The Racketeer

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The Racketeer

by John Grisham

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | October 23, 2012 | Hardcover

The Racketeer is rated 4.1429 out of 5 by 7.
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 name, for the moment, is Malcolm Bannister. Job status? Former attorney. Current residence? The Federal Prison Camp near Frostburg, Maryland.

On paper, Malcolm’s situation isn’t looking too good these days, but he’s got an ace up his sleeve. He knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and he knows why. The judge’s body was found in his remote lakeside cabin. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies: Judge Fawcett and his young secretary. And one large, state-of-the-art, extremely secure safe, opened and emptied.

What was in the safe? The FBI would love to know. And Malcolm Bannister would love to tell them. But everything has a price—especially information as explosive as the sequence of events that led to Judge Fawcett’s death. And the Racketeer wasn’t born yesterday . . .

Nothing is as it seems and everything’s fair game in this wickedly clever new novel from John Grisham, the undisputed master of the legal thriller.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 9.49 × 6.44 × 1.21 in

Published: October 23, 2012

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385535147

ISBN - 13: 9780385535144

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting racket This was an interesting John Grisham novel. I still feel that "A time to kill" was the best Grisham has ever written. However, this novel had lots of twists and turns to keep me guessing. The book description wasn't terribly telling regarding what this book was truly about. It is less about the murder of a federal court judge, and certainly not about a lawyer, practicing law as we have come to expect from Grisham. But an interesting web of deceptions is put into play by a jailed, former attorney, to effect both his release from prison and his security in the outside world. The novel definitely picked up as the book went on. The ending was conveniently tidy. My criticism is that I wasn't given enough information along the way to "solve" the mystery as it unfolded so I was taken by surprise by some of the ways the book came together. That said, this is a better book than Grisham has put out in a long time.
Date published: 2013-10-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Convoluted Plot! Having been disappointed with some of Grisham's recent novels, I approached this read with some trepidation. It seemed to start a bit slow with what appeared to me to be too much back story. However, as the plot developed my enjoyment of the story increased. In this tale, Grisham has woven an intricate tale full of twists and turns. Basically, a black lawyer, Malcolm Bannister, is caught up unfairly in a large sweep of criminals and sent to a prison camp for ten years. While there his wife divorces him, his disappointed father visits monthly, and he uses his legal skills to help prisoners. Then the judge who sentenced him is killed along with his secretary and his safe is emptied. What was in the safe? Who killed them? Malcolm seems to know and he uses this knowledge to come up with a scheme to get out of jail. His unbelievable scheme entertains us even as we cheer him for the way he cons the FBI. Or does he con them? Like many of Grisham's books, this too is a terrible indictment on the American justice system, the prison system, the FBI, and corruption in general.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent must read I found this to be an excellent book and after not reading John for a few years I certainly remembered why I enjoyed reading him so much. This is a must read.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Exceptional Although I give Grisham a 4 star I only give him a 2 on the first half of the book. It took far to long to get the story going. To much backtracking in the first half of the book. His character "Bannister" pulled together a fantastic scheme. The ending was a bit to convienent. I expect more of Grisham. He said himself that he wrote this one with little research, "of the top". However, if you are a Grsiham fan you will want to read it!
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really Good It was put together really well obv. a Grisham. I really enjoyed the ending ;)
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good but predictable I enjoyed this read, read it pretty quick by my standards. It is a typical Grisham novel, engaging and detailed. It took me a bit to figure out what was going to happen but when I did it was plainly obvious. Still a great read though.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not his best, but entertaining John Grisham's last book - The Litigators - was one of my favourites by this award winning author. (my review) I was pretty excited to read his latest - The Racketeer. Racketeer: "A person who commits crimes such as extortion, loansharking, bribery, and obstruction of justice in furtherance of illegal business activities." Malcolm Bannister is a former attorney, currently serving time in the Frostburg, Maryland prison camp for money laundering. Trouble is, he swears he's innocent - he just picked the wrong client. License gone, wife gone, everything he had - gone. Five years into his sentence, he may have found a way out. He knows who killed Federal Judge Raymond Fawcett, found dead in his cabin retreat beside an empty safe. Can he bargain the killer's name for his freedom? And what about what was taken from the safe? There's a lot of people after that knowledge... I love 'heist' and 'sting' type movies such as Ocean's Eleven. Grisham weaves his own take on the heist scenario with The Racketeer. And it's a great piece of storytelling. This is still a 'legal' thriller to a degree, but I think Grisham just had a lot of fun with this one. It's not a serious book, but an entertaining tale. As he says in the author notes at the end: " The Racketeer is indeed a work of fiction. Accuracy was not deemed crucial. Long paragraphs of fiction were used to avoid looking up facts." I chose to listen to this book. J.D. Jackson was the reader and his voice was perfectly suited to the main character. Macolm changes his speech patterns at one point and I did find the slower pace a bit annoying. I just wanted the story to move along. The only reason I'm giving this a four instead of a five is that there was just something about Malcolm I didn't like. He's the one we should be rooting for, but I found him to be pompous and cocky. I never did feel sorry for him. Did he get what he deserved? In his eyes, yes. In mine - not really. I almost felt sorry for the 'bad guy'. I don't know that it was Malcolm's place to mete out judgment. In the end he's no better and his protestations of innocence at the beginning of the book are moot. Still, I quite enjoyed it. Not his best, but entertaining nonetheless.
Date published: 2013-10-29

