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Camino Island

(Camino Island #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  110,350 ratings  ·  9,304 reviews
A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a vault deep below Princeton University's Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, impossible to resist.

Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabble
Hardcover, 290 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Doubleday
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Wil A. Emerson You are not alone..i loved the opening..thought it had all the necessary intrigue..then Mercer came into view...tumbling off the Harlequin book shelf.…moreYou are not alone..i loved the opening..thought it had all the necessary intrigue..then Mercer came into view...tumbling off the Harlequin book shelf. Who wrote this for Grisham? And what a sloppy ending...(less)
Jean A Reahm Fast read. Finished it today. Enjoyed every word.

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  110,350 ratings  ·  9,304 reviews

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Tom LA
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Back with another new novel, John Grisham seeks to expand his horizons with a story free of much legalese, but with the slightest hint of some criminal activity. A heist at one of Princeton's libraries puts a number of original F. Scott Fitzgerald's manuscripts in the hands of some career criminals. Quick-acting FBI agents are able to scoop up two of the five, but the others are still in hiding, along with the manuscripts. When one is rumoured to have surfaced at a small book shop on Camino Isla ...more
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Your secrets are safe. I can't think of a soul I would want to tell."

And these secrets are within a crime. A jumbo, over-the-top, kick in the door of modern literature, and pull down the shades type of heist. Dollar signs that even have dollar signs.

When a group of well-rehearsed thieves make their way into the tombs of Princeton's lower vaulted depths, they come away with a golden grail in the form of original hand-written manuscripts of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Miraculously, they stage enough div
I enjoyed this more than some other recent John Grisham novels I have read. Many parts of it were 3 stars and many parts were 4 stars. I will compromise at 3.5 stars (but round up to 4 on the official scale – since I have been so harsh on Grisham lately!)

The main appeal of this book is that books are central to the theme. Hardcore readers – which most of you probably are – will appreciate the discussion of bookstore business/politics, book values, first edition collecting, and book heists. All o
Jun 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
I got like 140 pages in and did a lot of eye rolling, skipped ahead to read the ending and then rolled my eyes one last time and moved on.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a fun summer read!

I haven't read a John Grisham book since the 90s, but I picked up Camino Island after seeing a positive review. I was intrigued because the story is a departure from Grisham's usual legal thrillers. The plot is that priceless manuscripts by F. Scott Fitzgerald were stolen from a Princeton library, and the hunt is on to catch the thieves and save the papers.

The novel starts off with a thrill as we watch the gang of thieves go about the heist. (As a librarian and also as som
j e w e l s
I know it's been a few (several?) years since I read Grisham, but, my gosh, he has changed! Often accused of cranking out legal thrillers and following a specific formula, maybe he wanted to depart to a simpler, softer, more feminine style. If that was his intention, he succeeded!

I found the subject matter very entertaining, otherwise I probably would not have finished it. The "mystery" not much of a mystery at all revolves around some stolen manuscripts that are worth millions in the literary w
Jul 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Seldom has such a good premise and beginning of a novel fallen as far and as fast as this. The story languishes with not one, but two inept agencies looking for perpetrators, despite apprehending some immediately. The weak and incomplete ending finishes this bottomless piece. 0 of 10 stars
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Every time I read a book by John Grisham, I am consistently reminded of what a great storyteller he is. His style is compact, direct and to the point, and pulls you in immediately. I wasn’t 10 pages into his new book “Camino Island” and I knew that I would be spending most of the day focused on reading it. The good news is that it was worth it.

Rather than focusing on lawyers, it takes aim at the world of bookstores, publishing, and writers. It begins with a skillful heist of five John F. Fitzger
Joe Kellett
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
This isn't a "John Grisham book", it's a bit of froth. It's starts off well with The Heist (that's not a spoiler it's the title of the first chapter). Then it descends into aimless meanderings among the colony of authors on the island. Almost zero suspense. Absolutely zero "thrills". The ending was phoned in.

If you want an extremely gentle ride through the soporific world of book authors then it will be good I suppose. Otherwise grab a different Grisham book (I'm a huge fan by the way).

To be fa
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: book lovers & Grisham fans
This book went down smooth and easy. I almost gave this 5 stars. I had a blast reading this story about reading and bookselling. It took 2 days to get through this.

