The Accomplice (Theodore Boone #7), by John Grisham

Eight stars

John Grisham is back with some of his lighter legal work with another instalment of the Theodore ‘Theo’ Boone series. Th has been a stalwart in his community, fighting for justice—for both human and animal—and keeping an ear to the ground for tidbits of new legal concepts to shape his future. As Theo is attending middle school, his worries for one of his classmates mount. Woody Lambert comes from a fairly disconnected family, one in which everyone is forced to fend for themselves. When Woody and his older brother are caught up in an armed robbery, having been waiting in the vehicle for the ringleader without knowing what was going down, they are tossed into the slammer and subjected to a great deal of hurt. Theo cannot stand to see Woody go through this, blindly believing that he must be innocent and caught in the web of legal bullying. He works with friends and family to raise enough to set Woody free on bail, but is baffled to see how arcane some of the practices of law can be when it comes to incarceration. Armed with a passion for justice, Theo uses his legal knowledge and persuasive attitude to get the wheels of justice turning as best he can. When not trying to get Woody some justice, Theo is in Animal Court dealing with a rabbit that has apparently been drumming up some nocturnal trouble. As both cases progress, Theo learns a little more and does his best to ensure justice is served, even if the law is riddled with holes! Another wonderful piece that shows Grisham is able to convey the law for readers of all ages. Recommended to those who love Grisham’s work as well as the younger reader (or young at heart) who enjoy his lighter legal series.

I have found that few authors can work both the Young Adult and mainstream adult audiences with their work. Grisham is able to bridge the gap effectively, entertaining and passing along some interesting concepts about the law. He works through this lighter fare with the legal keener, Theo Boone, who may only be thirteen, but is always eager to learn. Theo is surrounded by lawyers in his family, but is always learning a little more about legal conundrums when it comes to major and minor matters around town. Grisham allows his protagonist to fill the page with wonderful advancement and shows just a little more in each piece. Theo’s passion to help others rings through the narrative yet again, as does his bafflement at yet another aspect of the law. Other regulars in the series make their mark here, while newbies shape the main plot with some interesting flavouring. Never a ‘deep read’, Grisham makes a wonderful case with the plot of this book, able to entertain readers of all ages with a case that is sure to keep the reader wondering. A mix of short and longer chapters with a plausible plot and legal situations, Grisham will have no trouble drawing fans into the middle of the courtroom drama and plight of the accused. I always look for Theo Boone books to lighten my reading load and have not been disappointed with this one!

Kudos, Mr. Grisham, for another classic pared-down legal thriller. You kept my attention and I know these are likelier easier to create, but they pack as much punch as some of your other and more complicated works! Keep them coming, as I know there are numerous fans who enjoy each publication.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: