Reading the latest John Grisham has become like Christmas for me: excited about what’s to come and over too soon.
So, for a few dozen pages of his latest book, The Whistler, Grisham had me worried. Worried that the impossible was happening – that I was reading a Grisham book that I wouldn’t enjoy. Thankfully, the slow buildup was merely taking me to a moment that was not only jaw-dropping, but that set the pace for the rest of what you would associate with Grisham – a thrilling roller coaster ride you don’t want to end.
Grisham tackles judicial corruption in his latest outing. Lawyer Lacy Stoltz works for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She finds herself investigating a judge alleged to have helped build a casino on an Indian reservation, and to be skimming a portion of undeclared winnings to fund a secret lavish lifestyle.
Despite the juicy plot, The Whistler is not my favourite Grisham book. (My favourite remains Theodore Boone. Ignore the fact it’s a children’s book – solicitors will love it more.) But it shows just how brilliant a fiction writer Grisham is – even when he doesn’t surpass my expectations, he’s still pretty good.
Author: John Grisham
£20, Hodder & Stoughton
The characters are interesting, but it is the little details I found myself engrossed in. For instance, the process Lacy must follow once a complaint about a judge has been made and the different laws that govern Florida tribes.
There are some unexpected but welcome moments of light relief courtesy of Stoltz’s brother. Grisham even manages to add a romantic interest.
It’s difficult to say much about judge Claudia McDover without giving the plot away, but I would have liked to have seen more of her at work. There are some fascinating glimpses of life in her courtroom.
Speaking of McDover, there aren’t many female characters, but in what feels like a male-dominated world, they have the most important roles in the story.
Monidipa Fouzder is a reporter at the Law Society Gazette