Review: The Racketeer
Malcolm Bannister is a lawyer serving time in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He’s trying to keep his nose clean, though, because he doesn’t want to spend any more time incarcerated than he has too. When a federal judge and his mistress are murdered, Malcolm knows who did it and plans to use the information as leverage to be set free.
Malcolm Bannister is a fascinating character. He wasn’t a hugely successful lawyer but he feels bad about the damage his trial and sentence did to the firm he worked for. He also misses his ex-wife (she divorced him while he was in prison) and young son. At this point, he just wants to get his sentence over with so he can get on with his life.
When an opportunity presents itself for Malcolm to use information he has to get out of prison, he decides to use it. He has some elaborate plans and readers discover there’s more to Malcolm than they suspected. With all of its surprises, I found the plot to be very engaging and compelling. I needed to know how all the pieces fit together.
I think The Racketeer is a little bit of a departure for Grisham since it’s about a lawyer on the wrong side of the law and I really enjoyed it. I listened to the audio version which was narrated by J. D. Jackson. Jackson has a smooth voice and does an outstanding job, even though he didn’t pronounce Louisville or Staunton the way Southerners (like Malcolm) do. He became Malcolm in my mind and really enhanced the story. I want to listen to other books he’s narrated.