John Grisham Books Overview

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Do you like stories about lawyers, legal procedures, and crime? Then you must have read at least one of John Grisham’s books. His legal thrillers are known for their intricate plots, well-developed characters, and gripping suspense. In this article, we will take a closer look at John Grisham’s books and give recommendations on how to read them.

John Grisham and His Story

“I seriously doubt I would ever have written the first story had I not been a lawyer. I never dreamed of being a writer. I wrote only after witnessing a trial.”
— John Grisham

John Grisham, born on February 8, 1955, is a renowned American novelist, attorney, and politician. He is best known for his popular legal thrillers, which have captivated readers worldwide. Before starting a writing career, Grisham practiced law for a decade, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. His law career and political involvement heavily influenced his writing, giving him the insight and inspiration to craft thrilling legal dramas.

John Grisham’s debut novel, A Time to Kill, was published in 1989 and set the stage for a long and successful writing career. Since then, he has written over 30 novels, which have been translated into 42 languages and sold more than 300 million copies worldwide. Not only have his books gained immense popularity, but many of them have also been adapted into successful films and television series. 

Grisham’s writing style is characterized by fast-paced narratives, engaging characters, and gripping courtroom scenes that keep readers on the edge of their seats.

John Grisham Books in Order

Here is a list of John Grisham’s books in chronological order:

The Firm Books

  1. The Firm (1991)
  2. The Exchange: After The Firm (Expected: October 17, 2023)

An interesting fact about The Firm is that it remained on The New York Times Best Seller list for 47 weeks and became the seventh bestselling novel of 1991. Some of John Grisham’s books were among the top 10 best-selling novels of the year for nearly two decades.

Standalone Books

  1. The Pelican Brief (1992)
  2. The Client (1993)
  3. The Chamber (1994)
  4. The Rainmaker (1995)
  5. The Runaway Jury (1996)
  6. The Partner (1997)
  7. The Street Lawyer (1998)
  8. The Testament (1999)
  9. The Brethren (2000)
  10. A Painted House (2001)
  11. Skipping Christmas (2001)
  12. The Summons (2002)
  13. Bleachers (2003)
  14. The King of Torts (2003)
  15. The Last Juror (2004)
  16. The Broker (2005)
  17. The Innocent Man (2006)
  18. Playing for Pizza (2007)
  19. The Appeal (2008)
  20. The Associate (2009)
  21. Ford County (2009)
  22. The Confession (2010)
  23. The Litigators (2011)
  24. The Racketeer (2012)
  25. Calico Joe (2012)
  26. Gray Mountain (2014)
  27. The Tumor: A Non-Legal Thriller (2016) (Novella)
  28. The Rooster Bar (2018)
  29. The Reckoning (2019)
  30. The Guardians (2019)
  31. Sooley (2021)
  32. The Boys From Biloxi (2022)

Rogue Lawyer Books

  1. Rogue Lawyer (2015)
  2. Partners (2016) (Short Story)

Whistler Books

  1. Witness to a Trial (2016) (Short Story Prequel)
  2. The Whistler (2016)
  3. The Judge’s List (2021)

Jake Brigance and Theodore Boone Series

  1. A Time to Kill (1989)
  2. Sycamore Row (2013)
  3. A Time For Mercy (2020)
  4. Sparring Partners (2022)
  5. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer (2010)
  6. Theodore Boone: The Abduction (2011)
  7. Theodore Boone: The Accused (2012)
  8. Theodore Boone: The Activist (2013)
  9. Theodore Boone: The Fugitive (2015)
  10. Theodore Boone: The Scandal (2016)
  11. Theodore Boone: The Accomplice (2019)

Camino Island Books

  1. Camino Island (2017)
  2. Camino Winds (2020)

You can also check a fuller and more detailed list of John Grisham books by visiting the Book Series in Order website.

Best John Grisham Books

According to various ratings and reviews, some of the best John Grisham novels include:

  1. A Time to Kill
  2. The Firm
  3. The Pelican Brief
  4. The Client
  5. The Runaway Jury
  6. The Whistler
  7. The Reckoning
  8. Sooley

Here’re a few of the book reviews for you to check. Perhaps, you’ll get intrigued by the descriptions and start reading them first.

