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The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


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The Boys From Biloxi leaves readers in suspense

Penguin Random House
John Grisham’s newest thriller, The Boys from Biloxi, leaves readers intrigued until the last page. Guest contributor Pranavi Poojeri describes her experience reading the novel.

The Boys From Biloxi by John Grisham is a legal thriller set in the mid-1900s, narrating the lives of two opposing families- the Malco’s and the Rudy’s. Lance Malco is a big-time mob boss who runs just about every crooked business on the coast. On the opposing side, Jesse Rudy is an aspiring attorney for the city of Biloxi promising to “clean up the coast” and rid Biloxi of its crime. The two live polar opposite lives and things start to get heated when Jesse Rudy runs for district attorney and starts to implement his crime-free city agenda, much to the dismay of Lance Malco and his illegal businesses. 

This story touches on rather uncomfortable subjects, showing a deep perspective on underground trades, and features contract killers, drug trade, and other shadier crimes. The plot thickens further as the sons of the two men, Keith Rudy and Hugh Malco, who once were close friends, follow their fathers’ steps throughout the book. Hugh runs his father’s businesses in Lance’s absence, and Keith is a fiercely motivated future politician who is seen throughout the novel helping his father with cases and elections. The book itself is written to sound like a legal case study documentary. 

One of the enjoyable bits of the book was the legal thriller aspect. The author, John Grisham provides plenty of insight into the political and crime-ridden world built into the story, giving the perspective of every major criminal brought in. It uses a lot of lawyer terminology, which is interesting for those more interested in crime/legal thrillers. It has multiple courtroom scenes and Jesse Rudy is seen as an interesting, powerful immigrant lawyer that would be easy to connect with. This also goes for Lance Malco, as his evil-business oriented mob-boss personality makes him easy to dislike and shows how he and many others in the world impact the lives of innocent people. 

However, the book, despite its well-worded sentences and plot ideas, has a few flaws that could be seen as uninteresting to others. Even though it’s advertised to tell the story of Hugh Malco and Keith Rudy, it feels as though the main characters are actually their fathers’ rivals. The story doesn’t really use Hugh’s and Keith’s characters till the very end of the book. Another issue found within the text was the monotony in the middle of the book. It really stretches out and adds unnecessary context. 

All flaws aside, the book was similar to many of Grisham’s other books- riveting, and intellectually stimulating. Grisham’s book writing keeps readers wondering up until the very last page. The challenges the characters face in The Boys from Biloxi are a reflection of the real world, something even the most talented can find hard to put into words, or even into a book. 

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    David CAug 28, 2023 at 1:58 am

    I have been a huge fan of John grisham for 30 years his last couple of books the boys from Biloxi and the recurring character in the novel The sparring partners leaves too many what ifs and unanswered questions that’s not like John grisham’s work I can only reason that he is under contract to finish them quickly