The Rooster Bar by John Grisham
(Doubleday, 2017, 352 pages)
The Rooster Bar by John Grisham is the story of three friends, Mark, Todd, and Zola, who are about to start their final semester at a low-rated, for-profit law school. The friends realize that they have enormous school loan debts and little prospects for high paying careers after law school. The friends decide that are going to quietly drop out of law school, assume new identities to try to avoid their student loans, and earn some money in sometimes, unethical, illegal ways.
In this novel, Grisham highlights the problem with for-profit law schools and school loans from banks with shady practices. He also deals with immigration issues and suicide. Grisham credits the idea for this story to an article by Paul Campos entitled The Law School Scam that was published in 2014 in the journal, The Atlantic.
The Rooster Bar is an interesting story. At the beginning, I did not find the characters very likeable. As the novel progressed, I did find myself hoping that things would work out for them. The Rooster Bar was a worthwhile read.
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
(William Morrow, 2018, 448 pages)
I was lucky enough to snag an Advanced Reader Copy of this book (pub. date: January 2018) which I kept hearing about… It lived up to the hype 😉
Here’s the review I posted on Goodreads:
“I can’t believe how much I enjoyed this book. I was sucked in almost immediately. Even though I was tense almost the whole time I was reading it (suspense!) I hated to put it down. This is a quick read recommended to anyone. If you’re a fan of classic suspense films you’ll appreciate The Woman in the Window that much more for all the film references throughout.
There have been comparisons to Girl on the Train but this is of a much higher caliber. I was already recommending it to people before I’d even finished. Even if thrillers/suspense aren’t what you regularly read I think you’ll enjoy this as a good gateway into the genre.”
Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
(St. Martin’s Paperbacks, 2008, 525 pages)
Digital Fortress by Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, is the tale of code-breaking and cybercrime. Susan Fletcher, the head cryptographer at the NSA, is unexpectedly called to work on a weekend. There is a threat to the NSA’s highly secret code-breaking machine called TRANSLTR. A former NSA employee has threatened to release a program that will make codes unbreakable and TRANSLTR obsolete unless the NSA tells the world about TRANSLTR. While the NSA is considering its options, the former employee dies and the kill code for the unbreakable code program is not among the employee’s belongings.
Digital Fortress has an interesting premise. The story takes quite a few twists and turns. I enjoyed it until the last 30 or so pages. Brown tried to keep the suspense and solution going for a little too long. Overall, Digital Fortress is a thriller that keeps the reader’s attention.
The Tailor of Panama by John le Carré
(Hodder & Stoughton, 1996, 410)
Good mix: corruption, espionage, satire
Red 1-2-3 by John Katzenbach
(Mysterious Press, 2014, 400 pages)
Red heads united against stalker.
Memory Man by David Baldacci
(Grand Central Publishing, 2015, 416 pages)
Head injury savant solves murder.
The Burning Wire by Jeffrey Deaver
(Simon & Schuster, 2010, 414 pages)
Electricity killer on rampage.
Broken Window by Jeffrey Deaver
(Simon & Schuster, 2008, 414 pages)
Revengeful killer accesses personal data.
The Steel Kiss by Jeffrey Deaver
(Grand Central Publishing, 2016, 486 pages)
Revenge, murder, detectives, corporate malfeasance.
Toys by James Patterson and Neil McMahon
(Little, Brown and Company, 2011, 364 pages)
Futuristic man versus machine techno-drama.