The Whistler by John Grisham

The Whistler by John Grisham


 4.03  ·  Rating details ·  132,784 Ratings  ·  33,462 Reviews
The Whistler by John Grisham download or read it online for free here
The Whistler by John Grisham
We expect our judges to be honest and wise. Their integrity and impartiality are the bedrock of the entire judicial system. We trust them to ensure fair trials, to protect the rights of all litigants, to punish those who do wrong, and to oversee the orderly and efficient flow of justice.

But what happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? It’s rare, but it happens.

Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is a lawyer, not a cop, and it is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the Board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption.

But a corruption case eventually crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity. He now goes by the name Greg Myers, and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined. And not just crooked judges in Florida. All judges, from all states, and throughout U.S. history.

What’s the source of the ill-gotten gains? It seems the judge was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. The Coast Mafia financed the casino and is now helping itself to a sizable skim of each month’s cash. The judge is getting a cut and looking the other way. It’s a sweet deal: Everyone is making money.

But now Greg wants to put a stop to it. His only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. Greg files a complaint with the Board on Judicial Conduct, and the case is assigned to Lacy Stoltz, who immediately suspects that this one could be dangerous.

Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else.



Reviews



I was lucky enough to be offered the chance to read this short 4 chapter preview of John Grisham's new thriller 'The Whistler'. Well, who wouldn't want to read this excellent author even if it isn't the full book?

Lacy Stolz investigates cases of judicial misconduct in Florida. She has her share of interesting cases but nothing that will set the world on fire, that is until Greg Myers approaches her with the mother of all judicial misconduct complaints.

Lacy, along with her working partner Hugo, agree to meet Myers ( a somewhat shady character who lives on the periphery of society). He claims to have evidence of a female judge being mixed up with the local mafia, and that she's amassed a small fortune in illegal earnings from a casino and its surrounding condos. This case, if true, could become a very dangerous assignment for Lacy and Hugo, and Hugo in particular has real concerns about becoming involved with the mafia, and its possible outcome. This preview certainly gives a strong flavour of what's to come and has left me feeling excited about its release. I realise that 4 chapters doesn't make a book so it's difficult to accurately rate and review but it's certainly whetted my appetite and left me desperate to read the rest of this intriguing storyline. I think John Grisham has written another winner here.
***********************************************************************************
Who judges the judges? Personally it's not something I've ever given any thought to, but John Grisham has created a unique and exciting storyline based around this very subject.

Lacy Stolz investigates cases of judicial misconduct in Florida. She has her share of interesting cases but nothing that will set the world on fire, that is until Greg Myers approaches her with the mother of all judicial misconduct complaints. Under state law, Myers and his anonymous whistle blower are able to claim a portion of any illegal assets discovered from the investigation, and as investigations go, this one will go down in history.

Lacy, along with her working partner Hugo Hatch agree to meet Myers ( a somewhat shady character who lives on the periphery of society). He is a convicted felon, who lost his license to practice law, but he served his time and has recently had his licence restored. He claims to have evidence of a female judge being mixed up with the local mafia, saying that she's amassed a small fortune in illegal earnings from a casino and its surrounding condos. This case, if proven, could become a very dangerous assignment for Lacy and Hugo, and Hugo in particular has real concerns about becoming involved with the mafia, and its possible outcome. The case is presented to their boss Michael Geismar, and after much deliberation, it's decided that they will take the case on, with Lacy and Hugo being the main investigators.

And so begins the massive investigation to bring to justice the most corrupt judge in US history. It becomes clear that peeling away the many layers of deceit will not be easy, and as their powers are somewhat limited, the FBI are brought into play and work in conjunction with Lacy and the team. Companies and assets are well hidden but the whole team's determination is unquestionable. Of course, anyone who tries to take down the mafia are not in for an easy ride, but it makes for a truly exciting read.

