The Racketeer: Book summary and reviews of The Racketeer by John Grisham

The Racketeer

By John Grisham

The Racketeer
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2012,
    352 pages.

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Book Summary

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 Fawcett has just become number five.

Who is the Racketeer? And what does he have to do with the judge's untimely demise? His name, for the moment, is Malcolm Bannister. Job status? Former attorney. Current residence? The Federal Prison Camp near Frostburg, Maryland.

On paper, Malcolm's situation isn't looking too good these days, but he's got an ace up his sleeve. He knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and he knows why. The judge's body was found in his remote lakeside cabin. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies: Judge Fawcett and his young secretary. And one large, state-of-the-art, extremely secure safe, opened and emptied.

What was in the safe? The FBI would love to know. And Malcolm Bannister would love to tell them. But everything has a price—especially information as explosive as the sequence of events that led to Judge Fawcett's death. And the Racketeer wasn't born yesterday ...

Nothing is as it seems and everything's fair game in this wickedly clever new novel from John Grisham, the undisputed master of the legal thriller.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Bestseller Grisham is back in top form with this twisty, precisely plotted legal thriller that eschews the civics lessons of some of his more recent work." - Publishers Weekly

"This is the kind of story that built Grisham's reputation as a lion of the literary thriller. The Racketeer is guilty of only one thing: keeping us engaged until the very last page." - USA Today

"Like many a Grisham hero, Mal is a legal insider who knows how to work the system to his advantage. He's also a peculiarly lone wolf, willing to shed all his family ties in pursuit of a very long and entertaining con. A-." - USA Today

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Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Becky H
Dealing with the feds is challenging
This vintage Grisham mystery will appeal to fans and new readers as well. The Racketeer is the tale of an innocent (and now former) lawyer who is out to redeem himself by squealing on a murderer and thief. The main character, Malcolm Bannister, posits a scheme to the FBI to gain his exoneration and freedom by giving them the name and motive for the torture and murder of a federal judge and the woman with him.
You will enjoy the twists and turns of the plot as Malcolm enters the Witness Protection system and gradually gives the feds what they want.

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Author Information

John Grisham Author Biography

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn't have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.

One day at the Dessoto County courthouse, Grisham was inspired to start a novel. Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood ...

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Name Pronunciation
John Grisham: jon GRISH-uhm

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