It's been awhile since I've read anything by John Grisham. I think his Painted House was the last I read of his. I started out reading his novels in high school and read each one until the late 90s or into the aughts. I got tired of the law stories. I listened, during the COVID quarantine, to a Stephen King Podcast he and John did to
Jun 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Allow the author to help with this review. Starting on page 237 to 238, one of his cardboard cutout characters, gives advice on how to right a good book/bestseller:

"I'll give any book a hundred pages, and if by then the writer can't hold my attention i'll put it away. There are too many good books I want to read to waste time with a bad one."

Geez. Should've taken this advice.

What a boring, uneventful, tritely written .... well, what? Yeah. What was this? A thriller? A veiled hat tip to Grisham's
Camino Island was a disappointment. This is really just a beach read. Not much substance. I really didn’t care for the audiobook. The narrator had an uninteresting voice and I didn’t like her style. Maybe the book was better to read rather than listening to? I continued on as it was only 7 cds.

I’m giving up on Grisham. As everyone on Goodreads, my TBR list is extensive and there are many higher caliber books to get going on.

3 out of 5 stars.
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If I could change the title, I think I'd rename it Anatomy of a Heist. The writing is very matter-of-fact - nothing very thrilling or exciting - that begins with the theft of five one-of-a-kind F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts from the bowels of the Princeton University Firestone Library. From there, it follows the day-to-day (often minute-by-minute) lives of the thieves and those who want to find them and bring the manuscripts back to their rightful home. It's divided into sections, each of whic ...more
Larry H
Jul 14, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

When a major literary theft occurs, who better to help investigate than a writer?

Thieves steal five highly valuable manuscripts from Princeton’s Firestone Library. The authorities are determined to find out what happened to them and hopefully get them back.

Mercer Mann is a novelist with writer’s block and a mountain of debt. She is approached by a woman seeking her help. She wants Mercer to move into her grandmother’s house on Camino Island and help investigate the local bookstore owne
Jun 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
Seldom has such a good premise and beginning of a novel fallen as far and as fast as this. The story languishes with not one, but two inept agencies looking for perpetrators, despite apprehending some immediately. The weak and incomplete ending finishes this bottomless piece. 0 of 10 stars
William McLoughlin
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
1. Grisham is one of my favorite authors.
2. I have read all 37 of his previous works listed in the front of this novel.
3. Every one of them has been a good story; many were great.
4. His characters, stories, and writing pull you right in and along.
5. I have hardcover copies of all of his works.
6. I usually purchase them the first day they go on sale.
7. I often read them in one sitting.
8. I read this one in one sitting and enjoyed it very much.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it

“All trails become dead ends.”

“Camino Island” is the first John Grisham I have read in a long while. With its focus on rare books, valuable manuscripts, cool bookstores, and expensive first editions of famous texts, this novel is a beach read for book lovers. If you don’t try to force it to be more than that you will enjoy it. If you try to make this text be more than it is capable of being, you will roll your eyes a lot. And that is your own fault.
Grisham gives his story a sexy rogue of a crimi
Kasa Cotugno
As close to chicklit as Grisham could get (accomplished woman in dire straits is only person in the world who can help the FBI nail their man). But the writing is trademark crisp, and who wouldn't love a story where the mcguffin is the original manuscript for The Great Gatsby. ...more
While this was a much better book than Grisham's recent efforts (e.g. "Rogue Lawyer") it still is not at the same level as his earlier books (e.g. "A Time To Kill", "The Chamber"). In some ways this reminded me of "Gray Mountain". A female lead who is suddenly out of a job and finds herself in changed circumstances. This is not a thriller or page turner. This is not about race or the death penalty or any other theme to make you stop and think. This would make a nice beach read.

The story opens wi
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
     This was an entertaining summer beach read, with none of Grisham's usual courtroom legal drama. There is no mystery for the reader to solve, only for the reader to see how this drama will all play out.
     Thieves steal F. Scott Fitzgerald's priceless  original manuscripts from Princeton University.   Princeton had these priceless manuscripts insured for 25 million. Princeton's insurance company sets out to recover the manuscripts, to keep from paying out.
    Mercer Mann is a broke young
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't read John Grisham novels often, legal thrillers are not really my thing. But, this is more of a crime novel. It makes me realize, I may be missing out, Mr. Grisham is a great writer. I've seen the movies, but his books have eluded me.

