Book review: The Racketeer by John Grisham

John Grisham, new book, The Racketeer, fition, legal, book review "This is indeed a work of fiction, and more so than usual." So begins an 'Author's Note' at the end of John Grisham's latest bestseller, The Racketeer.

Grisham goes on to say that 'Research, hardly a priority, was rarely called upon. Accuracy was not deemed crucial. Long paragraphs of fiction were used to avoid looking up facts."

It's an unusual dsiclaimer for a writer of fiction - surely we expect them to make things up - and it is hard to tell if it is an attempt to distant the book from any accidental brushes with reality or a sign of a tiring author.

Grisham has made his name with tightly written, believable legal fiction which poses possible or even probable legal twists, corruptions, disasters and mysteries.

The Racketeer is in the same vein and will be enjoyed by fans, although probably not as much as some of his better books, such as The Runaway Jury.

Grisham spends a lot of time building the character of small-town, black lawyer  Malcolm Bannister who is sent to prison and loses everything because of an innocent brush with a major fraudster.

As usual there is a twist in the tale and a clever recovery against the odds of the likable main character. The story does lose its way, for me, at times in describing some of the elaborate process that occurs once and opportunity for restitution of a kind presents itself to Bannister.

Maybe that is where Grisham feels his research is wanting, or perhaps it is the slightly improbable ending which is none the less satisfying.

The tag-line on the cover gives you an idea where things go and while it takes a while to get there, it will certainly keep Grisham's readers ready and waiting for his next release.

The Racketeer - the copy I read for this review is a 343 hardcover published by Hodder and Stoughton and printed in Australia by Griffin Press.

You can purchase a copy from Amazon by clicking the cover image above or from Booktopia by clicking the advertisment below. - Australia's #1 online bookstore


  1. Looks interesting. Could you please tell where can I read the free piece of it? Since failing freshman year college I always give a book around 20 pages in order to cathc my interest, if it doesn't.. well, probably the rest will be boring too.


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