The Racketeer by John Grisham


Racketeer: one who extorts money illegally.

This is my first venture into a John Grisham book, and man, do I have to say, it was an adventure. Surprisingly, there were few commas, very much unlike this review.

When I started this book, it began with the usual bland opener stating who he is and what he is followed by the cliché “I’m in prison. It’s a long story.” Man did I hate it. As it went, I learned the prose wasn’t going to be to my tastes. His style isn’t bad per se, but very, very plain. Straightforward. Simple. Does that mean it was horrible and a testament to him needing to write YA? No, it’s just that I prefer details, a lot of details. Not purple prose, but enough to sate my appetite for the surroundings.

Dialogue fell into this hole badly because that was all it was, dialogue. It flowed well, but there were barely any tags or interruptions in the talking. Now, that increased the pace tremendously, but left me wanting more, wanting to understand more. It left my imagination to run rampant, which isn’t always a good thing.

Moving all of the bad stuff behind me, this is one of the best thrillers I’ve read all year, coming in second place to Thr3e by Ted Dekker. (Irony) The defining factor in me enjoying this book was the usage of an unreliable narrator. Not being used to this 1st person attribute, I was on the rocks in the beginning. As the plot goes along, a con of sorts is being put together. The narrator never states this or his motivation, but the reader can infer this. Something is afoot. And as the ending threads come together, the rollercoaster ride of pacing brings it up to eleven.  It’s amazing, simply put.

Rating: 8.5/10

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