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The Racketeer

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  44,950 ratings  ·  5,705 reviews
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
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Doubleday (first published 2012)
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Robdemanc The ending was predictable, and dragged on a little. But on the whole, it was a clever plot.
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The John Grishman of yore has resurfaced with this book. Just when I am beginning to doubt that he is still capable of creating works of the same calibre as his earlier outputs, he came up with this book that is so engrossing I am sure his wayward fans would be resurrected. To say that this has come in the most opportune time is an understatement.
Oh how the mighty have fallen, and Grisham splats facedown with this mess. Grisham is trying for genius protagonist who outsmarts everyone around him, but instead of coming up with clever plans he's just got a smart mouth while the author dumbs everyone else down so far they should be wearing special helmets and riding a short bus.

The Feebees are right outta Mayberry, the "hero" is a DICK and none of the story is even remotely credible. Grisham didnt even try. The book starts with the feds being
The reason I have read all of John Grisham's legal novels is that I like the idea of the little guy taking on the big guy, the bully, the "man" in general. I don't even care if the little guy wins as long as he puts up a good fight. In this story I kept waiting for Mal/Max to become the good guy. The guy that fights the system for the wronged, that avenges his mistreatment by making sure the system works for the next underdog. It didn't happen. Turns out Mal/Max is just a thug, and robs other th ...more
Certainly an interesting story but one that almost seemed too pat. At the end after reading the book, I found the author's note saying that none of it was real and that he had not done a lot of research on the topic. I don't mind fiction and in fact read a lot of it and have enjoyed Grisham's work in the past. I just found that afterwards it left a sour feeling to read his comments. Perhaps it is the sign of a good storywriter that he didn't need to research and that this story just flowed but i ...more
Andrew Mount
I'm not going to waste my time with an extensive review of this book because I have wasted enough time reading it. I will start by saying that I have loved every one of John Grisham's books until this one. (and I've read every one).

Here is a short list of the problems with this book:

1.) The main character is an unlikable hypocrite. Grisham presents Bannister as a character we should root for. A man who was beaten down by the federal government. He really is a deadbeat dad who can't take two minu
Starts off with a bang telling a somewhat formulaic "man against the system" story.

Despite having seen it before, it's still fun to watch Grisham's main character (former lawyer and wrongly imprisoned Malcolm Bannister) execute an end-run around the powers-that-be. It is well a thought-out and executed scenario that while unrealistic at times, leaves the reader in a wistful mode wishing it could be so, as Bannister is likeable and has the reader rooting for him.

Midway through the novel, the plot
James Thane
When a federal judge named Raymond Fawcett is found murdered in his isolated mountain cabin, mysteries abound. The most important question is why did a judge of very modest means need the large state-of-the-art safe that was found hidden behind a bookcase?

Not surprisingly, the safe is now empty. The judge's young secretary who was found murdered beside him, had been tortured before she was killed. the assumption is that the killers tortured her to force the judge to open the safe before killing
Mal Warwick
John Grisham Walks on the Dark Side, for a Change

When you’re reading somebody’s 25th novel — the 31st of all the books he’s written — you’d be right to expect that he’d gotten the hang of writing. Especially if the guy had already sold more than a quarter of a billion copies of his work. And so it is with John Grisham’s fiendishly clever new novel, The Racketeer. It’s another winner from a man who’s been turning them out for more than two decades.

One aspect of Grisham’s fiendishness is his capac
I hadn't read a John Grisham in quite awhile and had been meaning to read this so I picked it up. It was just meh. I mean, it was the kind of story where the plot just unraveled and nothing else happened. There was no climax. No omg moments---just a plan that used the whole book to describe its unwinding. (view spoiler) ...more
Nan Williams
Grisham has said that he writes his books to be read in one sitting. I believe this one was written in one sitting. He explained it well in his "author's note" at the end: "Almost nothing ... was based on reality. Research, hardly a priority, was rarely called upon. Accuracy was not deemed crucial. Long paragraphs of fiction were used to avoid looking up facts."

At 340 pages it's not a quick read, but I believe it was a quick "write." It's a very shallow book with very shallow characters. There's
Ayushman Pershad



Judge Raymond Fogletree just became number 5.

