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Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Whistler: A Novel


I may have mentioned this on the blog before, but my husband is the greatest man alive. Not only do I love him for who he is, but he understands and encourages my book obsession. How does that relate to John Grisham's The Whistler? Well, it was one of two books he gifted me for Christmas a couple of years ago -- in hardback no less. Knowing full well that my TBR pile is actually a TBR bookcase that's overflowing. That's love. 

The investigators on Florida’s Board on Judicial Conduct rarely get fired up about their work. There is no shortage of corrupt judges and a big shortage on funding. They do their job, deal with what they can, and go on with their lives. That is, until the day that Lacy Stoltz, a seasoned investigator, gets a lead on one of the biggest cases of anyone’s career. It involves many moving parts — a corrupt judge in the pocket of a mysterious billionaire who no one has eyes on, an Indian reservation and casino, and an informant who changes his own identity too much to keep of track of. It seems like a complicated case but it soon becomes dangerous — no one guessed when they went to law school that they might also lose their life. 

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this novel. It was a slight departure from the Grisham formula while still holding true to the legalistic thriller that he does so well. I don’t remember in the past being drawn to Grisham’s female characters; it could possibly be because he doesn’t often have female protagonists that are strong and smart and the actual lead of the story. I could be wrong — I’m not going back to check right now — but it worked in this story. I quite liked Lacy and her firebrand attitude. I liked that she was a badass at her job but when tragedy strikes, she is still a fully-developed human who dead with things the way we all do — caution and putting walls up and wariness about other people’s motives. 

I also appreciated that this story had twists and turns that I didn’t see coming but even if I had, I would still be left guessing so many details. Those moving parts I mentioned. This was a complicated story that could have twisted out of control but Grisham kept the story centered and grounded in the one solid understanding that power corrupts and the love of money is the root of all evil. I passed this book on to a friend of mine to enjoy as much as I did. 

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