The Whistler by John Grisham (2016)

The Whistler follows the story of Lacy Stoltz, an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is assigned to a case involving a corrupt judge accused of being involved in organized crime, including a casino on Native American land. As Lacy digs deeper into the case, she quickly realizes the extent of the corruption, as well as the danger she faces for exposing it. Grisham masterfully weaves a tale of deceit, power, and justice, making The Whistler a thrilling read from start to finish.

The Reckoning by John Grisham (2018)

In The Reckoning, John Grisham tells the story of Pete Banning, a war hero and respected cotton farmer in Clanton, Mississippi. One day in 1946, Pete walks into the local Methodist church and murders the pastor, Dexter Bell. The town is left in shock, and as the trial unfolds, the motive behind the murder remains a mystery. Grisham delves into the depths of human emotion, loyalty, and betrayal in this gripping novel, blending elements of a courtroom drama, war story, and family saga.

Sparring Partners by John Grisham (2022)

The Sparring Partners is one of the recent books by John Grisham. It tells the story of the Malloy brothers, Kirk and Rusty, two successful young lawyers. When their father is sent to prison, they inherit his firm (which used to see better days). The brothers don’t talk unless it’s necessary. As the firm disintegrates, it’s up to Diantha Bradshaw, the only person the partners trust, to save it. Or will she choose herself?

Sooley by John Grisham (2021)

In Sooley, John Grisham takes a break from his legal thrillers and explores the basketball world. The story follows Samuel Sooleymon, a talented young basketball player from South Sudan who is given the opportunity to play at an American college. As Sooley navigates life in the United States, he must also deal with the ongoing conflict and turmoil back home in South Sudan. The book showcases the power of sport to change lives and bring hope while also highlighting the challenges faced by refugees and immigrants.

The Latest John Grisham Books

As of June 2023, the latest John Grisham books are The Boys From Biloxi (2023), Sparring Partners (2022), Sooley (2022), and The Judge’s List (2021). John Grisham’s new book, The Exchange: After The Firm, is expected to be released on October 17, 2023.

John Grisham’s Book Adaptations

Many of John Grisham’s best books have been adapted into successful films and television series, further solidifying his status as a popular and influential author. Some of the most well-known adaptations include The Firm (1993), starring Tom Cruise; The Pelican Brief (1993), featuring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington; The Client (1994), with Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones; and A Time to Kill (1996), starring Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, and Samuel L. Jackson. These adaptations have brought Grisham’s thrilling stories to an even wider audience, showcasing the gripping narratives and memorable characters that made his books so successful.

Authors Like John Grisham

If you enjoy John Grisham’s legal thrillers and compelling storytelling, there are several other authors whose works you may appreciate. Some of these authors include:

  • Scott Turow: Known for his legal thrillers, such as Presumed Innocent and The Burden of Proof, Scott Turow offers readers thought-provoking stories with complex characters and intriguing courtroom drama.
  • Michael Connelly: As the author of the popular Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller series, Michael Connelly provides readers with gripping crime novels filled with suspense, well-developed characters, and intricate plots.
  • David Baldacci: With a wide range of bestselling novels, including the Will Robie and Amos Decker series, David Baldacci’s works often feature elements of mystery, action, and political intrigue.
  • Steve Martini: Best known for his Paul Madriani series, Steve Martini crafts legal thrillers with compelling characters, tense courtroom drama, and intricate plotting that keeps readers engaged until the very end.
  • Patricia Cornwell: Creator of the Kay Scarpetta series, Patricia Cornwell offers readers a blend of crime fiction, forensic science, and psychological thriller, making her novels both captivating and informative.

Final Thoughts

John Grisham is considered one of the best writers of his generation for a reason. We hope this guide will help you read John Grisham’s novels in the right order, from the first to the last. Now, not only you can dive into the thrilling world of legal fiction, but you can also get to know some of the most captivating characters in the genre. So, get started right away, and don’t forget to let us know which books are your favorite!

Dina McCartney