His body was found in the basement of a lakeside cabin he had built himself and frequently used on weekends. When he did not show up for a tr
Teresa Crawford
Oh Grisham, you are back!!!!

You had me hooked from the first chapter. I felt like I was on a continuos road trip and the adventure was thrilling. I could almost see Bannister (main character) having a meeting at the George Washington Hotel or gossiping in one of the Old Towne coffee shops or at his office on Braddock Street in Winchester, VA (as this town is my home) so it was easy to visualize the places (New Market battlefield, Reston, Radford, Roanoke, Fairfax, DC, Frostburg) - it made it se
Malcolm Bannister is a largely unsuccessful lawyer who was imprisoned by an overly aggressive government prosecutor when he accidentally turned his law firm into a shell company for a shady crook who needed to launder a lot of money. Two years in a minimum-security prison camp are sufficient to turn him from a struggling bungler into a mastermind, and the tangled web of deception he weaves begins when Bannister approaches the FBI with information that can help them solve the execution-style murd ...more
THE RACKETEER is the first John Grisham novel I have read in ten years-I hadn't realized it had been so long until I looked at the release date of The Last Juror (which I read when it first came out). Why I waited so long I do not know, they are always fun and quick reads, with lots of twists and turns.

When I looked on the back of the book describing the plot, I almost put it back on the shelf. It sounded so similar to The Pelican Brief. A dead judge..environmental issue...but reading further I
Malcolm Bannister is halfway through a ten year prison sentence for money laundering, a crime he only technically and innocently committed. When a federal judge is murdered, he senses an opportunity to obtain his freedom, because he knows who committed the crime and why. Rules 35 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure allows for a prisoner to be pardoned or have their sentence reduced if they can solve another crime. His first challenge is getting the attention of the FBI, but eventually he ...more
John Grisham is a genius. How many times can you re-tell the same story and get people to pay for it each time? Grisham has the secret formula. Here's Grisham's story checklist:

1. Small-town lawyer who was wronged by the Feds.
2. Lots of cash and shady off-shore banking.
3. Righting wrong against Feds (or evil corporations)
4. Bumbling Feds
5. Attractive woman who helps small-town lawyer

The Racketeer has everything in the Grisham story checklist, but somehow it seems different than The Firm, The Ass
By my count, The Racketeer makes it three stinkers in a row by John Grisham after The Litigators and The Confession. I don't know if he's lost his mojo or what, but he's gone off of the legal thriller rails lately, and, frankly, the only reason I'm still reading his stuff is that they are quick to get through and usually only a couple bucks at the Wheaton Library used book store.

There was no courtroom drama whatsoever in this one, just the odd tale of a supposedly innocent convict working the sy
I've read a few other Grisham novels & this one was pretty much the same. They're the better brand of candy reads. In the author's note he mentions that he did absolutely no research for this book. That's OK since it's his standard fare, a lawyer in a tight spot who figures his way out. I think this is the first I've read where the protagonist was black, but that didn't make any difference.

The first half built up well & I wondered where the second half would go. It was pretty chilling &a

Contemporary fiction has it easy. All of the backstory, including pieces of equipment, structure or organization, are pre-constructed and readily available. The story can be told with the milieu mostly already prepared. In contrast, in the fantasy and science fiction genres, all of these elements cannot be taken for granted and have to be built in the narrative. Hence, when one picks up a book such as this, the expectation is for a quicker read with not much work required to imagine the locales

***4 gigantic stars***

I went back and forward on how to rate this book. The story was brilliantly developed with fascinating characters and good writing. It sucked me in from the first page and kept my attention to the very last word.
I took away one whole star because I had a major issue with one thing that made me very uncomfortable and at times irritated. But I will come back to that.

What I liked:

- Male MC, Malcolm Bannister. He is a real son of a gun, master manipulator and a scam artist. In
Barış Heybeli
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lewis Weinstein
"The Racketeer" is the best Grisham and one of the best crime/thrillers I have ever read. Written in an easy-to-read, straight-forward style, the plot mixes brilliant complexity and multiple surprises in a high-tension manner that doesn't end until the last page. That's all I can say, because to say more, even a single word, might interfere with the joy I think you will have experiencing this book for yourself.
This was my first Grisham read, and I wasn't disappointed. I wanted to delve in and really savor every word. The beginning was a little slow for me, and the story really picked up towards the end of the second half when you realize that Malcolm/Max has ulterior motives.

