Reviews for Racketeer


Kirkus Reviews 2012 December #2
Evenly paced, smart legal thriller--trademark Grisham (The Litigators, 2011, etc.), in other words. "Secrets are extremely hard to keep in prison, especially when outsiders appear and start asking questions." So writes Grisham in the voice of one Malcolm Bannister, a one-time attorney who has gotten himself in trouble and is now "halfway through a ten-year sentence handed down by a weak and sanctimonious federal judge in Washington, D.C." Grisham locates his story on the familiar ground of the racial divide: Bannister, 43 years old, is black, the only black ex-attorney at the Maryland prison camp to which he has been committed--not a bad place, a "resort" in fact as compared to most pens. And, of course, he's innocent, or so he protests. Bannister also has come by some inside knowledge of events surrounding the death of another federal judge, which links to witness protection, drugs, Jamaicans and some heavy bad guys--and therein lies Grisham's longish, complex tale of cat and mouse. Every character in the book is believable, and though some of the plot turns seem just a touch improbable, the reader never quite knows whether things are going to work out for Bannister before the heaviest of the heavies quiets him down for good. "I have a plan," Bannister says, "but so much of it is beyond my control." That's not so of Grisham's plot, which is carefully mapped out without seeming pat, leading to a most satisfying conclusion. In fact, there are plenty of surprises along the way. As ever, a solid, unflashy performance by Grisham. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Journal Reviews 2012 May #1

Evidently, only four active federal judges have been murdered in this country; Grisham imagines a fifth victim, Judge Raymond Fogletree, found dead with his secretary in a lakeside cabin. As the narrator says, "I did not know Judge Fogletree, but I know who killed him, and why. I am a lawyer, and I am in prison. It's a long story."

[Page 52]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 October #5

Bestseller Grisham (The Litigators) is back in top form with this twisty, precisely plotted legal thriller that eschews the civics lessons of some of his more recent work. The masterful opening introduces disgraced Virginia lawyer Malcolm Bannister, who has served half of a 10-year prison sentence for money laundering after getting caught up in a federal net aimed at a sleazy influence peddler. BannisterĂ¢??s conviction has, naturally, destroyed his life, but he thinks he can use the murder of federal judge Raymond Fawcett to his advantage. Fawcett, who presided over a landmark mining rights case, and his attractive secretary, with whom he was having an affair, were both found shot in the head in his cabin in southwest Virginia. Near the bodies was an empty open safe. When the high-profile investigation stalls, Bannister tells the feds that he can identify the killer for them in exchange for a release from jail and the means to start a new life. The surprises all work, and the action builds to a satisfying resolution. Agent: David Gernert, the Gernert Company. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

Bestseller Grisham (The Litigators) is back in top form with this twisty, precisely plotted legal thriller that eschews the civics lessons of some of his more recent work. The masterful opening introduces disgraced Virginia lawyer Malcolm Bannister, who has served half of a 10-year prison sentence for money laundering after getting caught up in a federal net aimed at a sleazy influence peddler. BannisterĂ¢??s conviction has, naturally, destroyed his life, but he thinks he can use the murder of federal judge Raymond Fawcett to his advantage. Fawcett, who presided over a landmark mining rights case, and his attractive secretary, with whom he was having an affair, were both found shot in the head in his cabin in southwest Virginia. Near the bodies was an empty open safe. When the high-profile investigation stalls, Bannister tells the feds that he can identify the killer for them in exchange for a release from jail and the means to start a new life. The surprises all work, and the action builds to a satisfying resolution. Agent: David Gernert, the Gernert Company. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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