The Racketeer by John Grisham

We meet our protagonist, Malcolm Bannister, in a minimum security Federal prison in Virginia. He has served five years of a 10 year sentence. We don’t really know exactly what got him to his present home but we do know most of his family have deserted him.  Malcolm is a lawyer…a disbarred lawyer. His son will be a teenager when he next sees him and his wife has re-married. His father, Henry ,a retired Highway policeman, visits him once a week. He is not sure how Malcolm ended up in prison but he does maintain his contact with his son. Malcolm was apparently caught up in an illegal operation of his small three-man law firm but he truly did not know any of the circumstances of the operation.
Soon everything is about to change.  A judge, the Honorable Raymond Fawcett is found murdered in a remote cabin. Also murdered is his secretary, Naomi Clary.  And a well secured safe is found open and empty !  It also appears that Malcolm may know something of the circumstances of the murders. He actually may know who the murderer is…..and for providing this information to the government he expects a full pardon and placement in our witness protection program with a complete new identity.
Quinn Rucker was in prison with Malcolm and Malcolm being the prisoner’s go-to guy for legal advice has told a lot to Malcolm. Malcolm now has to have an appearance change and must be put in “witness protection.”  But all does not go well, as somehow Rucker has learned of Malcolm’s perfidy. And so the adventure shifts into high gear as Malcolm must stay one step of his pursuers and yet be ready to testify at Rucker’s trial.
The pace is all John Grisham and fans will appreciate the many twists and turns in the story.

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