This is one of many Grisham reviews that will be on this blog as I am a big fan of most of his work...there are a few misses...
I love this book in particular and it is the book that launched me into the Grisham phase of my reading.
The Testament is story split into two very different worlds. It all starts with a ageing billionaire who when reflecting on the type of people his children have become (spoilt, unbearable and mean) he decides to leave his fortune to an estranged daughter who has gone to Brazil to become an american missionary.
The father hatches a plan in which his family is led to believe they are splitting his copious fortune. But once he dies (suicide) the money is whipped out of their reach and they are left with just enough money to cover the debt they have left themselves in and a clause that states if they contest the will they get nothing.
The story is then split between the children fighting the will in court, which is entertaining as its a grab fest with family members and lawyers all drooling at the potential pay day if they win and what they will do with the money.
The other half of the story is the shining star in this book, it follows Nate O'Riley, an ex-addict lawyer who is sent to Brazil to find the estranged daughter and have her sign the documentation that approves the second will. Nate battles demons, weather, rivers, illness (dengue fever = brutal!) tribesmen and when he eventually reaches the daughter she doesn't want to discuss the will.
John Grisham is a very popular law author and his law books are great, go and read A Time To Kill or The Rainmaker. There are law elements in this book but they really pale in comparison to the rich story that Grisham weaves in Brazil, the location, the people and everything in between are superb.
The family dispute is entertaining but Brazil is where the real adventure is and Nate's journey is what makes this a great book where you get sucked into a different world, instead a bog standard law story.