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Book review: 'The Racketeer' by John Grisham

“The Racketeer” by John Grisham is a thriller with a surprise twist that will keep you reading until the final page.
BY BETTY LYTLE Published: January 20, 2013

“The Racketeer” (Doubleday, $28.95) is John Grisham's latest novel, and (no surprise) it's on the best-seller list.

Judge Raymond Fawcett has been murdered, and the authorities have no leads on a perpetrator. Malcolm Bannister, a former attorney, is serving time at the federal prison camp near Frostburg, Md.

Bannister's situation seems hopeless until the judge is murdered. But he knows who committed the murder and the motive. The judge was found in his lakeside cabin. There was no forced entry, just the bodies of the judge and his secretary, and a large, empty state-of-the-art safe.

Bannister makes a deal with the FBI, trading his release and a place in the witness protection program for his knowledge of the murder. Everything seems settled when Bannister suddenly has an agenda of his own.

This is Grisham at his best: a thriller with a surprise twist that will keep you reading.

— Betty Lytle


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