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The Racketeer by John Grisham
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The Racketeer (original 2012; edition 2012)

by John Grisham

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1,413725,351 (3.65)47
Member:Bookbets50
Title:The Racketeer
Authors:John Grisham
Info:Doubleday (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****1/2
Tags:2012

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The Racketeer by John Grisham (2012)

Recently added byTAir, lindawwilson, private library, TeresaWesterman, AGD95, jfoooo, stixs, waynet_az, colinswift

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English (68)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (1)  All languages (72)
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
"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. ( )
  readingwithtea | Nov 22, 2014 |
"The secrets of ¨Grisham's success are no secret at all. There arE two of them: his pacing, which ranges from fast to breakneck, and his theme -little guy takes on big conspiracy with the little guy getting the win in the end."
  ICANABIBBELG | Nov 20, 2014 |
Fabulous book by Grisham...couldn't put it down! ( )
  Kappadeemom | Oct 27, 2014 |
In high school and early college I blew through about 20 Grisham books. The plots tend to be pretty similar, so at times they blended together in my mind, indistinguishable from each other. It’s been almost a decade since I picked up one of his novels, so when I saw this one on the exchange shelf at our hotel in Fiji I decided to give it a shot.

It’s definitely a Grisham novel. One man up against a big company, or in this case, the government. Malcom Bannister is a lawyer who is sent to prison when he unknowingly gets caught up in a client’s money laundering business. He spends his time helping other prisoners fight their convictions and wishing for a day when he will be released. When a judge is murdered he sees his opportunity for freedom.

The predictability level is pretty high, but it’s an incredibly readable novel with some good twists and turns. Give me a day on the beach with a book like this and I’ll enjoy it. It was a good beach read and before I left I’d popped it back on the hotel’s shelf for the next vacationer to enjoy.

BOTTOM LINE: For me was a solid middle-of-the-pack book from Grisham. His bests include The Pelican Brief, The Firm and A Time to Kill and his worsts include The Summons and The King of Torts. If you’re craving a legal thriller, grab on of his early books and just enjoy. ( )
  bookworm12 | Oct 10, 2014 |
Well written with a bit of uneasiness as the good vs evil battle is turned topsy turvy. ( )
  davevanl | Sep 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
Grisham’s novel has been hanging around the best-seller lists for a few weeks now. It’s easy to see why. Grisham is the master of the school of telling the readers what happens rather than showing them, and there’s a huge market for that kind of thing.

In the new book, an Afro-American lawyer is sentenced to prison for a white collar crime he didn’t commit. He sets out to get even with the FBI, the prosecutors and everybody else who locked him up. In ways that might baffle even the Perry Masons of the world, the jailed lawyer succeeds.
added by VivienneR | editThe Toronto Star, Jack Batten (Jan 11, 2013)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Grishamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beutnagel, Jofre HomedesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sappinen, Jorma-VeikkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I am a lawyer, and I am in prison.
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Read 02-2014. Read in Ft Laud & Providence. Complex scam by framed black lawyer Malcom Bannister to get revenge on the US govt for wrekcing his life
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385535147, Hardcover)

The Racketeer  was one of Amazon's mystery/thriller Best Books of the Month picks for October. A Q&A with the author:

Grisham3Describe The Racketeer in one sentence. 

A federal judge is murdered, and our hero in prison knows who did it, and why.

What's on your nightstand/bedside table/Kindle?

Ian McEwan’s latest novel, Sweet Tooth; a friend’s manuscript; and a Kindle Fire loaded with daily newspapers, magazines, and about three dozen books.

Top 3-5 favorite books of all time?

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; A Confederacy of DuncesThe Grapes of Wrath; Little Drummer Girl

Important book you never read?

There are so many. Atlas Shrugged, though I’ve been told for the past 30 years that it’s unreadable.

Book that made you want to become a writer?

To Kill a Mockingbird made me question race for the first time in my young, insulated, white life. It also inspired me to try and write something great.

Memorable author moment?

I received a note from Harper Lee, along with an autographed first edition of To Kill A Mockingbird.

What's your most prized/treasured possession?

A first edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, signed by the author.

Pen envy - book you wish you'd written?

Harry Potter – he’s the only dude I can’t outsell.

Author crush - who's your current author crush?

I’m 57 years old.  Crushes are for sophomores.

What's favorite method of procrastination? Temptation? Vice?

Don’t get me started. I can waste enormous amounts of time, and with no guilt whatsoever. Currently, I’m doing so on the golf course, playing a game that I took up only four years ago and is driving me nuts.

What do you collect?

First editions, primarily Faulkner, Hemingway, and Steinbeck.

Best piece of fan mail you ever got?

The letter began: “As the newly elected President of the Arkansas Bar Association, it is incumbent upon me to suggest various topics for your future novels……” I don’t think I finished reading the letter.

What's next for you?

I’m hard at work on Theo 4 -  “Theodore Boone, The Activist.”

>See all of John Grisham's books.

>Read a New York Times review of The Racketeer

(author photo by Bob Krasner)

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:11 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When a federal judge and his secretary fail to appear for a scheduled trial and panicked clerks call for an FBI investigation, a harrowing murder case ensues and culminates in the imprisonment of a lawyer who imparts the story of who killed the judge and why. Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered. Judge Raymond Fogletree just became number five. His body was found in the basement of a lakeside cabin he had built himself and frequently used on weekends. When he did not show up for a trial on Monday morning, his law clerks panicked, called the FBI, and in due course the agents found the crime scene. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies, Judge Fogletree and his young secretary. 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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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