The Racketeer

The Racketeer

by John Grisham


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The Racketeer is guilty of only one thing: keeping us engaged until the very last page.”—USA Today
In the history of the United States, only four active federal judges have been murdered. Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five. His body is found in his remote lakeside cabin. There is no sign of forced entry or struggle. Just two dead bodies: Judge Fawcett and his young secretary. And one large, state-of-the-art, extremely secure safe, opened and emptied.
One man, a former attorney, knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and why. But that man, Malcolm Bannister, is currently residing in the Federal Prison Camp near Frostburg, Maryland. Though serving time, Malcolm has an ace up his sleeve. He has information the FBI would love to know. Malcolm would love to tell them. But everything has a price—and the man known as the Racketeer wasn’t born yesterday.
Praise for The Racketeer
“Exhilarating . . . surprising . . . ingenious.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“A satisfying, deeply engrossing thriller in which different forms of justice are ultimately served.”—The Washington Post
“Fast-paced . . . with enough startling plot twists—and changes of scenery, from Miami to Montego Bay and beyond—to surprise even the most suspicious reader.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Tautly plotted.”—Entertainment Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345545336
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/27/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 58,137
Product dimensions: 5.46(w) x 7.82(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

John Grisham is the author of twenty-five novels; one work of nonfiction; a collection of stories; and a series for young readers. The recipient of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, he is also the chairman of the board of directors of the Mississippi Innocence Project at the University of Mississippi School of Law. He lives in Virginia and Mississippi.


Oxford, Mississippi, and Albemarle County, Virginia

Date of Birth:

February 8, 1955

Place of Birth:

Jonesboro, Arkansas


B.S., Mississippi State, 1977; J.D., University of Mississippi, 1981

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Excerpted from "The Racketeer"
by .
Copyright © 2013 John Grisham.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

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 Grisham owns the legal thriller.”—The Denver Post

“John Grisham is not just popular, he is one of the most popular novelists of our time. He is a craftsman and he writes good stories, engaging characters, and clever plots.”—The Seattle Times

“A mighty narrative talent and an unerring eye for hot-button issues.”—Chicago Sun-Times
“A legal literary legend.”—USA Today

Customer Reviews

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The Racketeer 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1084 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read everyone of mr.grishams books, this book is one of his best.its not bogged down with alot of useless information.keep up the great work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A really good, fun read! Grabs your attention and doesn't let go. Will easily cause you to stay up late, reading. Definitely worth it. Keep up the great work, Mr. Grisham! ~Munchkin
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
John Grisham's books are becoming as boring as James Patterson's. I didn't like the lead character from the beginning--alternated between being whiney or slimey. And it became very obvious early on that he knew way too much about circumventing the law than then simple small town lawyer he claimed to be. This could have been a good book, but was not written with the suspense of Grisham's earlier books. By the end of the book I didn't like any of the characters and only finished the book to finally get closure on what had become an obvious ending.
JoanPA More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Grisham's Books. I bought this one the day it was released and could not put it down. Definately one of the best books I have read in awhile and one of my favorite books of his. It will keep you guessing until the last page. GREAT BOOK!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not really sure how to write my review. Story-very good, length-just right, the rest? not sure. Just didn't feel like the Grisham of old. Hard to explain. Was he just pushing words for money? Enjoyed the book but just not worth the money for this one in my opinion. Left kind of an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. Worth reading but wait for the paperback version to save some money on this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read all of Grisham's books and anxiously await his every novel! I started reading this one and the writing felt off. It was as if being told a story by a boring Uncle. It is missing the suspense and texture usually woven into his writing. The final dissappointment was the author's notes in which he proudly claims he "did no research". Eagerly awaiting Mr. Grisham's next novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I want to savor a good book John Grisham never lets me down. I read this book in one afternoon. He is absolutely one of my favorite authors of all time! He has a way of drawing you into the story and keeping you there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did not like it! Choppy, poorly written, implausible, hard to follow. Seems like Mr Grisham did this for the gold only. I allow one mistake so the next book better be back to my expectations of a John Grisham novel or I won't purchase another. Fool me once....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the epilogue the author proudly states he did not do research for this novel. He should have.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I chose a John Grisham book to help me get back into the habit of reading as, in the past, I've found his books to be quick page-turners- hard to put down. This, his latest book, had good reviews and the premise seemed intriguing. Alas, I was largely dissppointed by the book. The plot centers around a lawyer in jail for racketeering who supposedly knows the identity of the murderer of a federal judge. Right off the bat several elements of the plot seemed largely implausible including the claim that the protagonist was more or less innocent of the charges that landed him in jail. More annoying was Grisham's use of the first-person narrative interjected with occassional passages of third-person. In another setting, this might have worked, but here it was clumsy. The storytelling lacked any real excitement - at no time did I ever feel the characters to be in peril. Instead it was the slow, and at times laborius, detailing of a convulted scheme. There are countless passages that read like a travel itinerary as though Grisham was merely trying to fill pages. Two final quibbles: Grisham almost brags in the Author's Note at the end that he did no research for this book. It is painfully obvious in his whole attitude towards the story. I suppose when you are successful as Grisham, you can phone one in from time to time as he does here. My other quibble is that Grisham, who is white, chose to make the protagonist African-American, then write in first person. Ultimately it doesn't ring true leaving us with a character who is neither likable or memorable. Some have called this book a "return to form" for Grisham, but I know he has written much better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Plot is not very credible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was getting a little bored with the lawyer John Grisham books but this was unexpected. I really enjoyed this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was just an ok read. Not nearly as good as some of his others. It was an easy read though. If you are looking for a book to pass time and not keep you glued to your nook, this is it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read every Ghrisham novel, but this one is a dud. I couldn't get past the first chapter and wish I hadn't pre-ordeted it. Save your $15 for a better read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At the end of the book under "Author's Notes" he explains he did no research - it was evident. If you get this book read the first two chapters and the last two. It is my opinion you don't need the rest. I didnt enjoy the plot, nor did I think the characters were developed into anyone i could identify with. Worst book i have read in a while. I was very disappointed and expected better from Grisham.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Grisham's books, some a couple times. This novel is average for him. I can tell he is getting lazy. Some of the characters feel the same as from previous novels. I honestly feel like he is just "riding his name" now. Plus, he botches the first person perspective. You will see what I mean if you read it. 3 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an unusual miss for John Grisham. It was slow going and never really seemed like it was going anywhere. When it finally did pick up, it was pretty anti-climatic. Then it all wraps up in a nice tidy little package in the most formulaic way. Wouldn't recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Drags. Few characters. No tension in the limited plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I enjoyed all of Mr. Grisham's works, this is my new favorite. Very easy to connect with the main character.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This one was hard to put down and it kept me guessing. While paarts of it may stretched the imagination, the plot always snapped back to believable boundaries
RosieRN More than 1 year ago
very mediocre-I expect better from Grisham. Too involved and unbelievable. Disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grisham has become a writing machine, But machines manufacture fast and can malfunction. Sometimes quality suffers. This was a disappointing book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very disappointed in this book.  Just not up to Grisham standards.  Ok if you want to kill some time I guess, but it will be one I can easily forget about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my second novel by this author. The story line was good and keep my attention to the end.I have looked at other comments and since am not an avid fan of Grisham's I don't know his writing style and wasnt disappointment as other fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lol! GREAT BOOK, the author totally rocks|•__•|