The Racketeer – John Grisham

I read this after finishing the awful A Family Affair, because I needed something light, but not stupid or horrible and I remembered Grisham from my early twenties to be dependable in that respect. It was the same this time, while it’s not the best Grisham I’ve read, it was still readable (and didn’t include any jaguars or mountain lions like my previous read).

Malcolm Bannister, a lawyer of course, is in prison for racketeering, is half way through his ten year sentence. He is not in love with FBI or any government agency for that matter, yet when a federal judge is murdered he offers FBI to provide vital information in exchange for his freedom. That’s pretty much what I can say about the plot without spoiling it.

Is the plot believable? Not one bit. Are characters well developed? Not really, their actions sometimes seem to have completely no justification whatsoever. Did I breeze through this book? Yes. Probably if I read it after another book, I would judge it more harshly, but after A Family Affair this really felt like a decent book. The language was fair, as opposed to the unbearable prose before, the characters were at least two-dimensional, as opposed to flat pancakes in the earlier one and I could see that if clichés were used it was on purpose, not for lack of other ideas.

I will probably not run after anyone trying to push this book into their hands. If you want Grisham at his best you’re probably better off with A Time to Kill or The Firm. 

Do you have a favorite Grisham? Or maybe another reliable writer you turn to for a lighter read?

Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska @ vkphotospace

11 thoughts on “The Racketeer – John Grisham

    1. Yes, I think I have to reread A Time to Kill actually, it’s been a while since I read it. I like that he’s always reliable when I’m in need of something decent to read. I don’t think I’ve read The Litigators, will give it a shot! Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Deepika Ramesh

    I still haven’t read a book written by John Grisham. I have a copy of ‘A Time to Kill’. Now that you think it is the best, I must definitely try. I go to PG Wodehouse when I want a light read. 🙂


    1. Haha, I haven’t read anything by PG Wodehouse yet, I know I have one of his books on my shelves and it is patiently waiting for its time to come, I think it may be this fall as the autumn blues comes upon me 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve never read a Grisham! I feel like the only person who hasn’t – only now I see that Deepika hasn’t so I’m not the only one after all! Good to know about this one. Sometimes you just want an entertaining book you don’t have to think about too much, that won’t break your heart or anything. I recommend Michael Connelly’s books, both the Lincoln Lawyer ones (legal thrillers) and the Harry Bosch ones (police procedurals.) I’ve read and enjoyed them all.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hahaha, nope you’re not the only one, no worries 🙂 I’ll check out Michael Connelly. As you said sometimes we just need an entertaining book, that’s when I rely on Grisham, light, but not stupid. Connelly may become my other dependable author in that respect! Thanks!


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