The Whistler by John Grisham

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The WhistlerI would say this is Grisham’s best but I believe I say that after each of his books that I read. But truthfully this is a tremendous read. He always does a great job writing about the courts and trials but this one like some others goes into a lot of detail about the happenings outside the courthouse.

Lacy Stoltz, a lawyer working as an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, is sent on a possible case by her boss. She and Hugo, her partner, meet up with a guy who is definitely hiding as he uses aliases and lives on a boat. Greg Myers, the man they meet, is asking them to file a claim under the Florida Whistleblower Statue for a client of his. Myers is very close mouthed and doesn’t give up the names of his client or his client’s “mole”. However he truly believes that there is a mob known as the Catfish Mafia that is committing crimes across a huge part of the Gulf coastal area and that they also control a female judge of high ranking in the area.

They report back to their boss with the information and he tells them as long as Myers signs a valid complaint they will take on the case. They both feel that the FBI or someone should be involved since it appears the entire situation includes a casino on Indian tribal property which is basically “hands-off” from local police enforcement.

Myers does sign the complaint and gives them more interesting information which gets them going rather quickly into checking out some of the claims that he has made. They quickly find a lot of evidence that this judge, Claudia McDover, has been involved in many, many cases for the Tappacola Reservation and the new casino. Much legal work had to be done, some somewhat sketchy and questionable, to get land rights waived and road construction performed whether or not it was really necessary for the entire area. And McDover seemed to steam roll the proceedings along in favor of the Indians. Both investigators still want Myers or their boss to agree to calling in the FBI because of the depth of the charges but until they get more evidence their boss says no. And Myers has staunchly said no all along until they get more deeply involved

That happens especially after they meet with one of the Tappacola tribe whose brother is in prison for a murder which appears to have been committed by someone else!

It isn’t too long after that a horrible “accident” occurs when Lacy and Hugo are on their way to meet what they believe to be another mole connected to the case based on the phone call they receive.

As usual with Grisham however he plays down the romantic side of any of his stories and goes for the guts which always are how the law works and also how the criminal side of the particular story also works.

The Whistler really does go into depth into both of these sides as the story moves along. The reader gets a good view of what these criminal minds know and how they work when confronted with law enforcement.

And on the other side Grisham shows all the many tools that the FBI use to pull together evidence and expand upon it to really nail their target.

This is a terrific read and one that the reader has an extremely hard time laying aside to do anything else. It holds your interest and has you racing along to see what all will end up happening. Almost like gambling at a casino!!!

Grisham at his best! Thank you once more, Mr. Grisham!