The Whistler by John Grisham

Legal thriller of the month – a must read!


Lacy Stoltz is part of the Board of Judicial Conduct of Florida’s judges.  Her cases regarding judges’ behaviour have been ordinary and unexciting.  That is until she meets Greg Myers, an indicted lawyer with a false name, who has a remarkable story to tell.  Myers represents a whistle blower who knows about a judge embroiled in organised crime: Claudia McDover.  McDover helped her criminal associates to build a casino on an Indian reservation in return for a percentage of the casino’s takings.  At least two people who opposed this scheme are dead.  With her share of the winnings, Claudia can own property around the world, hire private jets to take her where she desires and acquire rare books, art and jewels and store them away in her hidden vaults. Under Florida law, those who help the state recover illegally obtained assets receive a large percentage of them.  Myers and his client could make millions.  However, first they need Lacy Stoltz to begin an investigation.  But is Lacy willing to grapple with the most corrupt judge in America, one whose partners think nothing of murder?


I am a huge fan of John Grisham and The Whistler promised to be unlike any of his novels that I have read before.  I loved the fact that the protagonist was female as all the principal characters in Grisham’s other books have been male.  Lacy is a strong, intelligent and determined woman who does not capitulate, even under the strongest pressure and in the most dangerous of circumstances.  She fights for what she believes to be right and just and I really admired her for such resolution.  Lacy’s brother, Gunther was an amusing character; his unfading and protective love for his sister meant that he had to set up his business in the hospital and Lacy’s home.  In stark contrast, Vonn Dubose was a despicable character; he was only concerned about the fortune he was reaping from the casino and silencing those who threatened to expose his illegal activities.


The plot was deliciously complicated but not too much to make it impossible to follow.  Secret meetings, hidden and false identities helped to increase the tension.  Grisham made me think that no character was safe and that each page might be their last appearance.  Just when there was a slight lull in the action, there was a huge shock in the story that made me sit up and want to read on.  Sometimes, the plot became quite heavy, both in terms of emotion and events that unfolded.  However, Grisham brightened the mood with some light-hearted humour which brought a smile to my face.  The book ended with a nice narrative of events and the whereabouts of each character.


The Whistler is a slow-burner but it is well worth persevering because addiction strikes as soon as the plot thickens. Grisham’s novel is like a maze; you never know with certainty what kind of route you will be taken on or how it will conclude.  However, one thing is guaranteed: you will be on the edge of your seat with eagerness to turn over the page and find out what happens next.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *