You know when you’re on holiday in Crete or wherever and the hotel has a big bookcase that guests can help themselves to. Well, if you find a John Grisham book in there, it’s like holiday gold. There’s a good couple of days of pool-side reading right there.
I’ve read about a dozen of his books over the years. Some I’ve just found ’good’, whereas others I’ve found to be edge-of-seat, eye-popping thrilling. So I think it’s safe to say I’m a fan. Not a fangirl, but deffo a fan. So when the lovely people at Hodder sent me an advance copy of his new book, The Whistler, what could I say except, ‘Thanks very much.’
The Whistler is the story of two judicial investigators and the most corrupt judge in US history. Lacy and Hugo work for the Board of Judicial Conduct, a thing I had not previously known existed, and they spend their days in an underfunded public office, investigating judges who have misbehaved. That is until Greg Myers makes a complaint about a judge who he claims has amassed a small fortune in bribes from the mafia.
The first John Grisham book I ever read was The Firm. I read it on a driving holiday around Florida and I was literally on the edge of my seat. For sheer entertainment value, The Firm, A Time To Kill., The Client and The Pelican Brief just can’t be beaten.
Was The Whistler as thrilling as The Firm? No, it wasn’t. But holding the two books up against each other is a really good way of showing just how much Grisham has developed as an author in the intervening years.
Books like The Firm were amazing, but the thrill factor was based on a huge suspension of disbelief (although because of them I know a lot more about how to hide from the Mob). The Whistler, on the other hand, gives plenty of suspense and interest but also has a lot of character development and background. All in all, it felt a lot more ‘real’ than some of his other books.
There were times in The Whistler when the pace slowed, but then the tension would ratchet right back up again and you’re kept guessing right to the end who the whistle-blower actually is.
This was a really great thriller and definitely recommended for cosy evenings now that the nights are drawing in.
I received a copy of The Whistler in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Hodder and Stoughton.