Author John Grisham. Photo: Daniel Mayer

Book review: The Whistler is another John Grisham crowd-pleaser

With a tale involving abuse of power, organised crime and kickbacks to the corrupt, the American author shows he knows how to keep his justice-hungry readers happy

The Whistler

by John Grisham


3.5/5 stars

John Grisham’s latest novel, The Whistler, involves the rich and powerful, and abuse of the justice system.

The Florida Board on Judicial Conduct investigates accusations involving judicial misconduct. Judges need to be impartial, but if that appears not to be the case, then a team from the BJC investigates. Lacy Stoltz and her partner, Hugo Hatch, are assigned to a potentially dangerous one when they talk to Greg Myers, someone who changed his name after being released from prison. He has obtained his license to practise law again, and with his connections, he has access to insider information.

He tells Lacy and Hugo that a judge has not only sent an innocent man to jail, but is also working with a corrupt casino owner and taking massive kickbacks to ensure the operation stays free from potential roadblocks.

Corruption is difficult to prove, especially when nobody is talking. The judge has covered her tracks well, and those close to her aren’t talking. A mysterious man who owns the casino might have ties to organised crime, and since it is such a huge money-making enterprise, he’ll do anything to keep the money coming.

Grisham novels are crowd-pleasers because he knows how to satisfy readers who want to see injustice crushed, and for justice to truly prevail for those who cannot buy influence.