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09 October 2015

John Grisham: The Testament

The very best and worst of John Grisham
This is a fairly early work by John Grisham (1999) which shows off his undoubted writing skills in the early chapters but becomes pretty boring and unexciting later on.

Troy Whelan is a very rich, very old and very angry man. All of his life, which he has lived to excess both personally and in business, he has been in control. But as the end of his life approaches he is surrounded by his large family from several unfortunate marriages who are expecting to live in the lap of luxury when his estate is distributed. Troy doesn't want that to happen and he develops a plan to send a message to his family from the grave.

Rumours abound that Troy is about to change his will to favour his family but there are doubts about his competence. Troy arranges a session with several top psychiatrists to decide if he is competent to sign the new will. The family are at the session when he is declared competent and signs the will. Then the surprise happens... and they are all disinherited in favour of a mysterious woman who nobody knows who is living in the jungles of Brazil. This starts a fierce legal battle and a race to find the heir.

The first 100 pages of this book would make one of the best novellas I have read, but the rest is boring and page-flipping stuff.

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