The Whistler ~ by John Grisham

This is the first book in a series featuring Lacy Stoltz. The second book is coming out in October so I figured I’d better get going on this one. Grisham has written better but he’s also written worse.  I’m satisfied but not pleased.  There’s also a short prequel book/short story which should probably be read after The Whistler (?). That’s how they usually are – let you get to know the characters in the story and then tell you how they or the situation got that way.

The Whistler
By John Grisham
2016
Read by Cassandra Campbell 13h 10m
Rating: B+ / legal thriller  
(1st in Lucy Stoltz series) 

But Grisham is back to his beginnings doing legal thrillers although there’s not as much courtroom drama as there used to be. (For my money Grisham’s best books were first published in the 1990s.) 

Lacy Stoltz, who is introduced in this novel, and her law partner, Hugo Hatch, are approached by “someone” who has information that a local judge is very much on the make and that a lot of people are in on it.  This is the “whistler” because they’re doing the whistle blowing on more than the judge.  It has to do with a reservation casino, a bunch of cousins, an organized crime syndicate. The whole thing also involves an old murder for which the wrong person was convicted and is now sitting in jail. There’s a lot of money involved because casinos are excellent places to launder money as well as skim it.    

I enjoyed this book. The plot is twisty and involved with the tension very skillfully developed. Grisham’s style is basically very clear, simple and to the point without getting dumb about it.  It works well with his books because it doesn’t interfere with many characters and a complex plot to keep track of.  There are three major female characters, Lacy, Johellen and Claudia, and they are drawn more clearly than the men.  Here’s a helpful list of the characters: : 
https://www.bookcompanion.com/the_whistler_character_list2.html

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