27 Jul 2021



GENRE: Thriller



Malcolm Bannister is a lawyer. He is in prison.

Five years ago, the FBI set him up as the fall guy for a crime he did not know he was committing. He has exhausted every avenue of appeal, and any hope of acquittal.

Until now.

Judge Raymond Fawcett is found dead in a remote lakeside cabin. There are no witnesses, no fingerprints, no evidence. The investigation has no leads.

Bannister didn't know the judge. But he knows who killed him, and why.

It could be his ticket to freedom. And revenge ... {Back Cover Blurb}

I am a lawyer, and I am in prison. {First Sentence, Chapter 1}

As unsettling as it is, selecting a new name to be used for the rest of my life will be one of my easier decisions. Quite soon I'll be confronted with choices far more difficult - eyes, nose, lips, chin, home, job, family, history, and what kind of fictional childhood did I have? Where did I go to college and what did I study? Why am I single and have I been married? Children?

My mind is spinning. {Memorable Moment: Page 148}

MY THOUGHTS ... Given my enjoyment of crime novels and the protest of several friends who insisted this was an author I simply HAD to read {though to be fair most of them agree that The Racketeer isn't up there as his best}, funnily enough I'd never read any of John Grisham's work ... that is until now.

What I'd describe not so much as an 'OK' read so much as an 'meh' read. If this is a typical example of the author's books, I can't say I see what all the fuss is about.

That there were none of the plot intricacies that my friends/fellow bookworms spoke of as being synonymous with this author, disappointing. That there was no tension, no surprises, likewise. That the plot was implausible if not, at times, altogether unbelievable, that the plot lacked foreshadowing; that the author plucked information pertinent to the plot seemingly out of nowhere when it was convenient ... let's just say I'd expected better. 

As for the characters ...

Oddly lacking in female characters {even for in a world arguably dominated by men} and, what mention there was of them, there was, rather disturbingly, the tendency to sexualise them. Other than that, despite the lengthy, often totally unnecessary backstories, largely unmemorable. Apart from main protagonist, Malcolm Bannister that is and, even then, in the main I can't say I found anything to really excite me about him other than at the point when I found myself positively seething at his actions which saw the torture and unjust incarceration of another character.

Maybe not the best introduction to the author's books {ideally I'd have rated it one and a half stars rather than two} but, then again, not totally put off; if my friends are to be believed there is one of his books out there that I'm bound to like.

JOHN GRISHAM ... ~ Website ~ Twitter ~ GoodReads

PURCHASE THE BOOK ... ~ Amazon.UK ~ Book Depository ~ Waterstones ~


Kelly said...

I use to read all the Grisham books as they were released (in paperback), but I'm woefully behind these days. I know my husband has caught up with most of them now that we use our digital library program. I'm sure I'll get to this one eventually.

It's a shame it didn't do much for you as that might put you off trying any others. Some of his earlier books were really good.

nightwingsraven said...

I am sorry that this book was
a disappointment to you. And
after reading your review I
doubt if I would appreciate it.
But thank you for your excellent

Mary (Bookfan) said...

It's been a long time since the last time I read a Grisham book. Sorry to read this was not what you hoped it would be.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Definitely doesn't sound like the best read. Hopefully you find a better one, if you read something else by the author. He's one that I've never read anything by either.


Suko said...


I've been away from blogging for much of the summer, but my interest in books leads me back.

I haven't read Grisham's books, but I know this prolific author has many fans. Thank you for your honest and well-written review.

R's Rue said...

I hope your next book is a winner.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Aw! Sorry this one wasn't what you had hoped it would be. That's the problem with reviewing and recommending books and authors and why I am always so loathe to do it. Reading is such a personal experience, that what one person may enjoy, another may hate, and of course vice versa. It's all very subjective!

I have to admit that John Grisham isn't a very 'dynamic' author and I haven't read his books for many years. However I have read some of his very early work, of which many titles were adapted and optioned for film. I can think of 'The Firm', 'The Pelican Brief' and 'The Client' off the top of my head, but I am sure there are more.

This particular book was published back in 2012, so perhaps it was the 'speak' of the time it was written in, which didn't appeal to you?

Better luck with your next book and I hope that you enjoy your weekend :)