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October 18, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
The court of Federal Judge Raymond Fawcett is adjourned. Permanently. In John Grisham’s new novel, The Racketeer, the judge and his secretary are found murdered in an isolated cabin with a cleaned-out safe and no sign of a struggle. The quandary of their sudden death is the central plot of the book.
Grisham successfully marries issues of the legal system to suspenseful plots and a high body count in his new book. Judicial juxtaposition and legal irony comprises the tension of The Racketeer’s plot. The only person who has a clue in the murder investigation is Malcolm Bannister, a former lawyer serving time in federal prison. And Bannister isn’t giving up his information easily.
Release date: Oct. 23
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Famous for his literary legal dramas, Grisham focuses on the personal danger federal judges create for themselves by swinging the gavel on controversial issues. Despite their penchant for criminals and controversy, only four active federal judges have been murdered in America. In The Racketeer, Fawcett became the fifth.
The author of 23 bestsellers and a former lawyer, Grisham is no newbie to the courtroom, real or fictional. But will The Racketeer follow his previous blockbuster success with The Client, The Pelican Brief and A Time to Kill? The jury is still out.