Book Review | The Guardians by John Grisham

In graduate school my favorite classes were the forensics courses I took. I LOVED them. I knew a career in forensics wasn’t for me though, because I personally don’t deal well with blood. In graduate school we dealt with bone. Bone was something I was okay with which is why I pursued a career in archaeology.

Still, forensics always fascinated me. For our midterms and finals we were given a box of bones. We would have to identify the number of individuals, sex, and age. Solving puzzles with a little mystery was always exciting to me, which is why I think I gravitate towards books like The Guardians by John Grisham.

Book Review | The Guardians by John Grisham

Book Description

In the small Florida town of Seabrook, a young lawyer named Keith Russo was shot dead at his desk as he worked late one night. The killer left no clues. There were no witnesses, no one with a motive. But the police soon came to suspect Quincy Miller, a young black man who was once a client of Russo’s.

Quincy was tried, convicted, and sent to prison for life. For twenty-two years he languished in prison, maintaining his innocence.  But no one was listening.  He had no lawyer, no advocate on the outside. In desperation, he writes a letter to Guardian Ministries, a small nonprofit run by Cullen Post, a lawyer who is also an Episcopal minister.

Guardian accepts only a few innocence cases at a time.  Cullen Post travels the country fighting wrongful convictions and taking on clients forgotten by the system. With Quincy Miller, though, he gets far more than he bargained for. Powerful, ruthless people murdered Keith Russo, and they do not want Quincy Miller exonerated.

They killed one lawyer twenty-two years ago, and they will kill another without a second thought.

My Review

According to the Innocence Project, the percentage of U.S prisoners that are innocent is estimated to be between 2.3 and 5 percent. The Guardians, by John Grisham sheds light on the flaws in our legal system and how easy it can be for an innocent person to serve time.

While the book mainly focuses on the wrongful accusation of Quincy Miller, intertwined within the plot are additional innocent clients and their stories. I appreciated the amount of research and clarification that went into the legal process. It was helpful to understand how great of an undertaking it is to prove someone innocent who was wrongly accused.

I also enjoyed how John Grisham dove into the vast corruption involved in these cases. It was eye opening to see how many key players could be involved from corrupt lawyers, cops, prison guards, and prison gangs.

Overall, The Guardians, by John Grisham is an easy ready. It isn’t until about half way through that momentum picks up and starts to hook you. I wouldn’t say the book keeps you on the edge of your seat, but it is a great legal mystery.

Beyond the Book

The best part of this book that I never expected, was the Author’s Note at the back. John Grisham revealed part of the inspiration for this book came from Centurion Ministries. This organization helps exonerate innocent people from prison. The second I read they had a website I immediately jumped over and began reading the real life stories of the innocent people they were able to help. Not only was it fascinating, but it made me want to help. Truly help. There is so much wrong in this world and these poor people are serving a sentence for crimes they did not commit. If you have a moment to check them out, I highly recommend it.

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  1. It’s not the kind of book I normally enjoy but my bff loves these kinds of story, I’ll make sure to point it out the her

    1. It’s not for everyone, haha. Glad you have someone you know would enjoy it that you can suggest it to!

  2. This sounds like a great book! I have been reading a ton since I’ve been home so I might have to pick this up.

    1. Me too! I used to do so much reading before my son was born and it got put on the back burner. I’m finding myself with extra time now that we’re at home so I’ve been able to read more again. Loving it!

  3. I will look at Centurion Ministries. I haven’t heard of them before. This book also sounds really interesting. I will add it to my must read list.

    1. It’s fascinating what they do. Not an easy task, that’s for sure!

  4. I will give it a read. I used to love Grisham’s books but haven’t read one in a while.

    1. This is the first Grisham book I’ve read. My mom has read so many of his books and keeps recommending them so I thought I’d give it a try.

      1. In my teenage years my favorite book was “A painted house” by John Grisham. It has been many years since I’ve ready another of his books, perhaps it is time! This book sounds very intriguing.

        1. I’ll check that one out. Thanks for the suggestion!

  5. What a great review I haven’t read a book in so long! great review

    1. I haven’t been able to truly read in awhile either since my son was born. With the shelter-in-place I’m finding extra time to read which has been nice.

  6. I’m personally not a huge John Grishman fan, but my mother in law just loves his work. Thanks for the tip, this sounds like a great book for her.

    1. What type of books do you like instead?

  7. When I was younger my brother and I used to listen to Grisham audio books. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard one of his novels.

    1. I feel like I’m late to the game, lol. This was the first Grisham book I’ve read.

  8. Sounds like a nice book to read. Will add it to my wishlist.

  9. Ok this book sounds right up my alley! I definitely need to give it a shot.

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