The Whistler by John Grisham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Lacy Stolz is a lawyer and investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. Along with a small team, she investigates misconducts by Florida judges. It's a pretty quiet and safe job, and her fellow underfunded and underpaid investigators do not see much excitement either. They are not cops, after all. But when a corruption case is assigned to Lacy and her partner, Hugo, everything changes. The claimant, Greg Myers, tells Lacy and Hugo that a Florida judge is stealing vast sums of money - so much money it will blow their minds. His claim brings Lacy and Hugo into the world of the Coast Mafia: a secret, well-hidden, and highly protective group involved with a Native American casino in Florida. With the judge's help, they've constructed the casino and vast amounts of related real estate and are now skimming huge amounts of the casino's take each month. The Native Americans are enjoying prosperity, the members of the Coast Mafia are living high, and the judge is richer than anyone could dream. But Lacy's client wants to end it all. He has the information, but can he and Lacy stop an organization this powerful and deadly?
It's always hard to pass up a Grisham novel. Even if he's not at his best (it's hard to top books like The Client and The Pelican Brief, in my humble opinion), you know you'll get an intriguing tale. And this one was no exception. It's an interesting and suspenseful thriller that entertains you for a few days, even if it doesn't have the memorable characters and plotlines of the previously mentioned novels. As with many of Grisham's books, this would make a good movie, it quickly sucks you in with its suspense. I actually found myself avoiding it at night, as it was so stressful. Lacy is an interesting character (but again, she's certainly no Darby Shaw), and you'll find yourself rooting for her. The drama surrounding the Coast Mafia, the casino, and the judge keeps your attention well enough.
Still, nothing about this book is incredibly engaging, or enduring. While it's suspenseful in the moment, it's not a Grisham novel that will stick with me. The ending felt rushed and a little anti-climatic. If you're a Grisham fan, you'll enjoy it, but it probably won't be one of your all-time favorites.
You can read my review of Grisham's ROGUE LAWYER, here.
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