The Whistler by John Grisham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Whistler is billed as "a high stakes thrill ride through the darkest corners of the Sunshine State" according to Barnes and Noble. That's a pretty fair assessment, actually.
A Time to Kill tackled racial violence and rape. The Firm is about a law firm that is in bed with the mafia. The Pelican Brief tackles the murder of Supreme Court Justices. The Chamber tackles such issues as anti-Semitism, the KKK, and the death penalty.
The Whistler, in my opinion, is not the typical drama I expect from John Grisham, but it is a thrilling ride nonetheless. What disappointed me most was that there was no courtroom involved. That is usually my favorite part of a legal thriller.
The issue is the lack of integrity of a judge. The main character, Lacy Stoltz, receives an intriguing phone call with accusations of judicial misconduct. Lacy's job, working for the board of judicial review, is to investigate these accusations to determine if there is enough evidence to bring the judge under review. The caller is an attorney representing the person who wants to blow the whistle on the judge. But the corruption doesn't include only the judge. The Coast Mafia, in partnership with the Tappacola Indian Nation, are also included in the corruption. And since some of the events happen on tribal land, they are governed by their own laws, not those of the state of Florida or the USA. Can Lacy, her partner, and her boss, with formidable foes such as a judge, a mob boss and his thugs, and an Indian tribe with questionable ethics, get to the bottom of things before it becomes too dangerous?
I must admit, the beginning of the novel didn't hook me, but I kept reading, and several chapters in, it finally did. This was not the enthralling courtroom drama Grisham is known for, but it was a mystery with many twists and turns. Secrets are revealed at just the right times to keep the action moving forward. Each piece of the puzzle is carefully and skillfully placed to keep the reader intrigued. We find out before the end who the whistleblower actually is, but even then, there are ups and downs and twists. It's like an exciting roller coaster ride. Good job, Grisham. While not as good as my favorites mentioned above, it is so much better than your previous novel, Rogue Lawyer.
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