The Judge’s List

Lacy Stoltz is back to take on an investigation like no other

Book title

The Judge’s List


John Grisham

Standalone or series

Series (book two)

First time reading this author?


Why I picked this

John Grisham is a fantastic author so when this came up as a Tandem Collective readalong I leapt at the chance to get involved.

Review copy or purchase

I read this with a gifted copy courtesy of publishers Hodder & Stoughton and as part of a Tandem Collective readalong. This review represents my own thoughts on the book.

What it’s about

The Board of Judicial Conduct is more used to investigating judge’s drunk on the bench. Where do they begin when a judge is accused of being a serial killer?


In preparation for taking part in this readalong I recently read the prequel, The Whistler. That provided an introduction to Lacy Stoltz and the fictional Board on Judicial Conduct, but I don’t think you need to have read The Whistler to enjoy The Judge’s List.

There’s a lot of bureaucracy in this story. Not in a dull way, but in quite a realistic one. A woman has been investigating a suspect in her father’s murder for twenty years. The killer was very careful and the police haven’t identified him, but Jeri Crosby thinks she knows who it was and that he’s killed a number of other people.

She’s worried that she doesn’t have enough evidence for the police to take her seriously, and that all that would happen is she’d tip her hand to the killer and he’d target her next. But, the suspect is a sitting judge, and the Board on Judicial Conduct have a legal duty to investigate any complaint which meets certain criteria. That’s how investigator Lacy Stoltz gets pulled into a serial killer investigation.

John Grisham’s handling of legal thrillers is so well practised and convincing that every part of this story felt like it could really happen. Some of the characters are frustrating. Jeri’s obsession makes her quite pushy, and even Lacy clearly swings between admiring her tenacity and wishing she would just go away.

It’s not a fast-paced thriller, but it is an well plotted story which carries the reader along. And, it does deliver tension in the final clashes with the killer – pages which I couldn’t tear my eyes away from.


Rating: 4 out of 5.
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