The Guardians by John Grisham

Author : John Grisham
Title : The Guardians
Pages : 368
Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date : October 15, 2019


He was framed for murder.
Now he needs a miracle. 

22 years ago Quincy Miller was sentenced to life without parole. He was accused of killing Keith Russo, a lawyer in a small Florida town. But there were no reliable witnesses and little motive. Just the fact that Russo had botched Quincy’s divorce case, that Quincy was black in a largely all-white town and that a blood-splattered torch was found in the boot of Quincy’s car. A torch he swore was planted. A torch that was conveniently destroyed in a fire just before his trial.

The lack of evidence made no difference to judge or jury. In the eyes of the law Quincy was guilty and, no matter how often he protested his innocence, his punishment was life in prison.

Finally, after 22 years, comes Quincy’s one and only chance of freedom. An innocence lawyer and minister, Cullen Post, takes on his case. Post has exonerated eight men in the last ten years. He intends to make Quincy the next.

But there were powerful and ruthless people behind Russo’s murder. They prefer that an innocent man dies in jail rather than one of them. There’s one way to guarantee that. They killed one lawyer 22 years ago, and they’ll kill another without a second thought.


As a longtime John Grisham fan, I am always eagerly awaiting a new book by him. Even though, I must admit that some of his work in recent years has been awfully hit or miss with me. So it was with a small sense of apprehension that I decided to pick up The Guardians.

After spending 22 years in prison, Quincy Miller catches the attention of a project called The Guardians and a lawyer/minister by the name of Cullen Post. The Guardians are convinced of Miller’s innocence in the murder of a local lawyer and are determined to fight for his release. In the last ten years, this innocence project has managed to get eight innocent people out of prison but Miller’s case is a tough nut to crack. Twenty-two years is a long time. Judges, members of the law enforcement and prosecutors have retired or are dead. Witnesses are spread far and wide across the country, some unwilling to talk or trying very hard not to be found. Evidence has gone missing. On top of that, powerful and ruthless people are perfectly okay with having an innocent man in prison. So where do you even begin?

It hasn’t happened in a while with John Grisham’s books, but from the very first page I had a good feeling about The Guardians. John Grisham remains one of the most excellent storytellers out there and with Cullen Post, he has created a fascinating and engaging character who deftly guides us through a cleverly and well-written plot of murder, miscarriages of justice and corruption. Cullen Post is an easy character to like. Fierce, determined, willing to go that extra mile (sometimes even literally) and all of this, combined with where he started, puts you firmly on his side.

The Guardians turned out to be quite the addictive page-turner for me and I felt John Grisham really brought home how much of the success of these cases depends on which judge is sitting in front of you, who’s willing to listen and keep an open mind and sadly also, the political games that are always going on behind the scenes. Quincy Miller’s circumstances are realistic and believable and because you know these things unfortunately happen (way more often than they should), it’s not that hard to feel angry and frustrated. Do also make sure you read the author’s note at the end of the book.

Is this Grisham at his best? Well, no. But he’s getting mighty close and after some of the recent disappointments, that’s already saying quite a lot and I can honestly say I really enjoyed this one. Truth be told, I’ll be right there at the front of the line when he publishes his next book anyway but I’ll never give up hoping for another absolute corker like “A Time To Kill” was, for instance.

The Guardians is available to buy!

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  15 comments for “The Guardians by John Grisham

  1. November 26, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Did you read Gray Mountain? It’s on my shelves but I haven’t got to it yet. This one will be there soon too 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 26, 2019 at 12:30 pm

      I did. I gave it 3 stars. This is what I wrote on Goodreads : “As a huge fan of Grisham’s books, this one was such a disappointment. Far below the standard I’m used to from him and a complete let-down after Sycamore Row. Still giving it 3 stars because of the subject matter although I almost went with two just because of the main character being such a bore.” Oops 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

      • November 26, 2019 at 4:48 pm

        😳 Oh heck! I haven’t read anything by Grisham as yet so maybe that’s not the one to start with 😂

        Liked by 1 person

        • November 26, 2019 at 5:16 pm

          Hm, no, I’d let that one slide for now 😂. A Time to Kill is my all-time favourite. Its follow-up, Sycamore Row, was really good as well. I’d go for his older stuff if you’re just starting out or this latest one.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. November 26, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Fantastic review! I still haven’t read any of his books, although I have seen some of the films. where should I start?

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 26, 2019 at 5:18 pm

      The ones that were made into films are great choices to start with : Runaway Jury for instance. My all-time favourite is A Time To Kill and the follow-up, Sycamore Row, was pretty good too. And this latest one is so close to hitting the mark, I don’t think you can go wrong with it.


  3. November 26, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    Yay! Love your review💜 I’ve felt the same about recent Grisham after having loved his early books. I’ve got this one and am looking forward to it for a change.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 26, 2019 at 5:19 pm

      I’m so glad I’m not alone. When I started reading his books all those years ago, I never expected there might come a time when I’d be disappointed. I so hope you enjoy this one as much as I did. Look forward to hearing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. November 26, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    I have this one on hold (suspended) in the library. My mom read and really enjoyed it. It makes me very happy to see you enjoyed it as well! I really hope to get to it soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 26, 2019 at 5:20 pm

      So glad to hear mum enjoyed it too! Hope you do as well and you won’t have to wait too long for the library to get you a copy.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. November 26, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Excellent review, Eva.


  6. November 26, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    I like this innocence project arc after reading clear my name. Great review!


  7. November 28, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Glad to hear this is a good one – like you, I’ve found him a bit variable for the last few years. I shall now confidently add this one to my list… 😀


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