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The Racketeer – John Grisham – 6/10

“One of the few virtues of prison life is the gradual acquisition of patience. Nothing moves at a reasonable pace, and you learn to ignore clocks.”


Malcolm Bannister has served 5 years in prison for a crime he got sucked into, and is due to serve another 5. When a federal judge is brutally murdered, and Malcolm knows who did it, he has to work out a way to use that information to his advantage, while staying safe. And a way to exact a little justice of his own.

For the first half of this, I was completely onboard. So far, so Grisham, but very readable, good plot build-up, some nifty legal dealings, a bit of adventure, bad guys appropriately irritated. Then Grisham seemingly goes off-piste for most of the rest of the book, only revealing in the last 10 pages or so how the second half of the book ties back to the first half. Which drove me crazy. I nearly abandoned the book multiple times and it was only encouragement from The Musician that kept me going.

Bannister is a likeable enough character in the standard Grisham mold, but Grisham does much better protagonists. The agents are rendered well enough but nothing memorable. Quinn and Nate are interesting, as is Vanessa, but it feels like Grisham didn’t really want to bother developing any characters other than Bannister because of the backwards plot.

It’s not up there with The Street Lawyer or The Last Juror.

Additional info

Copy bought at JFK airport recently while trying to use up US dollars.  
Publisher: Dell Books, 382 pages (paperback)
Order The Racketeerfrom Amazon*
* this is an affiliate link – I will be paid a small percentage of your purchase price if you use this link, which goes towards give-aways and site hosting

3 thoughts on “The Racketeer – John Grisham – 6/10”

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