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The Racketeer by [Grisham, John]
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The Racketeer Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Length: 402 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

[T]his is not a story about a triumph or a miscarriage of courtroom justice. It's the more devious, surprising story of a smart man who gets even smarter once he spends five years honing his skills as a jailhouse lawyer -- and then expertly concocts an ingenious revenge scheme... Mr. Grisham writes with rekindled vigor here. New York Times Grisham introduces a small-town Virginia lawyer named Malcolm Bannister, who's dubiously convicted of money laundering for a drug-lord client, and maps out a revenge plot from his federal penitentiary cell that's twice as elaborate as the one Alexandre Dumas cooked up in The Count of Monte Cristo. 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. Entertainment Weekly 'Electrifying... carries the reader along one track (innocent man seeks exoneration) only to switch on to another (cat-and-mouse caper) halfway through with delicious, frictionless ease.' The Guardian

Product Description

The Racketeer is guilty of only one thing: keeping us engaged until the very last page.”—USA Today
 
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
In the history of the United States, only four active federal judges have been murdered. Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five. His body is found in his remote lakeside cabin. There is no sign of forced entry or struggle. Just two dead bodies: Judge Fawcett and his young secretary. And one large, state-of-the-art, extremely secure safe, opened and emptied.
 
One man, a former attorney, knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and why. But that man, Malcolm Bannister, is currently residing in the Federal Prison Camp near Frostburg, Maryland. Though serving time, Malcolm has an ace up his sleeve. He has information the FBI would love to know. Malcolm would love to tell them. But everything has a price—and the man known as the Racketeer wasn’t born yesterday.
 
Praise for The Racketeer
 
“Exhilarating . . . surprising . . . ingenious.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
 
“A satisfying, deeply engrossing thriller in which different forms of justice are ultimately served.”—The Washington Post
 
“Fast-paced . . . with enough startling plot twists—and changes of scenery, from Miami to Montego Bay and beyond—to surprise even the most suspicious reader.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“Tautly plotted.”—Entertainment Weekly

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3846 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (Oct. 23 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007SGLZP8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,108 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I give up. I found the beginning interesting, but then the whole book fell apart. This story is suppose to be taking place in the real world, dealing with horrific matters, but everyone in it lacks basic intelligence. Half-way through the book, I was bored. Now that I finally found out the purpose for the documentary, I don't even care. I would have liked to see the main character best the government that destroyed his life, but I stopped caring about this character the moment he left jail. There are maybe two hours left in the audiobook, but boredom has felt like torture for the past hour. I just can't take this book anymore.

I loved movies based on John Grisham's work. I thought books would be better. This is the third one I have read, and I'm giving up on this author. For the books that I was able to get through the best I can say is they were "meh".

Agatha Christie can make a tea party sound more intriguing and interesting, while Grisham makes running from the law and drug dealers sound boring.

...

Disappointed. This author is clearly not for me.

I borrowed the audiobook from the Toronto Public Library.
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Format: Hardcover
Have read all the Grisham's thus far, and absolutely loved this book. This book kept me guessing throughout and reminds me of the writing style of his earlier novels (ie: Time To Kill, Runaway Jury and The Chamber). Would definately recommend this to anyone who likes a good read that will keep you interested and guessing!
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By Jeffrey Swystun TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on Nov. 24 2012
Format: Paperback
And I am not referring to the plot. Kudos to Mr. Grisham for creating a unique style within the mystery genre but this effort was on auto-pilot. One only has to read the author's note at the end which is an admission of sorts. The least enjoyable aspect was the main character. In his past novels the Grisham formula includes a main character that you empathize with and root for. In The Racketeer, I was actually hoping that the plot would see Malcolm Bannister get duped. I expect the author will return to form and may even innovate again.
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Format: Hardcover
Having been disappointed with some of Grisham's recent novels, I approached this read with some trepidation. It seemed to start a bit slow with what appeared to me to be too much back story. However, as the plot developed my enjoyment of the story increased. In this tale, Grisham has woven an intricate tale full of twists and turns.

Basically, a black lawyer, Malcolm Bannister, is caught up unfairly in a large sweep of criminals and sent to a prison camp for ten years. While there his wife divorces him, his disappointed father visits monthly, and he uses his legal skills to help prisoners.

Then the judge who sentenced him is killed along with his secretary and his safe is emptied. What was in the safe? Who killed them? Malcolm seems to know and he uses this knowledge to come up with a scheme to get out of jail. His unbelievable scheme entertains us even as we cheer him for the way he cons the FBI. Or does he con them?

Like many of Grisham's books, this too is a terrible indictment on the American justice system, the prison system, the FBI, and corruption in general.
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By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on Nov. 20 2012
Format: Hardcover
John Grisham's last book - The Litigators - was one of my favourites by this award winning author. I was pretty excited to read his latest - The Racketeer.

Racketeer: "A person who commits crimes such as extortion, loansharking, bribery, and obstruction of justice in furtherance of illegal business activities."

Malcolm Bannister is a former attorney, currently serving time in the Frostburg, Maryland prison camp for money laundering. Trouble is, he swears he's innocent - he just picked the wrong client. License gone, wife gone, everything he had - gone. Five years into his sentence, he may have found a way out. He knows who killed Federal Judge Raymond Fawcett, found dead in his cabin retreat beside an empty safe. Can he bargain the killer's name for his freedom? And what about what was taken from the safe? There's a lot of people after that knowledge...

I love 'heist' and 'sting' type movies such as Ocean's Eleven. Grisham weaves his own take on the heist scenario with The Racketeer. And it's a great piece of storytelling. This is still a 'legal' thriller to a degree, but I think Grisham just had a lot of fun with this one. It's not a serious book, but an entertaining tale.

As he says in the author notes at the end: " The Racketeer is indeed a work of fiction. Accuracy was not deemed crucial. Long paragraphs of fiction were used to avoid looking up facts."

I chose to listen to this book. J.D. Jackson was the reader and his voice was perfectly suited to the main character. Macolm changes his speech patterns at one point and I did find the slower pace a bit annoying. I just wanted the story to move along.

The only reason I'm giving this a four instead of a five is that there was just something about Malcolm I didn't like.
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By John M. Ford TOP 100 REVIEWER on Feb. 23 2013
Format: Hardcover
John Grisham's latest legal thriller is fast-paced, engaging, and slaps the unwary reader with a few surprises. We've come to expect this. Among Grisham's other works, this story most resembles The Partner. That's at the general level of tone and feel. The plot twists of The Partner won't give anything away about this book. Don't bother checking.

Malcolm Bannister is an ex-attorney and a current involuntary resident of a minimum security prison camp just outside of Frostburg, Maryland. Halfway through a ten-year sentence, Malcolm has made his peace with his divorce and with the fact that his son's letters have stopped coming. He works in the prison library, gives legal advice to other inmates, and has stopped telling people that he was innocent of the money-laundering charges that put him inside. Malcolm is a model prisoner.

One day he makes an appointment with the warden and claims he can solve the brutal murder of a Federal judge. The warden, the FBI, and the Federal prosecutors are slow to believe yet another prisoner looking for a deal. But his information about the killer checks out. The murderer is identified, apprehended, and indicted. Malcolm is released, collects a substantial reward, and begins a new life in the Federal Witness Protection Program. Where it gradually becomes clear that Malcom--now Max--has his own agenda.

Grisham spins a good yarn, showing the same contempt for Federal agents and other attorneys that figures so prominently in The Firm. It isn't at all clear that the good guys will win or even who the good guys are. Or that there are any. But it is worth the time to watch the mysteries reveal themselves. This book is highly recommended for both Grisham fans and first-timers.
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