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Books – Review of The Judge’s List by John Grisham – 2021 – Riveting Story

by AniM
the judge's list book cover
The Judge’s List Book Cover

Book Review – The Judge’s List – Another Great Read

My Rating – 4 out of 5

Plot Summary (Storyline) – The Judge’s List

Well, the master of legal thrillers is back in what is being touted as The Whistler Part 2 (following on from the success of The Whistler – 2016). Lacy Stoltz and the fictional Board on Judicial Conduct (BJC), Florida are back with the next edition. There’s even a 0.5 in the series – Witness to a Trial! The BJC investigates complaints against serving Judges – malpractice, bias, corruption, etc. The employees of BJC are not cops, but investigators, who, depending on the merit of the case, can involve Law Enforcement. In The Whistler, it was a corrupt Judge who was benefitting from a mob-operated casino on Indian reservation land. But this time, it is far eviler!

The BJC is not in great shape due to constant budget cuts and an apathetic Director who has one foot out of the door. Lacy is recovering from the tragic accident at the end of The Whistler, in which she lost her co-investigator from BJC, Hugo Hatch. Her personal case of compensation from the Mob which caused the accident is stagnating and ever her interest in prolonging her career at BJC is dwindling. In her personal life, her boyfriend Allie, who is an agent with the FBI, is at a crossroads of sorts. Neither of them feels sure of what lies ahead, and are kind of feeling their way ahead in the darkness.

The Judge’s List Book Trailer

At this juncture, Lacy’s life gets a boost when a woman who calls herself Margie (admittedly an alias) contacts her for a confidential consultation regarding a complaint against a sitting Judge. Lacy is skeptical but intrigued and reluctantly agrees to meet with Margie. At a coffee shop, Margie (real name Jeri Burke) presents a fantastical story of a sitting Circuit Judge in Pensacola, Florida, who is a serial killer! According to Jeri, Judge Ross Banick is a respected Judge, who on the surface is like any other. Though a loner, his court performance is as it should be, and even socially, he’s seen at the right places. But the Judge is a serial killer!

Jeri’s preposterous sounding charge is not backed up by proof but a series of compelling similarities. Judge Banick has a list of people who have slighted him, ever, and after stalking them for decades, he is killing them one by one! According to Jerry’s theory, it started with Jeri’s father, a retired Law professor, who was strangled to death, and the case was never solved. Through dogged persistence, Jeri found similarities in her father’s murder with 5 other similar unsolved murders – with the same signature and a common connection somewhere to him. Lacy knows it is not for her to investigate murders, but reluctantly agrees to sniff around and if suitably proved, to hand it over to the cops.

the judge's list alt book cover
The Judge’s List Alternate Cover

As Lacy starts to take a closer look at Jeri’s accusations, she finds that there is merit to her theory, though no conclusive proof at all. Judge Banick is indeed a very sick and dangerous man. Meanwhile, the killings don’t stop, and three more murders are committed with the same modus operandi across different states. The police have nothing to go on and resist Lacy and her team’s interest in cases where, clearly, she has no business. Around this time, Judge Banick becomes aware of the whispers of an investigation against him and the cat and mouse game begins in true earnest. It all leads to a thrilling and nail-biting endgame!

the judge's list alt 2 book cover
The Judge’s List Alternate Book Cover 2

Conclusion – Book Review of The Judge’s List

This is John Grisham at the top of his game and though this is no courtroom drama like so many of his other bestsellers, this is a fast-paced ride to the end. It takes a deep dive into the minds of a deranged killer and how one tragic event sets off the wheels in the mind of a killer, leading to tragedy after tragedy. I finished this in one sitting folks, so all you John Grisham fans out there, I’m confident you will too! So without further ado, go grab your copy, if you haven’t already!!

the judge's list author john grisham
The Judge’s List Author John Grisham

*I hope you have enjoyed reading this book review as much as I have enjoyed writing this! Do watch this space for more such reviews and navigate through the links below for more… Thank you!! *

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