Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Racketeer by John Grisham

I am a lawyer, and I am in prison.

When you think about it, writing an effective opening line is rather simple. Take this one. It has character. Yes, it is a pronoun but at least we know the pronoun's profession so the pronoun is not an entire blank. And there is some conflict - a lawyer in prison is not unusual but still rather awkward and this provides some setting.

I've not reviewed many Grisham books but the ones I have also had a nice first line. It's nice that a writer of this caliber takes the time to perfect that first line. Either that or he's a born natural. In any case, it shows the reader that this writer takes every line of his story seriously and wishes to waste no time pulling the reader in.

The back story that follows isn't the best technique to use to follow up with, but some explanation of why this lawyer is in prison is necessary and it moves quickly with conflict and events that feel like a forward narrative type of back story - the best kind of back story.

However, my library copy has the page folded to start chapter 2, which is an ominous sign.

First thing said:

"Racine sent this."

Verdict: Pass

Theodore Moracht

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