Top 8 John Grisham Books

And if these don't appeal to you, there are 23 more to choose from

John Grisham has been penning bestseller after bestseller since A Time to Kill was first published in 1989. Decades later, he's published 30 more legal thrillers with another scheduled to be released in June 2017. His books have appeared in 42 languages and have sold almost 300 million copies worldwide. He's one of only three authors to ever sell more than 2 million copies of a first printing.

Here's a list of some favorite Grisham novels if you're looking for a sampling of his thrillers to get a taste for his work. 

of 08

A Time to Kill

This is the book that started it all so any Grisham read-fest should begin right here. The book wasn't exactly an instant success. It was rejected by numerous publishers before Wynwood Press picked it up and gave it a (very) modest print run. Grisham wasn't deterred and kept on writing. His second book, The Firm, fared much better, and Doubleday ended up republishing A Time to Kill later Grisham's second release. A lawyer himself, Grisham has said that the book was inspired by the courtroom testimony of a 12-year-old rape victim. In addition to the usual legal suspense and intrigue, A Time to Kill delves into racial violence and retribution. 

When The Firm was released in 1991, it quickly topped the bestseller lists and was made into a major motion picture starring Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman. His second book, it put Grisham on the map. It's the story of a law school ace who's lavishly recruited by a major firm only to find out that something decidedly crooked is going on behind closed office doors. The next thing he knows, the FBI is knocking on the door of the house that "The Firm" so generously helped him purchase. 

The Rainmaker came out in 1995. It brings humor to the fast-paced courtroom drama that Grisham is known for. The hero is an underdog – a lawyer, of course – who takes on a major insurance company. Think David and Goliath. The Rainmaker is a good, quick, utterly enjoyable read.

Similiar to Grisham's other novels in its legal suspense, The Testament adds a new spin by drawing the main character into a dangerous journey through the remote regions of Latin America. This novel explores greed, materialism, sin and redemption. It's a great Grisham book.

The Summons has a simple plot but it will still keep you turning pages all night, long after you should have turned the lights off. It's the story of two sons and their estranged father who they find dead in his Mississippi home. There are familiar elements – a large sum of money and a lot of lawyers – but the story doesn't feel old despite the typical Grisham formula. If it's not broken, why fix it? 

The Broker takes place in Italy, and the first half of the book is slower than some readers might like because it describes Bologna in detail. But then the pace quickens and Grisham provides a good roller coaster ride right to the end. The Broker involves a presidential pardon, the CIA and a good bit of international intrigue. 

of 08

Rogue Lawyer

As the title would imply, Sebastian Rudd is not your average lawyer. Released in 2015, Rogue Lawyer tells the story of Rudd and his less-than-scrupulous criminal clients. It's gritty but fun, a must-read for Grisham fans. 

of 08

The Whistler

2016 brought the release of The Whistler, the tale of a corrupt judge and the lawyer who would like to bring him down. Greg Myers is no angel himself – he was previously disbarred. This is signature Grisham, at his finest with very human characters, eye-popping plot twists and plenty of danger. 

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Miller, Erin Collazo. "Top 8 John Grisham Books." ThoughtCo, Jun. 11, 2017, Miller, Erin Collazo. (2017, June 11). Top 8 John Grisham Books. Retrieved from Miller, Erin Collazo. "Top 8 John Grisham Books." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 23, 2018).