Other Sellers on Amazon
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.
Follow the Author
The Racketeer: A Novel Paperback – August 27, 2013
|New from||Used from|
Enhance your purchase
"Turkey Trick or Treat" by Wendi Silvano
Everyone loves Halloween candy—even Turkey. But how can he and his barnyard friends get any when the farmers give it out only to children?| Learn more
Frequently bought together
“The Racketeer is guilty of only one thing: keeping us engaged until the very last page.”—USA Today
“A satisfying, deeply engrossing thriller in which different forms of justice are ultimately served.”—The Washington Post
“Fast-paced . . . with enough startling plot twists—and changes of scenery, from Miami to Montego Bay and beyond—to surprise even the most suspicious reader.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Tautly plotted.”—Entertainment Weekly
About the Author
- Publisher : Bantam; Reprint edition (August 27, 2013)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0345545338
- ISBN-13 : 978-0345545336
- Lexile measure : 900L
- Item Weight : 9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.21 x 0.71 x 8.01 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #87,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Five years into his sentence, he has become the librarian and “jailhouse lawyer” of the prison, filing motions on behalf of his fellow inmates and, on occasion, seeing injustices in their convictions reversed. He has lost everything else: his wife has divorced him and remarried, and his law license has been revoked; he has little hope of resuming his career after release.
A jailhouse lawyer hears many things from his “clients”: some boastful, others bogus, but some revealing secrets which those holding them think might help to get them out. When a federal judge is murdered, Bannister knows, from his contacts in prison, precisely who committed the crime and leverages his position to obtain his own release, disappearance into witness protection, and immunity from prosecution for earlier acts. The FBI, under pressure to solve the case and with no other leads, is persuaded by what Bannister has to offer and takes him up on the deal.
A jailhouse lawyer, wrongly convicted on a bogus charge by a despotic regime has a great deal of time to ponder how he has been wronged, identify those responsible, and slowly and surely draw his plans against them.
This is one of the best revenge novels I've read, and it's particularly appropriate since it takes down the tyrannical regime which incarcerates a larger percentage of its population than any serious country and shows how a clever individual can always outwit the bumbling collectivist leviathan as long as he refuses to engage it on level terrain but always exploits agility against the saurian brain reaction time of the state.
The only goof I noticed is that on a flight from Puerto Rico to Atlanta, passengers are required to go through passport control. As this is a domestic flight from a U.S. territory to the U.S. mainland, no passport check should be required.
I wouldn't call this a libertarian novel, as the author accepts the coercive structure of the state as a given, but it's a delightful tale of somebody who has been wronged by that foul criminal enterprise obtaining pay-back by wit and guile.
While all the above is true, the author falls short of the excellence shown in his earlier works. The story lacks the depth of his prior works. It reads almost like a "hurry up and publish" book. Mr. Grisham's first several novels were "riveting" in plot and action, and superb in the writing. He is capable of excellence. Unfortunately his ability as a "wordsmith" is hidden in this novel. I hope he gets back to the excellent writing and "Nail-Biter" plots of his court room dramas. Yes, It is worth the read...It IS a Grisham, but if you grew-up on The Pelican Brief and Time to Kill...be prepared for a bit of disappointment.
Top reviews from other countries
So, while it's only the beginning of August, (and yes I know it’s a bit early for handing out gongs) but "The Racketeer" is odds-on-favourite for my book of the year (well at least so far).
PS I recommended "The Racketeer" to the Memsahib, and she's enjoying it, so that must be worth at least another star making this a six star read.
I felt for him at the beginning due to being wrongly imprisoned and cut off from his family, but as the book went on he became steadily less and less likeable and relatable. No particular reason was given for his quasi-omnipotence. If it was that easy to con your way out of prison and run around North/Central America giving the FBI the finger, why aren't more people doing it?
The book pretty much lost all momentum around the 30-40% mark and never really regained it. The gradual reveal sort of worked but there was only one point where I found myself genuinely unsure whether the protagonist was an anti-hero or a genuine villain. Ultimately I didn't care who killed the judge or whether Mal/Max's scheme worked. There wasn't a bad guy or antagonistic force to speak of.
I wasn't surprised by the author's note at the end where JG admitted he hadn't really done any research. It showed.
Also the tagline on the front makes little sense. The protagonist wasn't betrayed by the FBI as far as I could tell. And he didn't particularly seem motivated by revenge, but rather greed. The FBI got what they wanted in the end: the killer of the judge.
The firm slowly ( but only slightly),declined as it went on in my opinion.
Where as this one is solidly good throughout its entirety.
The storyline is excellent and the characters , while few , are interesting and well described.
I personally usually prefer fantasy and sword and sorcery type books.
But like to read a thriller by Grisham or King now and again to keep things fresh.
All round a solid book that I enjoyed and would happily recommend to a friend.
With this in mind i revisited his works and selected a few to download to my Kindle. The first couple were great riveting reads as i had remembered so in no particular order i moved onto this one.
The outline of a small time lawyer caught up in a large FBI investigation was a plausible one but i thought the sentence meted out a little harsh. The first part of the book outlined how he had lost everything and then how he settled into being the jail house lawyer for other inmates. There were very few clues as to the next part of the story before it kicked off with the murder of a Judge and his girlfriend. Another inmate was offered up as the culprit and the FBI took the bait. The middle part of the book then became a tedious boring monologue of the discovery and recruitment of another man for a documentary, with little explanation of where he was going with the story.
The main character then suddenly changes from a law abiding citizen wrongfully convicted of a breach of legal code into one hell bent on getting someone locked up in a Caribbean prison. Grisham freely admits that he didn't research the plot before committing it to the story sand it showed. It was more like a trashy airport paperback than that produced by a consummate storyteller. Save your money and skip this one.