I loved everything about this story! It provided a look into a world I enjoy visiting, but know little about. This is a tale about book stores, books, and trafficking of stolen tomes and manuscripts. It's gripping, engaging, and quite entertaining.

Grab a c
Michael Slavin
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book starts off great with a robbery of the Fitzgerald original manuscripts from Princeton, a very good action sequence. Then to me the story slowed down for a short while when it was setting up the rest of the book. But then it got very comfortable with a cozy pace in an environment of a group of authors in small seaside community and their local bookstore with the colorful owners who love authors.

I so enjoyed their meetings, their suppers, and their conversation, I couldn't wait to get back an
James Thane
May 14, 2019 rated it liked it
When a gang of clever thieves breaks into a vault deep in the bowels of the Firestone Library at Princeton University, the prize is five original manuscripts from the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald, including The Great Gatsby. The collection is priceless, and the problem, of course, is how to safely dispose of it while making a fortune in the process.

Naturally, Princeton would very much like to have the manuscripts back, and the initial F.B.I. investigation into the thefts yields some results but
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
In one of my book groups just now many of us have been feeling a bit in a book reading rut or slump lately, me included. I've had trouble focusing on books, but audiobooks usually keep me going. At all times I am reading an audiobook, a regular book, and an ebook. I know I said audiobooks have kept me in the groove, but John Grisham and Camino Island went above and beyond here. (And the other two books I'm reading right now appear to be above par for me as well, so hopefully, slump over -- ?!?! ...more
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars. It's been a long time since I've read John Grisham because the books all started to sound the same. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. ...more
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a stand alone by the author and not a legal mystery. The first 80 pages or so set up the plot. Chapter 1 is about a theft of 5 original F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts from Princeton University.
Chapter 2 is about a bookstore owner, Bruce Cable, on Camino Island, Florida, near Jacksonville.
Chapter 3, titled "The Recruit" is about an unemployed writer, Mercer Mann, recruited by a representative of the insurance company that is on the hook for $25 million. They want Mercer to go to Camin
Princeton University houses five valuable manuscripts--all the originals of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels. They are housed in the basement under a veil of security, but not enough to stop a band of clever thieves from breaking in and stealing them. This sets loose a chain of events and angers both the FBI, who is trying to track down the criminals, and the insurance company, as they are on the hook for $25 million unless the manuscripts are returned. Meanwhile, on touristy Camino Island, Bruce Ca ...more
Karl Jorgenson
May 21, 2021 rated it it was ok
Nobody so popular produces such a mix of duds and gems. This one is mostly dud; Grisham really phoned it in. Voice: he insists on giving us the dramatic action scene to start the story in 'tell' mode, skimming along as the sophisticated crooks do everything perfectly and steal Fitzgerald's manuscripts from Princeton University. Yay! A perfectly planned crime that goes off without a hitch! I don't care about the bad guys, who get almost no live scenes, and I haven't met the good guys. So we jump ...more
♥ Sandi ❣
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to ♥ Sandi ❣ by: Dah! ~ It's John Grisham
4 stars

There is not a lot that I can say about John Grisham that I have not already said in other reviews. He is one of my favorite authors. I especially like his attorney/crime novels, however this particular book is not status quo. This book does contain a crime - but no court room and the criminals, prisoners and attorneys are mentioned briefly. I am not a fan of most of Grisham's non-legal novels, however I did enjoy this one.
It seems that crime does sometimes pay. The theft of some origin
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Red herring? 10 181 Jun 05, 2021 02:39AM  
Kindle Book Club ...: February 2021 Book Discussions, SPOILER ALERT, Camino Island, Reading Complete 5 12 Feb 11, 2021 04:27PM  
Kindle Book Club ...: February 2021 Book Discussion, Camino Island, Reading in Progress 18 9 Feb 11, 2021 04:14PM  
Punta Gorda Page ...: This topic has been closed to new comments. January 24, 2019 book 4 15 Jan 24, 2019 09:12AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Correction 1 17 Sep 16, 2018 01:26PM  
Vampires, Weres a...: Camino Island 16 23 Aug 26, 2018 02:37PM  

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"Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of

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