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126 of 130 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A GOOD READ
I still remember browsing a bookshop in Florida many, many years ago and coming across a locally published edition of a book called "A Time to Kill" by an unknown author called John Grisham

That book remains one of the finest thrillers that I have read. I remained loyal to Grisham over the years until I just felt that the sparkle and innovation had gone out of...
Published 22 months ago by G. Waterman

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat below my expectations
This is by all means a good book, but my expectatons of John Grisham are based on the excellent books he has written in the past, and are therefore much higher.
The story is nice, but not particularly captivating. Grisham's books typically keep me awake all night reading, Sadly, this one does not fall into that category.
Perhaps, as many people say, the sun has...
Published 15 months ago by Ladipo


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126 of 130 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A GOOD READ, 10 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The Racketeer (Hardcover)
I still remember browsing a bookshop in Florida many, many years ago and coming across a locally published edition of a book called "A Time to Kill" by an unknown author called John Grisham

That book remains one of the finest thrillers that I have read. I remained loyal to Grisham over the years until I just felt that the sparkle and innovation had gone out of his writing and I began to give him a miss.

The Racketeer is the first of his books that I have tried for several years and you know what - it was a good read.

The story was enticing and credible, the characters well drawn and interesting and the plot drew me in and I read the entire book , if not breathless, but certainly well engaged, over a couple of days.

I won't bother going into the story as others have already done it but without damning it with faint praise, it is a well written pot-boiler that gently simmers all the way through and was well worth reading.

if not Grisham at his overall best, The Racketeer is a prime example of a master story teller back on form.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat below my expectations, 16 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Racketeer (Paperback)
This is by all means a good book, but my expectatons of John Grisham are based on the excellent books he has written in the past, and are therefore much higher.
The story is nice, but not particularly captivating. Grisham's books typically keep me awake all night reading, Sadly, this one does not fall into that category.
Perhaps, as many people say, the sun has indeed set on this great author. Nothing he has written in the last few years compares to his first few books.
My one word summary would be "disappointing". If the authors name for this book had been John Doe, I would definitely not look for any of his other books to buy.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gets bogged down too deep for too long, 6 Feb 2013
By 
Julia Flyte - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Racketeer (Hardcover)
Malcolm Bannister is halfway through a ten year prison sentence for money laundering, a crime he only technically and innocently committed. When a federal judge is murdered, he senses an opportunity to obtain his freedom, because he knows who committed the crime and why. Rules 35 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure allows for a prisoner to be pardoned or have their sentence reduced if they can solve another crime. His first challenge is getting the attention of the FBI, but eventually he is successful in negotiating his release from prison if the man that he accuses of the murder is indicted. What appears to be a reasonably straightforward and only moderately interesting story becomes a lot more interesting when it becomes apparent that Malcolm has an entirely new agenda of his own and that his release from prison is only the first step of the plan.

This had the potential to be a very interesting story but it is let down by the absence of characters that we care about and by the padding that stretches it out significantly longer than the storyline warrants. There is a low level of suspense throughout, but not enough to maintain your interest as we follow Malcolm's everyday activities. Malcolm himself - the narrator for the majority of the book - is never anyone who came to life for me. The early chapters establish his back story and arouse our sympathy for him, but after that he just becomes a bit of a cipher who narrates everything with a sense of detachment. His love interest (who emerges in the second half of the book) is equally bland - long legged, big breasted and good at running errands.

The book held my interest, but only just. Started very well but then got bogged down too deep for too long.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Padded-out Novella, 13 Mar 2013
This review is from: The Racketeer (Paperback)
I've been loyal to JG through a handful of weak books but I won't be so eager to pick up his next one after this disappointing, thin and boring effort.

Some of the positive reviews have mystified me, particularly the ones referring to the author being back on form. I must have missed those 300-odd pages!

