The Racketeer by John Grisham

A Legal Thriller Written in 2012 by Josh Grisham.

A Legal Thriller Written in 2012 by Josh Grisham.

After years borrowing books through my mother’s Kindle or buying books myself, I finally made a trip to the public library and am an official member. Now, the options are endless on what I would like to read. With no clear direction, I clicked a tab that led me to the most popular books currently. I really wanted to read the Divergent Series but these were unattainable… I was around 200 on the waiting list.

Therefore, I read The Racketeer. Since I clearly have no criminal or law background, this book was quite the educational experience for me. I read the author’s note at the end and realize that this is a fictional book, but it is insane to see what life for a convicted criminal would be like.

The book begins with a man named Malcolm Bannister who was a lawyer in Virginia that was caught up in a huge scandal. Malcolm truly was innocent, but since there were government officials caught up in the scandal and proven guilty, he was not going to walk away easily. With a ten-year jail sentence, Malcolm filled his time “practicing” law by advising his fellow inmates on how to plead their cases to get out of jail early. He also managed the library as his career in prison, so between the two he kept his mind fresh on the practice and all that is happening outside the prison walls.

Being in prison for five years already, and with five more to go, Malcolm was desperately craving a woman’s touch. His wife left him soon after his arrest claiming it was too hard for her and their son. One woman who visited her brother in prison, Vanessa had a mutual attraction to Malcom. (Keep her in mind for later on in the story.)

One day, since Malcolm had been following the local reports, there was an article about a federal judge being murdered at his lake house on the weekend. There was evidence of a robbery due to an open safe, but other than that there were no prints or methods in which the FBI could track down the criminal. This was Malcolm’s one and only shot of getting out! He claimed to know the name and alibi behind a past inmate that supposedly killed the judge. According to Rule 35, if an inmate gives up information to a larger crime, their sentence length could be renegotiated. Malcolm decided the time has come to rat out a past inmate that asked him for legal advice and shared a motive with him so that he could, in return, be freed from the government’s arms.

So, things to keep in mind before you read…
Will Malcolm successfully be freed from the prison?
Will his past inmate come after him for revenge?
Will Malcolm finally get to be in the relationship he eagerly craves?
What will happen next!

I can’t wait to discuss the happenings of The Racketeer! Please view the spoilers page to read on about what happens as the plot thickens!

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