The Judge's List: A Novel
by John Grisham
Hardcover- $19.88

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  "Not his best!" by thewanderingjew (see profile) 10/29/21

John Grisham has written his latest novel but it does not seem to be up to his usual or former standards. The genre of this book is pretty much chick lit with a murder mystery thrown in for good measure. The title pretty much gives away the book’s plot and there are no real surprises once a woman using the alias of Betty Rowe, approaches Lacy Stoltz, of the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, and tells her a story about several murders.
For two decades she has been stalking the man she believes murdered her father and many others, a Judge from the Pensacola area, Ross Bannick. She has absolutely no proof, but her gut tells her that Judge Bannick is a serial killer. She insists that Lacy take the case even after Lacy explains that the appropriate place for Betty to go, is the police or the FBI. Lacey explains it is not in the purview of her agency to investigate the judge without a formal complaint.. Also, she does not make the decisions about gathering evidence about an accused corrupt judge. Her boss does. Still, Betty insists that she looks into the Judge’s background. Eventually, getting a promise that everything would be done to protect her identity, she files a formal complaint. She begs Lacy to believe her and insists he is very dangerous. insists. Lacey does believe her, but the interim chief is not at all interested in the charges and refuses to investigate him.
When a new boss is needed, Lacy is brought in as the next interim chief. She opens the case up and eventually the FBI gets involved. They believe Betty. An effort to find Bennett and bring him to justice ensues with a few surprises. Using a diverse set of characters, representing all social justice issues from skin color to sexual preference, to ethnicity, the mystery is explored and solved.
I found the book to be a bit slow and tedious, sometimes because of the trite dialogue which is what made the book chick lit or one made for a TV movie, and sometimes it was simply very repetitious. It often felt like Grisham was just trying to fill up pages. The narrator over emoted and read too slowly, making herself a character of the book instead of interpreting the characters and the narrative. Perhaps it would be better as a print version.
One further comment involves the character Rafe, an expert hacker who helps the Judge find his victims. His part in the crimes is never fully fleshed out. We never discover if he is brought in for questioning or charged with any crime or even discovered. Perhaps Grisham will bring him back in another novel, as he brought Lacey back for this one.

  "" by tlctlcx2 (see profile) 02/24/23

  "The Judges List" by bookchicks (see profile) 04/13/23

Thought it was a fast read and good. First of this author's books I have read.

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