Book Review: The Whistler by John Grisham

whistlerI’ve read all of John Grisham’s legal thrillers, but this is the first time I can recall that the focus has been on corrupt judges. Yes, there have been some judges in a couple of his other novels, but this one focuses on one judge in particular that is so greedy that it amazed me. There’s a lot to this story, so let me give you a brief summery.

Lacy Stolz is a lawyer working for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. Her job it is to investigate complaints against the state’s judges. When Lacy and her partner Hugo Hatch first talk with the person filing this complaint, they find it hard to believe. The extent of the corruption is just too wide. And, they want to know, why has none of this leaked out before now?

As Lacy and Hugo quietly investigate they learn that the judge, Claudia McDover, has been doing her part to pave the way for a casino on Indian land and the extensive real estate development surroounding the casino. All of this is extremely profitable even after the mobsters and the judge skim a huge chunk off the top. As they dig deeper, Lacy and Hugo believe the problem is so big that the really should involve the FBI.

When Lacy and Hugo outline the case to the FBI, they are surprised and disappointed that the FBI is reluctant to join in. It will take more work and some tragic outcomes before the FBI realizes there is indeed a major problem here that needs their assistance. The result is a strategic and satisfying solution – one that legal thriller fans will enjoy.

This newest book does not disappoint at all. I still like what John Grisham writes. I listened to this one on audiobook, narrated by one of my favorites, Cassandra Campbell. Prior to the book’s release date I listened to a short (54 minutes) teaser-audio called Witness To a Trial (narrated by Mark Deakins). It was also written by Mr. Grisham. It was a nice little insider’s look at each of the major players in a criminal trial. (All except the witnesses and the jury.) It did the job of making me anticipate the new book’s release. I recommend both of these recordings to you, particularly if you are a Grisham fan or a legal thriller fan.

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