– More About This Product –

The Racketeer

by John Grisham

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 9.49 × 6.44 × 1.21 in

Published: October 23, 2012

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385535147

ISBN - 13: 9780385535144

About the Book

It is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered. Judge Fogletree just became number five. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies--Judge Fogletree and his young secretary. And only one man knows the story.

Read from the Book

CHAPTER 1 I am a lawyer, and I am in prison. It''s a long story. I''m forty-three years old and halfway through a ten-year sentence handed down by a weak and sanctimonious federal judge in Washington, D.C. All of my appeals have run their course, and there is no procedure, mechanism, obscure statute, technicality, loophole, or Hail Mary left in my thoroughly depleted arsenal. I have nothing. Because I know the law, I could do what some inmates do and clog up the courts with stacks of worthless motions and writs and other junk filings, but none of this would help my cause. Nothing will help my cause. The reality is that I have no hope of getting out for five more years, save for a few lousy weeks chopped off at the end for good behavior, and my behavior has been exemplary. I shouldn''t call myself a lawyer, because technically I am not. The Virginia State Bar swept in and yanked my license shortly after I was convicted. The language is right there in black and white--a felony conviction equals disbarment. I was stripped of my license, and my disciplinary troubles were duly reported in the Virginia Lawyer Register. Three of us were disbarred that month, which is about average. However, in my little world, I am known as a jailhouse lawyer and as such spend several hours each day helping my fellow inmates with their legal problems. I study their appeals and file motions. I prepare simple wills and an occasional land deed. I review contracts for some of the white-collar guys. I ha
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From the Publisher

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 name, for the moment, is Malcolm Bannister. Job status? Former attorney. Current residence? The Federal Prison Camp near Frostburg, Maryland.

On paper, Malcolm’s situation isn’t looking too good these days, but he’s got an ace up his sleeve. He knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and he knows why. The judge’s body was found in his remote lakeside cabin. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies: Judge Fawcett and his young secretary. And one large, state-of-the-art, extremely secure safe, opened and emptied.

What was in the safe? The FBI would love to know. And Malcolm Bannister would love to tell them. But everything has a price—especially information as explosive as the sequence of events that led to Judge Fawcett’s death. And the Racketeer wasn’t born yesterday . . .

Nothing is as it seems and everything’s fair game in this wickedly clever new novel from John Grisham, the undisputed master of the legal thriller.

About the Author

JOHN GRISHAM is the author of twenty-five novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and two novels for young readers. He lives in Virginia and Mississippi.

Editorial Reviews

Critical Acclaim for the Undisputed Master of the Legal Thriller “With every new book I appreciate John Grisham a little more, for his feisty critiques of the legal system, his compassion for the underdog, and his willingness to strike out in new directions.”— Entertainment Weekly “John Grisham is exceptionally good at what he does—indeed, right now in this country,  nobody does it better . . . Grisham’s books are also smart, imaginative, and funny, populated by complex interesting people, written by a man who is driven not merely by the desire to entertain but also by genuine (if understated) outrage at human cupidity and venality.”—Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post “The secrets of Grisham’s success are no secret at all. There are two of them: his pacing, which ranges from fast to breakneck, and his theme—little guy takes on big conspiracy with the little guy getting the win in the end. — Time “The law, by its nature, creates drama, and a new Grisham promises us an inside look at the dirty machineries of process and power, with plenty of an entertainment.” – Los Angeles Times “John Grisham is about as good a storyteller as we’ve got in the United States these days.”— The New York Times Book Review “Grisham is a marvelous storyteller who works readers the way a good trial lawyer works a jury.”— The Philadelphia Inquirer “John Grish
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