Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Publisher: Random House Audio
Publication Date: 10/25/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars ++
OUTSTANDING! Following John Grisham’s great intro prequel, Witness to a Trial, a perfect set up to the highly anticipated, THE WHISTLER —What is not to LOVE?
• First and foremost, the “King” of modern legal thrillers. Grisham is back full throttle! 29 books #1 bestsellers
• Indian Casinos: Unregulated, lots of cash and plenty who want a piece of it: Treasure Key, Florida Panhandle near Pensacola
• A Whistle-blower: Love them! Exposing the unethical and powerful. Always danger and intrigue. Who is The Whistler?
• Setting: State of Florida My Sunshine State
• Lacy Stoltz: Age 36, Single, sexy, smart strong female investigative lead for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct
• Hugo Hatch: Male investigator partner: Funny, family man, former football star, married to Verna; 4 children,
• Themes: Corruption, Murder, Bribery, Gambling, Conspiracy, Money Laundering, Racketeering/RICO; Legal, Suspense, Humor, Crime; a little Romance
• Honorable Claudia McDover: Age 56, The most female corrupt judge in America
• The Coast Mafia: Always a clever name for the bad guys
• Vonn Dubose: Ubervillain Mob Kingpin Gangster
• Greg Myers: Codename, "Randy." (formerly Ramsey Mix) Lawyer, ex-con, a Jimmy Buffet type who lives on a boat, with one client. Reminds me of TV Series/Amazon Trial/Goliath Billy McBride (Billy Bob Thornton).
• Last, but not least: Audiobook Narrator: Cassandra Campbell:Award-winning performance! She is without a doubt my favorite narrator with a wide range of voices. Top Audio Performance of 2016. Listen PRH Audio.
From the State of Florida, the book takes us from the coast: East, west, north, south, to the Florida Keys.
Picking up from Witness to a Trial, where we saw an innocent man convicted, a murder, a corrupt judge, a casino, and tribal land, as we move to the opening of THE WHISTLER, when a complaint is filed with the Florida Board Judicial Conduct in Tallahassee, Florida.
Overseeing judicial ethics and assigned to the investigative case is Lacy Stoltz and Hugo Hatch. Lacy single, and Hugo married, they are a funny duo and friends both at work and outside work.
They are on a road trip from Tallahassee to the east coast in St. Augustine, FL to meet with the informant. He has one client, a mysterious whistle-blower. Their boss says this could be big.
However, Greg has a shady past, and they are not sure if he is on the good side, or bad. If they can trust him. He wants to meet them in a remote area near the Tappacola reservation late at night, adding to the mystery and suspense.
There is a corrupt judge and she is tied into the casino with her monthly cash bribes. Of course, they have to get the goods and all the players involved for proof. There are real estate developments, land, and golf courses tied to corruption, among off-shore holdings.
Claudia also has a partner and the two women are quite loaded and know how to travel in style (and shop). The novel, as well as the prequel, revolves around a tract of Native American land that has welcomed gambling and can operate outside the Florida law. Acting outside the law, indeed. In America, Indians don’t pay taxes on casino profits. The Tappacola didn’t want to share.
To make things more interesting, the small Tappacola tribe has welcomed a group of mobsters, known as the Coast Mafia, to indulge in unlimited development in tribal land in exchange for a share of the casino’s profits.
Of course, anytime there is corruption, bribery, and coverups, the villains have to maintain their secret. Anyone coming close to the truth, they have the need to eliminate and coverup. Hence, the identity of a whistle-blower needs to be protected.
However, Lacy and Hugo have no idea how far this corruption goes, the elaborate crime scheme and conspiracy, and the danger they are placed in- the more they dive into the investigation. They do not even carry guns. Who knew their job would be so dangerous?
There is murder, and the Native American on death row, a gangster having anyone killed who gets in the way, and a crooked judge who looks the other way, keeping her hand out for monthly cash.
A high-stakes legal crime thriller of good versus evil, with a well-developed cast of characters. We get to see the down and dirty, greedy, rich getting richer, and eliminating anyone who gets in their way. An unfair judicial system portrayed brilliantly.
When the FBI get involved, Lacy has a little romance with one of the agents, even though she is cautious. Grisham has more female leads in this novel than usual, which was a nice change. Of course, also included female leads in Gray Mountain, landing on my Top Books of 2014.
What a great book! I can see this one as a hot movie. Grisham takes on top topics and unravels the complex web of deceit. Wow, Claudia was cold and evil and she loved her money and power.
As a former Florida whistle-blower myself (SOX 2002), making history; the Sunshine state has their share of dirty officials, corporations, developers, and politicians, in real life as well as fiction. speaking from experience.
Lacy, the heroine is a great character, and hope we hear more from her in the future. Loved the cover, reminding me of my two years in Key Largo, where I worked and resided selling real estate at a waterfront condo hotel with a yacht club.
Grisham shines with THE WHISTLER! What interesting topics- from well-researched Indian casino operations, with all the intense legal drama and judicial corruption, and no one does it better!
Buy the audiobook , Grisham/Campbell, perfect duo for The Whistler, for my Top Books of 2016 List.