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Whistler Paperback – April 3, 2007
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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* some spoilers
The plot is laid out early in the book - there is a corrupt judge colluding with some thugs to skim money at an Indian casino. To expose the corruption, there are a few individuals trying to blow the whistle on the judge to collect cash under the whistle-blower statutes. The whistle-blowers submit a complaint to the agency that investigates rogue judges and an investigation begins. These facts are known early on. The problem is - that's the entire plot. There are no twists or turns it goes in a fairly straight line from corruption complaint to indictments with few surprises along the way. There is also a huge loose end as we never find out what happens to one of the characters who was falsely imprisoned for murders he did not commit. Since this character is a main focus in the prequel, the failure to tie up that loose end is irritating.
All in all - it is just an uneven effort. A disappointing novel from an author from whom we all expect better.
I like Grisham's view of a hit man. In contrast to the recent trend in popular literature to make hit men/assassins romantic figures, Grisham shows them to be what they are---low life individuals who kill people for money. Good beach read.