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Review: The Racketeer

January 8, 2013

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.

The Racketeer, by John Grisham, is an exciting, fast paced book.  Full of twists and turns, it’s hard to put down because you can’t figure out what will happen next.

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.

Review copy provided by Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.
36 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2013 4:20 am

    I always enjoy John Grisham…this sounds very good.

    THANKS for the review.

  2. January 8, 2013 7:03 am

    Glad u liked this Kathy. I plan to listen to the audio book as well, and like the concept of a “bad guy” lawyer — we all know there are a few out there…LOL

  3. January 8, 2013 7:15 am

    Mr. BFR is a big Grisham fan, so I’ll have to encourage him to read or listen to this. Interesting that it’s about a lawyer gone to the other side.

  4. January 8, 2013 8:29 am

    I think my husband read this and liked it. I’ve noticed you’re reviewing more audiobooks these days. I’ve become a fan of them over the past year or so.

  5. bookingmama permalink
    January 8, 2013 8:34 am

    I really liked this one… and I admit I was a little surprised since I’m not the biggest Grisham fan!

  6. January 8, 2013 9:06 am

    Saw this book advertised in either the Times or The New Yorker and was intrigued, but forgot about it until now.

  7. January 8, 2013 9:11 am

    Glad to read your liked this one. I haven’t read any Grishham books.

  8. January 8, 2013 9:40 am

    I used to read Grisham all the time – love the court cases! I still look him up once in a while so may need to check this one out.

  9. January 8, 2013 10:49 am

    I’m not a big fan of Grisham, but this does sound a little more like something I could listen to. What do you listen on, I’m still trying to learn to do that, and so far not much success. Hence the term “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” Thanks for your review.

  10. zibilee permalink
    January 8, 2013 11:14 am

    I haven’t read a Grisham book in ages, and it takes me back many years to the last one I read. I do think this one is interesting for the fact that the lawyer is outside the law and on the other side of the bars. I need to see if I can get to this one soon! Great review, Kathy!

  11. January 8, 2013 12:26 pm

    Grisham is a comfort read for me. I buy his books on the day they come out (except for his YA) and this one was no exception. I’m really looking forward to it and so happy to see that you liked it!

  12. sandynawrot permalink
    January 8, 2013 12:28 pm

    I used to read everything he wrote, but then got tired of the same old thing. Then I read An Innocent Man which was incredible. I’ve heard nothing but good about this one, so I might take the plunge on audio.

  13. January 8, 2013 1:22 pm

    This sounds good to me.

  14. January 8, 2013 1:27 pm

    I like the premise. A lawyer on the other side. That would be frustrating as hell!

  15. January 8, 2013 1:28 pm

    This sounds very good, Kathy! Excellent review, once again. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even pick up the audio version of this one. 🙂

  16. January 8, 2013 2:14 pm

    I’ve haven’t read any Grisham yet – sounds like a good audiobook. I like when authors try something new.

  17. January 8, 2013 2:51 pm

    I am a bit of a Grisham fan so this will go on my lengthy list. I’m still not sold on audio though and that’s probably good since I would probably fall asleep. Still need a nap every afternoon in my slow recovery.

  18. Patty permalink
    January 8, 2013 3:05 pm

    It’s been on best seller lists, too…it must be good even not in audio!

  19. January 8, 2013 3:31 pm

    I once read all of John Grisham’s books, but as others have said he became a bit too predictable and I stopped. This one sounds good, I might give it a try. Thanks for a great review!

  20. January 8, 2013 4:31 pm

    Oh Louisville is an easy one to catch non Southerners on isn’t it? 😉

  21. January 8, 2013 4:40 pm

    I have this on my TBR list and am so glad to know that you enjoyed it!

  22. January 8, 2013 6:16 pm

    It has been a while since I read a Grisham book, and this one sounds great, especially on audio – thanks for the great review!

  23. January 8, 2013 6:37 pm

    It’s been a long while since I read a Grisham and I loved many of his earlier books. I will have to read this one – glad to see that it is slightly different from his usual fare.

  24. January 8, 2013 6:38 pm

    Narrators can really make or break a book that is for sure. I love that this is a lawyer on the other side of the tracks…might bring me back to Grisham!!

  25. January 8, 2013 8:58 pm

    While I am obsessed with audiobooks, I rarely review them. I always have one in my car and can’t drive without them. My problem is that a great narrator can really impact my feelings on a book and this is why I don’t generally review them. I’ve listened to a ton of mediocre books that have been made great through stellar narrating. I know if I’d read the books, my rating wouldn’t be as strong so I’m hesitant to review them.

    Glad you enjoyed this one–I listened to a Grisham a few years back on a drive down to Florida and liked it.

  26. January 8, 2013 9:02 pm

    I’ve heard this is Grisham writing good again. This will be my next Audible pick!

  27. January 8, 2013 10:37 pm

    I read all of Grisham’s earlier books but not his more recent ones. This one gives me the urge to pick it up and read it.

  28. January 9, 2013 3:45 am

    Hi Kath,

    Like many of your previous commenters, I haven’t read a Grisham book for some considerable time, although over the years, I have enjoyed both reading many of his early titles and watching the film versions of many also.

    It is good to see that he is providing a good mix of both stand alone stories and additions to his ‘Theodore Boone’ series, which is where his next book will be focused.

    I am not into audio books at all, but that aside, your great review has given me the impetus to add this one to my reading list, so thanks for the recommendation,


  29. January 9, 2013 9:05 am

    I am so glad you enjoyed this one. I have it on my wishlist and now can’t wait to read it.

  30. January 9, 2013 9:16 am

    after a long, long Grisham break, I really liked this one!

  31. January 9, 2013 11:33 am

    I have this audio on hold at the library. Glad you enjoyed it.

  32. January 9, 2013 12:18 pm

    I used to read everything by Grisham, but I haven’t read anything of his for many years. Maybe I’ll pick this one up. Thanks for the review!

  33. Literary Feline permalink
    January 9, 2013 7:56 pm

    It’s been awhile since I last read a book by Grisham. This one does sound good–and a departure from his usual book. I will have to look for this one. Great review, Kathy!

  34. January 9, 2013 9:07 pm

    Louisville is tricky for us northerners 😉

  35. January 10, 2013 11:43 pm

    Oh I am so eager to read/listen to this one. I am on a long list at the library. I wish those ahead of me would hurry up.

  36. January 12, 2013 10:25 am

    I haven’t read a Grisham in quite a while, but this sounds like a good one to jump back in with.

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