This was an intelligent and gripping storyline, and took me into places I'd rather not go, thankful that I was reading from a cosy armchair, and with the distinct advantage of not being personally involved. The characterisation too was perfect, with completely believable personalities. What a thoroughly enjoyable and compelling read.
***********************************************************************************
I have read most of John Grisham's novels so I was always going to read this one and so when offered the opportunity to read this preview I had no hesitation. The only problem is as expected the preview only succeeded in drawing me in and left me wanting more. The book is out in October so not too long to wait but I wish it was sooner.

The novel starts with Lacy Stoltz an investigator who works on judicial misconduct cases in Florida. Up to now she has only worked on fairly small cases but suddenly she is thrust into the big time. Lawyer Greg Myers approaches Lacy and her partner Hugo on behalf of a whistle blower who has details of a judge who is mixed up with the local mafia. In combination with the gang the judge has managed to make illegal earnings from involvement in a casino and two of the people who opposed the casino are now dead. Under state law Greg Myers and the whistle blower are able to gain a slice of the illegally gained assets and are in a position to make a lot of money. But they first need to convince Lacy and Hugo that the case is genuine and the danger is worth the risk.

The four chapters I read set the story up and I need to hear more. I am sure this is going to be another John Grisham best seller.
***********************************************************************************
Quandary time: I really enjoyed this book - in fact, perhaps more than the last two or three from this popular author (if possible, I'd give it 4.5 stars). For openers, there's a noticeable absence of the industry-bashing that's been common of late (much to my dislike), and the focus is almost entirely on legal procedure that's reminiscent of earlier and, IMHO, more enjoyable works.

On the other hand, it struck me as different enough that it may not sit well with die-hard fans. Can I call it, for instance, a "high-stakes thrill ride" as claimed in the description? Simply put, no.

Don't misunderstand; there's plenty of action, beginning the minute Lacy Stoltz, an attorney and investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, is contacted by Greg Myers, a lawyer who claims that a Sunshine State judge is the most successful judicial thief in U.S. history. The judge, he reports, for years has been taking huge cuts from a large casino operated by the Tappacola Indian tribe, construction of which was financed by a secretive organization called the Coast Mafia. But there are complications; first, Myers was at one time disbarred, so his reputation is questionable. And, he's representing the whistle-blower only by way of an unknown intermediary, whose name he refuses to reveal (he insists he doesn't even know the name of the whistle-blower). Because of the threat to his own life, he's been on the lam for years (Myers isn't his real name); and he admits his only motivation for coming forward now is that he and his client stand to rake in millions by filing a complaint with the Board of Conduct.

Painfully aware of those limitations as well as touchy jurisdictional issues between Florida law enforcement and Native American property, Lacy and her partner, Hugo, tentatively begin to investigate. Some of the dirt they dig up early on suggests that the FBI should be called in to help, but Myers threatens to back out if that happens. So, the partners set off to learn what they can given the legal restrictions - and from the git-go run smack dab into a hornet's nest that quickly turns deadly.

As I said before, the action is pretty much nonstop after that. So why isn't it a nail-biter? I'm not sure, except to say it's the style of writing. Dialog makes the characters seem real, but everything in between is pretty much a narrative so matter-of-fact that it's almost - but not quite - to the point of bland. This "just the facts" approach keeps the plot interesting as all get-out to me, but at the same time I never felt any particular excitement or sense of imminent danger; in other words, nothing that put me on the edge of my seat. That said, though, I finished the book in a day and a half just because I didn't want to put it down - hence my dilemma in writing a review.

In the end, I come down strongly on the side of well done. But in the final analysis, I guess other readers will just have to decide for themselves. Sorry, guys and gals, but it's the best that I can do.
***********************************************************************************
One of Grisham's finest in his signature Southern raconteur style, with a big ol' plot that wraps around judge corruption (Grisham gets the legal points just right) and Indian gambling casinos. 
This book, as do some of his others, takes a welcome chance with POV--it is neither limited third nor omniscient, but something in between as readers are taken inside the heads of several characters.

