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The Judge's List: A Novel (The Whistler) Hardcover – October 19, 2021
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In The Whistler, Lacy Stoltz investigated a corrupt judge who was taking millions in bribes from a crime syndicate. She put the criminals away, but only after being attacked and nearly killed. Three years later, and approaching forty, she is tired of her work for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct and ready for a change.
Then she meets a mysterious woman who is so frightened she uses a number of aliases. Jeri Crosby’s father was murdered twenty years earlier in a case that remains unsolved and that has grown stone cold. But Jeri has a suspect whom she has become obsessed with and has stalked for two decades. Along the way, she has discovered other victims.
Suspicions are easy enough, but proof seems impossible. The man is brilliant, patient, and always one step ahead of law enforcement. He is the most cunning of all serial killers. He knows forensics, police procedure, and most important: he knows the law.
He is a judge, in Florida—under Lacy’s jurisdiction.
He has a list, with the names of his victims and targets, all unsuspecting people unlucky enough to have crossed his path and wronged him in some way. How can Lacy pursue him, without becoming the next name on his list?
The Judge’s List is by any measure John Grisham’s most surprising, chilling novel yet.
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About the Author
- Publisher : Doubleday; First Edition (October 19, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0385546025
- ISBN-13 : 978-0385546027
- Item Weight : 1.5 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.45 x 1.38 x 9.53 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This is not a whodunnit, we are told the names of the killer and the principle protagonists from the beginning of this book. It is very slow to develop, and follows predictable plot lines every step of the way. There is virtually no action in this book, very little suspense, no twists, no thrills.
About 80% of the way through, the story starts to heat up and becomes briefly entertaining, but that action peaks almost immediately and then the story falls into a continued long and drawn out anti-climax. It ends and I wondered why I spent hours reading this book.
I read quite a few and liked Grisham’s earlier novels. I could not get excited about this one at all.
He writes fantastic legal drama, but he fails miserably when he tries a non-legal plot. He is not alone in this,
I returned the book to Amazon
His writing of what Bannick can do with his "Maggots" software is poorly done.
The most striking error is the "double clove hitch", one of the primary threads of the story. He states the rope was 30" long. The double clove hitch requires four wraps of the line around the object being secured, plus the length of the tails. A 15" neck would require at least 60" of line
The book has 46 main chapters, and a total of about 356 pages of story in the digital version.
I haven't read The Whistler yet, but this book works as a stand alone story and you don't need to have read The Whistler to enjoy this book. There are some references to things that happened in that previous story, but they are all explained well and aren't vital to the plot of this book.
This thriller is a bit different than most, as it starts out right away in the first chapter with Jeri already believing that she knows who the killer is, but the problem is getting enough proof to bring him to justice. Since the man that she has been watching is a judge, he knows the legal system well and knows what to do to avoid detection. What follows is an intriguing game of cat and mouse, with some tense moments and unsettling details.
The story changes perspectives a few times, so you get to see the point of view of different characters, including a killer. The chapters are just numbered, not named after the character that you are following, so you have to pay attention. I prefer this style, as it is more of a surprise when you jump to a different character.
Grisham really develops the characters in this story, as you learn about the protagonist's work life, as well as their interpersonal relationships. This makes sense, as it seems like the plan was to use the characters in multiple books.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. The beginning of the story is really an attention-grabber, and even though there were slower paced parts that dealt with character relationships, there was always enough mystery and action to keep me reading. The ending wasn't the most surprising, and even though I had a good idea where it was going, I actually wasn't very disappointed in the execution. I might have preferred a slightly different conclusion, but I still appreciated how the loose ends were wrapped up. It is almost more about the journey than the destination with this one. The way Grisham writes the motivations of a killer, and makes it seem believable, is always unsettling.
This novel has a twisty plot, cleverly executed by a master storyteller, you just can't go wrong with Grisham! This is not some average law drama. In fact, the story gets you out of the confines of a courtroom and keeps you on the run.
I also enjoyed the intimacy created around each character, the scene flow, and the changes of POV . . . this will make a great screen adaptation.
I was especially tickled that I have either lived in or traveled to the places mentioned.
Whether you are a new or longtime fan of legal thrillers . . . I highly recommend this novel, it hooks you right from the start and keeps you guessing.
I'd like to thank NetGalley and Doubleday for an advanced copy of The Judge's List for my unbiased evaluation. 5 stars.
Really intriguing plot and finish.
Actually will teach about having evidence or dealing with the lack of it.