Synopsis from Penguin Random House:
In The Whistler, Lacy Stoltz investigated a corrupt judge who was taking millions in bribes from a crime syndicate. She put the criminals away, but only after being attacked and nearly killed. Three years later, and approaching forty, she is tired of her work for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct and ready for a change.
Then she meets a mysterious woman who is so frightened she uses a number of aliases. Jeri Crosby’s father was murdered twenty years earlier in a case that remains unsolved and that has grown stone cold. But Jeri has a suspect whom she has become obsessed with and has stalked for two decades. Along the way, she has discovered other victims.
Suspicions are easy enough, but proof seems impossible. The man is brilliant, patient, and always one step ahead of law enforcement. He is the most cunning of all serial killers. He knows forensics, police procedure, and most important: he knows the law.
He is a judge, in Florida—under Lacy’s jurisdiction.
He has a list, with the names of his victims and targets, all unsuspecting people unlucky enough to have crossed his path and wronged him in some way. How can Lacy pursue him, without becoming the next name on his list?
The Judge’s List is by any measure John Grisham’s most surprising, chilling novel yet.
About: The Judge’s List is a legal thriller written by John Grisham. It was published on 10/19/2021 by Doubleday Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, hardcover, 357 pages. The genres are mystery thriller, legal thriller, and adult fiction. This book belonged to a series called The Whistler, where this is the second installment. According to the publisher’s website, “Doubleday was founded in 1897, when Frank Nelson Doubleday formed Doubleday & McClure Company in partnership with magazine publisher Samuel McClure. Among their first bestsellers was The Day’s Work by Rudyard Kipling. Today, Doubleday and its Nan A. Talese imprint publish an array of commercial fiction, literary fiction and serious nonfiction titles. Among the bestselling and prize-winning authors published by Doubleday are Anne Applebaum, Pat Barker, Dan Brown, Bill Bryson, Lincoln Child, George Friedman, David Grann, John Grisham, Mark Haddon, Heidi Julavits, Michio Kaku, Jon Krakauer, Jonathan Lethem, Candice Millard, Chuck Palahniuk, Edward Rutherfurd, Hampton Sides, Jeffrey Toobin, and Colson Whitehead. Nan A. Talese authors include Peter Ackroyd, Margaret Atwood, Thomas Cahill, Pat Conroy, Valerie Martin, and Ian McEwan.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading The Judge’s List on 2/2/2022 and finished it on 2/8/2022 at 3am. I have read a few books by this author (The Firm, The Partner, The Broker, and The King of Torts) but that was way before I have a blog so I don’t have links to my reviews. I believe I loved them all including this one. I was hooked to this story. I haven’t read a book where a judge was accused of murder before. The characters were well developed and well liked. The main character somewhat worried about herself being unmarried with no kids approaching 40 but at the same time enjoyed her freedom and her own space. I have a friend in that situation and I know the struggle. The other character, Margie lead an exciting and lonely life of collecting information from her father’s killer. I liked that the killer’s view appeared as Lacy investigated Kronke, a victim. It explained how the event happened without speculation.
This book followed Lacy, 39 years old lawyer as she received an anonymous phone call from a woman who referred to herself as Margie, 46. She wanted a private meeting with Lacy to ask for her professional opinions. Lacy, for 12 years, has been specializing in investigating judges who are accused of wrongdoing. Margie said an active judge killed her dad among many others and hoping if Lacy will take on her complaint. Lacy was bored with her current job and thought that this new accusation sounded intriguing. Accusing a judge of murder is rare. Lacy decided to hear her out. Lacy has an older brother Gunther and an FBI boyfriend named Allie. There’s a surprise view of the killer. There were many views after that including Margie, which was not her real name because she feared for her safety. She had been stalking her father’s killer for 20 years and knew that the killer had been killing up to 8 victims. She hoped that Lacy can send the killer to jail.
The Judge’s List was well written and a fast paced read. A little too many point of views than I care for but I do liked the detailed view of the killer and the persons chasing the killer. I liked that the killer was created as a smart person, one who stayed a couple of steps ahead of the police. It was thrilling to read when the stalking was reversed, the killer knew he was being stalked. Definitely interesting also to see how technology was utilized for good and for bad. The ending was good and I didn’t guess the course of action. This book has good diversity. Although it’s a book 2 in a series, it can be read as a standalone. I haven’t read a legal thriller in awhile but sure won’t be my last. I recommend everyone to read this book!
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
John Grisham is the author of thirty novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and six novels for young readers. (Photo and info obtained from Penguin’s website).
More Information about Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
***Many thanks to Doubleday Books for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.