The Whistler

The king of the legal thriller strikes again

Book title

The Whistler

Author

John Grisham

Standalone or series

Series (book one)

First time reading this author?

No

Why I picked this

This is the prequel to John Grisham’s newest book The Judge’s List. I’m due to read that as part of an Instagram readalong soon, so wanted to catch-up with the main character Lacy Stoltz’s previous story first.

Review copy or purchase

Purchase.

What it’s about

Investigators at the Board on Judicial Conduct are drawn into a massive criminal conspiracy when they receive a complaint about a judge at the centre of corruption.

Review

This is the prequel to John Grisham’s newest book The Judge’s List. I’m due to read that as part of an Instagram readalong soon, so wanted to catch-up with the main character Lacy Stoltz’s previous story first.

I love the fact that this book is based around the little known team who investigate complaints against non-federal judges. The American system of electing these kind of roles fascinates me. Having elected sheriffs and judges has always seemed fraught with risks of corruption, to be elected you have to pander to public opinion to some extent which doesn’t always chime with having an objective approach to ensuring the rule of law is observed.

Lacy and her partner Hugo are contacted by a secretive lawyer representing an anonymous complainer who claims to have evidence about a criminal conspiracy involving a local judge. As lawyers rather than police officers their powers are limited, but as they begin to investigate it becomes clear that there is a serious problem here. A problem which puts everyone involved at risk.

I really enjoyed the pace of this book. There’s a good balance between action whilst also not overselling how much power the investigation team has. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out in later books, there’s only so often the case can be handed over to the FBI before the story becomes about those agents rather than the team at the heart of this story. But, for The Whistler at least, this approach works.

A fresh take on the legal thriller format which John Grisham is rightly renowned for.

Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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