The Judge’s List @JohnGrisham @doubledaybooks @JanBelisle @absltmom
I had forgotten how much I enjoy a straight up legal thriller/investigation with a linear timeline, only a few characters to keep straight, and no crazy twists. I flew through this book in 24 hours without a single eye roll or picking up my phone out of boredom.
Lacy, an investigator with the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct investigates complaints of judicial corruption. Murder has never been one of the complaints, until now. She has a clandestine meeting with Jeri, a woman who is so frightened she uses multiple aliases to avoid detection. Twenty years ago, her father was killed and the case went cold. For twenty years she has conducted her own investigation and discovered a string of murders all using the same method. The commonality among the victims? Judge Ross Bannick. She knows the motives and she knows the method. But the judge is highly intelligent, patient, knows the law, and knows how to avoid detection. He is the pillar of the community, both personally and professionally.
Lacy is skeptical and initially refuses the case on the ground that her department does not investigate murder. Eventually she relents and with her most trusted investigators, the cat and mouse games begin. We know from the start who the murderer is, so the thrill is not who, but how. I also loved the information about serial murderers and the dark web sprinkled throughout.
I loved both of these women, especially Jeri, and I hope one day she gets her own book. The woman has skills! This is the second book in a series, with The Whistler being the first, (a book I forgot I read and from my GR rating, not one I enjoyed) but I’m glad I gave this one a chance. No need to read book #1 first, as this one works perfectly as a standalone. After a string of disappointments and dnf’s my reading buddy Marialyce and I found this one a joy from start to finish. Grisham is at his best, with excellent writing and characterizations, and I can’t wait to read his next one.
The John Grisham I love is back with a thriller that certainly got my attention. I so enjoyed how a true storyteller can weave a tale without the benefit of “tons” of characters, eye rolling circumstances, and things that have you shaking your head with their absurdities.
In this tale, we met two strong women, Lacy Stoltz, a lawyer who investigates “dirty” lawyers on the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, and Jeri Crosby, who has a plethora of many In this tale, we met two strong women, Lacy Stoltz, a lawyer who investigates “dirty” lawyers on the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, and Jeri Crosby, who has a plethora of many pseudo names. Jeri comes to Lacey after exhausting all other avenues in a search for the killer of her beloved father. She has been on the trial of the killer for twenty years and over that time has discovered many “interesting” things about a particular judge, Judge Ross Bannick. Lacy initially is reluctant to take on what seems to be a murder investigation, she insists it’s really a police matter, but Jeri is persistent and wears her down.
What these ladies find with the help of some others make up the story that is filled with all the things we who have read Grisham love, a tight story, a page turning thriller, and a desire to see justice prevail. Jan and I so enjoyed our foray into this Florida Pan Handle environment and were very so pleased with seeing once again Grisham at his best.
Of course, there’s a lot more to the story, but revealing more just might spoil the path this one takes. Interestingly, my eldest daughter is an attorney, who does this job on a federal level so she, of course, put this book at the top of her reading list.
Overall, a very strong recommendation for this story comes from this reader. It has all the elements that make a thriller exciting, motivating, and so believable and a wonderful story to read with my reading companion, Jan. We deserved a five star read and got it with this story.