John Grisham’s “The Whistler” on Audio: A Review

As John Grisham’s new legal thriller The Whistler has been among the most popular titles both in print and audio for some time, we decided to take a look at the audio production of this new release. Although the new novel has a well crafted narrative and the experienced narrator Cassandra Campbell does a great job in delivery, we were slightly disappointed of the predictable plot.

A Brief Summary: 

We expect our judges to be honest and wise. Their integrity and impartiality are the bedrock of the entire judicial system. We trust them to ensure fair trials, to protect the rights of all litigants, to punish those who do wrong, and to oversee the orderly and efficient flow of justice.

But what happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? It’s rare, but it happens.

Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is a lawyer, not a cop, and it is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption.

But a corruption case eventually crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity. He now goes by the name Greg Myers, and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined. And not just crooked judges in Florida. All judges, from all states and throughout US history.

What’s the source of the ill-gotten gains? It seems the judge was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. The Coast Mafia financed the casino and is now helping itself to a sizable skim of each month’s cash. The judge is getting a cut and looking the other way. It’s a sweet deal: Everyone is making money.

But now Greg wants to put a stop to it. His only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. Greg files a complaint with the Board on Judicial Conduct, and the case is assigned to Lacy Stoltz, who immediately suspects that this one could be dangerous.

Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else.

Our Take: 

The start of the plot was indeed very promising: A huge dose of suspense in a potential corruption case which could shake the judicial system in Florida. The story, however, fell flat very soon and sounded very predictable. We were waiting for a final twist towards the end of the novel but that twist never came.

On the positive side though, the book is very well-written (although we listed to the audio version) and the experience of Campbell, the narrator for the audio version, clearly shows itself in her professional delivery.

We think the loyal fans of John Grisham might want to add this novel to their collections but for the author’s newbies perhaps they can start with some of his older works such as The Runaway Jury.

Our Rating: 3.4

Want to read other titles from John Grisham? Check out these other novels by the author. 

 

Photo credit: erik ERXON via Foter.com / CC BY