That said, the first 120 or so promised much and at that point I was looking forward to some fast paced twists and turns and a wonderful ending. The most disappointing thing was how he pads out the Nathan Cooley business, the general travel arrangements and the final gold movements. Talk about turning a novella into a full sized book! And I thoroughly agree that the love interest lacked credibility, both in her link to the story and her actions in support of the main character. Where are these women when you're looking for them?

I've seen this with other authors and put it down to a contractual obligation to produce books at certain intervals rather than to a quality standard. A good example is Patricia Cornwell, who ran out of steam with the Scarpetta series at about the time she started writing her very, very poor Andy Brazil series. Without the author's fame, books like The Racketeer wouldn't get beyond a publisher's slush pile.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not vintage Grisham, but not bad either, 25 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Racketeer (Hardcover)
The "big twist" was completely spottable very early on - so reading this was more about guessing how it gets revealed rather than what happens. As usual, Grisham is let down by his inability to write characters well - I've no idea whether I like the main guy or not (I feel rather "meh" about him) and the love interest lady was very poorly sketched out - although I'm left with the impression that Mr Grisham is a fan of large boobs and long legs, because that's all he really said about her. I did get the feeling that The Shawshank Redemption was more than a little influential - I think the idea was "innocent man breaks the law to get justice", just not as well done. Having said all that, I quite enjoyed it - but I doubt I'll remember a thing about it a year from now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why did I bother?, 15 April 2014
This review is from: The Racketeer (Paperback)
I really liked early Grisham and then thought he started to enter the realms of fantasy with his plots so this is the first I've read of his in 7 years or so. Because I had nothing else to read I picked this up. I wish I'd gone swimming with sharks instead....It'd be less painful.
The unbelievable plot, the awful dialogue and the boring prose makes this the worst book I've read in years. Re the plot...try getting through passport control with a fake passport the way he describes (we'll see you when you get out of prison if you do), try drinking a hardened drink veteran into a stupor the way he describes. It's totally incredible.
He states at the end he's lazy with his research and doesn't it show.
After finishing it I was going to burn it but thought I'd drop it off at my local library as a donation. Only problem is they give it back.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant as always, 12 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Racketeer (Kindle Edition)
Read all his books ref gripping story lines,
keeps you guessing right to the end perfect for holiday reading magic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 4 May 2013
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This review is from: The Racketeer (Kindle Edition)
This book is definitely one of his best. A rollercoaster of a journey and an amazing and inventive story. I loved it! Can't wait for the next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK - no more, no less, 4 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Racketeer (Kindle Edition)
Not exactly Grisham's best but when you're working in the narrow confines of the legal profession I guess you might start repeating yourself as your source material runs out. This had elements of "The Firm" in it and the protagonist breaks the mould by being a different colour but I'd categorise it as the book I'd grudgingly read if I couldn't find a new John Connolly thriller - it'll pass the time but it's not particularly clever or well thought out - the payoff is telegraphed a mile away and I just don't think Grisham worked hard enough on the subtleties required for this type of thriller with a twist.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Master Piece of a Novel, 18 Aug 2014
By 
Bruce Miller "hyper2u" (Louisville, Kentucky and San Diego, California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Racketeer (Paperback)
This had to be one of the best John Grisham books to date ! Each story gets better and better with lots of intrigue and surprise's. Only a very clever mind could have written such a perfect novel with details that all seemed to come together. It was a bit of a fantasy story where one finds themselves pulling for the underdogs, but in this case it was a very refreshing approach. Max and Vanessa were definitely a dynamic duo who planned and executed a bizarre plot which also required great luck and timing. It was a nail biter from start to finish. The narrative style of story telling was perfect. (it helped me read between the lines as the story developed). I can't recommend this book enough ! As is often the case, I wish that there was a sequel as I would be quite curious to see how Vanessa, Max aka Malcolm, and the brothers enjoyed their lives in Antigua. Needless to say, I had many vicarious thoughts of what I would have done had I been fortunate enough to have been in their circumstances. Great Book ! Great Story ! Great Author ! Over the top entertainment from cover to cover !
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The Racketeer
The Racketeer by John Grisham (Paperback - 4 July 2013)
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