In another refreshing change, the book easily passes the Bechdel test--that is, there are several strong female characters, and several scenes in which the women are talking about a subject other than men.

Many successful books center on family, and there is much in the way of caring, difficult and tragic family situations in THE WHISTLER.
***********************************************************************************
4 "A Casino, Mobsters & A Corrupt Judge" Stars for the story and 4.5 Stars for the narration!

The Whistler is a tale of the perfect storm of corruption, a corruption so profound and well hidden that it lasts decades and involves an entire Native American tribe, countless of mobsters that have previously evaded law enforcement attention, numerous murders, a corrupt judge, and her attorney, as well as loads of dirty cash. Going deep into how the organization of a Native American tribe and the federal laws that allow gambling on tribe lands work, as well as, the powers of a little known governmental authority whose job it is to investigate judicial misconduct, called the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, Mr. Grisham's spare no detail account of the inner workings of these various matters are sure to keep the listener entertained and fascinated with learning more about these interesting matters. Moreover, the listener is sure to be glued to the edge of their seat as they work out who the secret mole, or "whistler," and intermediary actually are, as well as the enormity of the grandiose corruption scheme they are blowing the cover on. Moreover, as if the story were not reason enough to listen, Cassandra Campbell's adept narration makes this a great title to experience in audio format.

It all begins with a tip as to a corrupt judge who allegedly is skimming money, along with the help of the little known Coast Mafia, from a casino on Native American land. Although RICO cases and crimes on Native American lands are within the jurisdiction of the FBI, it is Lacy Stoltz, a lawyer who works for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, who gets the tip based on a complaint of the judicial misconduct of a Florida judge. It is the informant's goal to earn a large fee under the related whistler statute for providing a tip that leads to the recovery of money from the corruption.

However, Lacey and her partner, Hugo, are immediately presented with several quandaries. First can they believe the informant? A person who refuses to be identified and who has only reached them through an unknown intermediary and the intermediary's counsel, who goes by the very common name of "Greg Myers." Moreover, Myers fully admits that he has a criminal record and was at one point disbarred for his past transgressions. As if that wasn't sketchy enough, Myers also seems to live beyond his means and constantly on the run on his expensive boat. Can Myers be trusted? Even if he can, Lacey's normal line of work involves sanctioning judges who commit small infractions, not organized crime. When she suggests that the Myers take his complaint to the FBI, however, he absolutely refuses. Stating he will never work with the FBI. Just who is telling the truth and who is corrupt in this story? And the deeper Lacey digs the more dangerous the situation gets when it becomes clear that someone wants to silence her investigation. Can she stay safe when she has no formal law enforcement training to guide her?

Cassandra Campbell provides a talented narration that is perfectly suited for a law enforcement drama or thriller. Using expert timing, Ms. Campbell's delivery is easy to follow and allows the listener to sit back and seamlessly enjoy the story.

Ms. Campbell also expertly produces different voices for each one of the various characters allowing the listener to know who is speaking in dialogues without the need to rely on dialogue tags. She even manages to make each character's voice match the personality traits that Mr. Grisham pens for each. For example, Lacey sounds like an inquisitive, energetic, and dedicated lawyer which matches her description, whereas her partner Hugo, who has 4 young kids and is constantly described as sleep deprived, sounds appropriately tired. Even the informant sounds appropriately anxious as the corruption scheme begins to unravel and it becomes a fight to see which side will win: good or evil.

All in all, I really enjoyed listening to The Whistler. As a lawyer myself, I found the description of the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct and how the Native American tribes are organized and self-governed fascinating. I also enjoyed the fast-paced action scenes as the corruption ring slowly begins to be uncovered. Although there isn't a lot of mystery or suspense surrounding this title, it is the action and interrelationships among this wide disparate group of criminals that is the draw of this legal based thriller. It's amazing to see that after decades of great legal thrillers, Mr. Grisham is still one of the best of this genre.
Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29354916-the-whistler

No comments:

Post a Comment