The Racketeer intoduces us to Malcolm Bannister, a convicted felon, spending a 10 year sentence in a low security prison for "helping" a known criminal purchase a property illegally. while Malcolm was dished a tough sentence for t
Vintage Grisham! Thrill, intrigue, fun, serious, deceit, revenge- everything one used to find when Grisham used to be at his peak (Firm, Time to Kill, Pelican Brief, Runaway Jury....). First half of the book deals with the central character, Mal Bannister, trying to buy his freedom from jail by becoming an informant about the identity of the killer of a judge. The second half of the book departs almost completely from that, and narrates Bannister's dealings with an ex-con who until then does not ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Don Johnson
Simply fun to read. Fun . . . fun . . . fun!

In my opinion, one of the best John Grisham novels ever. Lots and lots of thrills and excitment. Everything flows from page to page. The subject is facinating and very engaging -- and very unusual. At times, one could quibble with some of the action details and wonder if what just happened could really happen in the real world, but the book is so well written and engaging that those minor "concerns" receed into the background very, very quickly and bec
At this point, it'd be easy for John Grisham to go on cruise control, churning out a new legal thriller a year. Anything penned by Grisham at this point is going to be a guaranteed best seller, but it's nice to see that Grisham is still challenging himself and his readers on occasion with books that defy the conventional legal thriller mold.

The first half of Grisham's latest offering The Racketeer feels like Grisham pushing himself into different territory than his standard The Firm model of sto
Iris Pereyra
Love John Grisham but this book was all over the place, with a pretty implausible plot and I also find it kind of difficult to follow.
I am giving it 3 stars just because Grisham is such a prolific writer that he can be forgiven if he doesn't always hits the mark.
If you have not read other Grisham's books I suggest you start with some classic (A Time To Kill, The Confessions, The Firm are all wonderful reads if a bid dated now). Out of the more recent Grisham books, I really enjoy Sycamore Row, w
It’s been several months since I have read a John Grisham novel. He has yet again done a great helluva a job in this novel, The Racketeer. John Grisham’s works oftentimes include virtuous or upright lawyers as protagonist, but this time, he walks into the Dark Side. I don’t know if this was his first novel where he clings into the bad side of a person, a lawyer to be exact. Well, judging from almost sixteen (16) J.Grisham novels that I’ve read, this was probably his first.

A Racketeer is a person
[Audio-version] - I’m not what you could call a Grisham aficionado. I’ve enjoyed some of his earlier work, but I haven’t read any of his more recent books.
When I read the synopsis of THE RACKETEER, I was curious. I do like a good legal/mystery thriller, and I was totally ready to be entertained by this Audio-book. This story was simply good and kept me captivated till almost to the end. I just had expected a big-bang ending, a not-so predictable happy end - (that’s just me). Honestly, I was exp
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do you find yourself buying books of authors you loved but now getting disappointing 29 295 Oct 16, 2014 08:25AM  
52 weeks, 52 books: Week 38: The Racketeer 5 70 Oct 14, 2014 03:09AM  
52 weeks, 52 books: My review of The Racketeer 1 23 Sep 23, 2013 06:51AM  
  • The Forgotten (John Puller, #2)
  • The Black Box (Harry Bosch, #18)
  • The Fifth Assassin (Beecher White, #2)
  • Mad River (Virgil Flowers, #6)
  • NYPD Red (NYPD Red, #1)
  • A Conflict of Interest
  • Threat Vector (Jack Ryan Jr., #4)
  • Unintended Consequences (Stone Barrington, #26)
  • Suspect
  • The Intercept (Jeremy Fisk, #1)
  • Victims (Alex Delaware, #27)
  • Heart of a Killer
  • The Panther  (John Corey, #6)
"Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of
More about John Grisham...
A Time to Kill (Jake Brigance, #1) The Firm The Client The Pelican Brief The Runaway Jury

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“I guess under the right circumstances, a man will do just about anything.” 14 likes
“How do you survive for years in prison? You don’t think about years, or months, or weeks. You think about today—how to get through it, how to survive it. When you wake up tomorrow, another day is behind you. The days add up; the weeks run together; the months become years. You realize how tough you are, how you can function and survive because you have no choice.” 4 likes
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