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The Racketeer by John Grisham

The Racketeer (original 2012; edition 2012)

by John Grisham

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2,122973,087 (3.66)52
Title:The Racketeer
Authors:John Grisham
Info:Doubleday (2012), Edition: 1st Printing, Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Racketeer by John Grisham (2012)



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English (92)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All (97)
Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
Malcolm Bannister is an ex-lawyer from Virginia who was sentenced to ten years of prison on a racketeering charge. Having served five of his ten years, he has established some credit among his inmates as a jailhouse lawyer. When a federal judge and his secretary are murdered in a cabin in the woods, Malcolm Bannister sees his chance to be released from prison due to invoking rule 35, the commutation of a sentence when the prisoner has information that leads to an indictment in an ongoing case. Bannister professes to have exactly that: he claims to know the name of the murderer of the federal judge and his secretary. He manages to make a deal with the FBI and go into witness protection to start a new life. While this story is interesting in itself, it is at this point when the novel really starts to become suspenseful as Malcolm Bannister starts acting in a way no one would have foreseen. There are many turns in the story that keep the action alive and the reader guessing at what might happen next.

The novel is written from a first-person perpsective and starts with the sentence "I am a lawyer, and I am in prison. It's a long story." And when that long story is told I as a reader started to feel that there is something fishy about this character. As I am always a little suspicious what a first-person narrator tells me I started suspecting foul play with Malcolm Bannister right from the start. I can safely say that I was not wrong, without giving away the surprise element of the story. John Grisham uses narrative perspective nicely to strengthen the impact of the story he is telling. All in all, a very gripping read. 4 stars. ( )
  OscarWilde87 | Jul 23, 2017 |
A little different than Grisham's recent offerings and I suppose it is more like his earlier stories like everyone in saying on here. And while being compelling enough of a read it wasn't my favorite story. Grisham was a little overbearing on pointing out all the flaws of the FBI and his main character wasn't very sympathetic. Still it was exciting and kept me guessing to the end. ( )
  KenMcLain | Jul 18, 2017 |
In the spirit of The Firm with a fantastic scheme that has been contrived by Macolm Bannister / Max Reed. I got frustrated when the plot jarringly shifted to Nathan Cooley -- there was not the reminder reference of being someone who asked for his legal help while in federal prison. The scheme though is brilliant. Was Vanessa in on it? Seems like not, but had to have been. ( )
  skraft001 | Mar 26, 2017 |
I can't say I loved this one. To be fair, my listening time was interrupted by several family emergencies so I'm not going to rate it.
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
3.5 stars

Malcolm is very smart. I really liked how he worked everything out. I did figure a lot of what was happening out ahead of time and feel that some of the people he tricked should have been a little quicker on the uptake. Definitely entertaining. ( )
  ToniFGMAMTC | Jan 19, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 92 (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 editionscalculated
Beutnagel, Jofre HomedesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sappinen, Jorma-VeikkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I am a lawyer, and I am in prison. It's a long story.
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Book description
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:16 -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)

» see all 10 descriptions

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