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The Racketeer
The Racketeer
by John Grisham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.27
690 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Grisham misses the mark, January 30, 2013
This review is from: The Racketeer (Hardcover)
I read many different types of books, and there are clearly times when I am simply in the mood for some good escapism. John Grisham has regularly delivered that. In the past I have relied on Grisham to tell a good tale, to create a setting which teaches me something new about the implications of the law, and to entertain me. I had not read any review for this book before starting it, but I settled in for a typical Grisham mixture of clever plotting, suspenseful development, and a healthy infusion of background work to intensify the realism of the story and create empathy with his characters. The Racketeer delivers a moderately good story, couched within the framework of the Witness Protection Program, but it lacks the usual impact that Grisham has been able to provide.

This book labors along without really going anywhere. Essential plot twists are withheld and dropped in only as necessary to keep the reader from becoming totally lost. I frequently wondered if I had been reading too quickly and had missed a crucial plot detail. Too much of this story seems to be composed of afterthoughts without any real connection with each other. Somewhat disturbing, upon finishing the book, was Grisham's own Afterword containing, in part: "This is indeed a work of fiction, and more so than usual. Almost nothing in the previous 340-odd pages is based on reality. Research, hardly a priority, was rarely called upon. Accuracy was not deemed crucial. Long paragraphs of fiction were used to avoid looking up facts." Perhaps Mr. Grisham lacked the inspiration to churn out one of the well-crafted stories for which he has earned such a fine reputation. I look forward to reading his next one.


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