Booklist Reviews

Grisham's latest centers on for-profit diploma mills that pose as real universities. The tale features a quartet of friends who attend the rather disreputable Foggy Bottom Law School in Washington, D.C. One of the friends, Gordy, suffocating (as they all are) under a crippling student loan and with zero employment prospects, discovers a conspiracy involving the owner of their law school, the student-loan people, and the partners in seedy law firms who use Foggy Bottom's graduates as interns with the promise of future employment that never seems to materialize. After Gordy apparently takes his own life, the remaining friends band together to find some form of justice—for their friend and for themselves. The novel has some strikingly well-drawn characters and a plot that edges tantalizingly close to a full-on caper story, but it also boasts some shrewd commentary on the scourge of fraudulent for-profit universities and the disastrous impact they can have on people's lives. It feels like this is a subject close to Grisham's heart, and he makes the most of it.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A Grisham novel's inevitable rise to bestsellerdom is typically supported by solid storytelling and an all-in marketing campaign, and this one is no exception. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

As usual, no word on the plot of Grisham's latest, though I can affirm that it's a legal thriller. Big print and national television advertising.

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

PW Annex Reviews

Inspired by an Atlantic article, this insightful, if flawed, novel from bestseller Grisham (Camino Island) highlights the disturbing world of for-profit legal education. Friends and third-year law students—Mark Frazier, Todd Lucero, and Zola Maal—are deep in debt. All they want is to endure their last semester at Foggy Bottom Law School in Washington, D.C., and never return. But their world changes when their friend and classmate, Gordy Tanner, commits suicide before he can reveal publicly the conspiracy he's unearthed: FBLS admits unqualified students in order to profit from their student loans, and the school's owner, a Wall Street lawyer turned investor, owns a bank that specializes in student lending. When Gordy's suicide leads Mark, Todd, and Zola to realize that they are victims of a scam, they decide to drop out of school, change their identities to avoid creditors, and practice law without a license. After they make a series of missteps, their disgruntled clients and creditors start to close in, but they still manage to pull off the perfect crime and finish what Gordy started. Mark and Todd feel like the same person at times, and what drives their choices isn't always clear. This intriguing story has some suspenseful moments, but thinly constructed characters dilute the impact. Agent: David Gernert, Gernert Company. (Oct.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly Annex.