’s library named firestone library.
The university has insured the books for twenty-five million dollars. The fast-paced mystery is a great read and it will definitely keep you hooked until the very end.
5. The Runaway Jury
The Runaway Jury is the seventh novel written by the writer that was published in the year 1996. The theatre adaptation of the book was released in the year 2003 with the same name. The book is again based on a courtroom trial. It features a landmark tobacco trial in a court in Biloxi, Mississippi.
The story in the book takes a mysterious turn when one of the jury members starts acting absurdly and bizarrely. The act that seems like an attempt to sabotage is further investigated. At this point in the book, a young woman is introduced who claims to know all the answers concerned with it. But only time will tell the actual truth.
6. The Rooster Bar
The Rooster Bar was published in the year 2017. The legal thriller revolves around the lives of Mark, Todd and Zola, the three law students. The law students soon discover that they have been deceived. They are already in a huge student loan debt and their college is also not-so-good types.
The law school that they are studying in is run by a hedge-fund operator based in New York. Now when they find out that it is the same co-operation that runs a bank specializing in student loans, they realize that they have been a part of this huge scam. The school as well as the bank both cheated them and they are caught up in the Great Law School Scam.
Now read this story at these three law students tries to expose their scam. Their daily meeting about it takes place at a place called The Rooster Bar and hence the name.
7. Ford County
Ford County was released in the year 2009, it is the collection of novelettes by John Grisham. The book is his first collection of stories, it features stories about Ford county and the lives of people living there and the crimes that happen at the place. The brilliant book is excellently written and captures the beauty of America’s south in the perfect manner.
The book contains 7 short stories, namely, Blood Drive; Fetching Raymond; Fish Files; Casino; Michael’s Room; Quiet Haven; Funny Boy. Each story is different from the other and provides a different storyline.
8. The Client
The Client is again a legal thriller written by the author which was published in the year 1993. The mystery novel has a theatre adaptation of the same name which was published in the year 1994. The theme of the book is set in Tennessee and Louisiana. The story is about an eleven years old boy named Mark Sway who stumbles upon important information concerned with the murder of a famous politician.
His lawyer is the only person who is concerned with the safety of the boy and wants to protect from all the unwanted attention from the Mob as well as the FBI. The life of the boy is in danger as he carries vital information about the murder, now you will find out in the book if the lawyer is capable of saving his life.
9. Calico Joe
Calico Joe was published in the year 2012. The book is a combination of the genre fact and fiction. Calico Joe features the actual teams such as the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets, also, the story introduces fictional characters in the book.
The book is full of sentiments and emotions. It contains elements such as hope, heartbreak, issues of family, endurance, etc. When the match between the two opposing teams brings Joe Castle and Warren Tracey against each other in the stadium, the crowd cheers Joe.
The son of Warren, Paul narrates the whole story and he already sensed that things are not going well. With this book, you will experience several emotions concerned with baseball and you will learn that it is always not about the thrill.
10. Sycamore Row
Sycamore Row that was published in the year 2013 is a sequel of the debut novel of John Grisham, A Time to Kill. The novel features Jake Brigance as the main character. The New York Times best-selling novel is set three years after the trial of the rape victim Carl Lee Hailey, from the book A Time to Kill.
The story revolves around the will left by Seth Hubbard. The man has committed suicide because of his terminal lung cancer that became too painful for him. And he has made a change in his will according to which his children will not receive any amount from the will.
His children who have not visited their father during his painful moments are very greedy and that is why Hubbard has left the case to Jake to make sure their children don’t change the will and inherit the money.
Jake Brigance who was the former attorney of Carl Lee Hailey has received a lot of respect and fame for his previous case and but during the trial of Hailey, the Klu Klux Klan has tried to intimidate him by burning his home. Jake is yet to see the insurance money and is truly broke at the moment.
11. The Testament
The Testament that was released in the year 1999 is an adventure story by the American writer. The story is about a billionaire named Troy Phelan. Troy Phelan who has recently committed suicide has left his fortune to his illegitimate daughter named Rachel Lane. This gives birth to a banging beginning that is about to take the book on an another level.
As soon as this happens, his six children are furious and are ready to start the legal battle with Rachel Lane. Now, this is where Nate O’Reilly is introduced. The semi-retired lawyer who is a recovering alcoholic starts his search to find Rachel.
Nate is in the Brazillian jungles, searching its depths to find Rachel from the Missionary life. The book is a great adventure book that features the Brazillian jungles and of course a quest.
12. A Painted House
A Painted House is a thriller by the Americal novelist that was published in the year 2001. The book was later converted into a television film in the year 2003. As we all know the author has established himself in the legal thriller genre but this book is the first major project of the author outside his expertise area.
The book is about Luke Chandler, a seven years old boy who lives in a small unpainted house with his parents and grandparents in the rented cotton fields. The boy often hears and sees some mysterious things that are shocking to him but he is bound to keep them a secret in order to make their lives stay as it is because the things that he knows could change everything forever.
The thrilling story about the little boy is a must-read and if you want to try some other works of John Grisham other than the legal thrillers, then this book is the one for you.
13. Rogue Lawyer
Another legal thriller on the list, the Rogue Lawyer was released in the year 2015. The book is about an unconventional street lawyer named Sebastian Rudd. The characterization of the main character is in such a way that you would be confused about whether Sebastian Rudd is a protagonist or an antagonist.
The successful legal thriller is one of the best reads written by John Grisham. The book stores mystery, thriller, suspense, all the elements to keep the readers hooked until the very end. The powerful characters in the story will acquire a piece of your mind forever.
As we have learned through this article, that the official best legal thriller writer of the United States had to face failure before the publication of the first book in the genre and even though it wasn’t an instant success he kept writing till he became successful. This shows us that John Grisham is not only a great writer but also a great inspiration whose life story teaches us that you have to believe in yourself even if the rest of the world doesn’t.
Later than, the author went on to write best after the best legal thriller and is recognized on the global level for the same. The author has established himself in the said genre pretty well but he has also written a few books outside the legal thrillers which are a pretty good read too.
If you haven’t read any of the author’s work yet and is wondering which one to start with, the above given are the greats ones to chose from. And if you have already read some of the author’s work before, do tell us know in the comment section which book you have read and how you liked it.
Also, we would be thrilled to receive your feedback on this article as well.