Reviewed by Jennifer Rasmussen

Paul Tracey is on a quest to amend a wrong his father, a pitcher for the NY Mets, committed against one of baseball’s greats, a young up-and-coming rookie for the Chicago Cubs, Joe Castle “Calico Joe”.

In true Grisham fashion, the book opens with an incredibly in-depth accounting of Joe Castle’s first few rookie games, and Paul’s hero-worship of this superstar. The opening stories are so factual and detail-rich I had to have my baseball-geek husband translate a few of them, but then the story kicks into high gear as Grisham reveals the relationship–and life-changing event–between Joe Castle and his father. From that point on, I couldn’t put it down.

Grisham has a fantastic way of making the characters come alive and intertwines the events with an artistic flair. This allowed me to effortlessly switch between the flashbacks of how the events unfolded when Paul was young and Paul’s journey to right them as a grown man.

I have a glancing knowledge of baseball, and for anyone who’s not a major follower of baseball, I will caution you that the first chapter may be difficult to follow, but worth sticking it out. Once the relationship between Paul’s father and Joe is revealed, baseball knowledge is no longer necessary. I understand why Grisham layered the details of Joe’s first few games, and baseball geeks will love it, but Calico Joe is really a book about people, forgiveness and relationships.

Calico Joe is a fantastic read for Grisham fans, baseball fans, and anyone looking for a light, quick drama.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Calico Joe!

Jen Greyson writes supernatural thrillers and corporate training guides and tries not to mix the two. You can find her free ebook, How to Build a Writing Platform that Works: The New Path to Publishing, at her website, http://TheSurvivalMama.com.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Doubleday. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.