Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Racketeer

[rack-e-teer] is one who obtains money illegally, as by fraud, extortion, etc. From the beginning I’ve been curious, who the racketeer is. The story is told from two point-of-views; the first is from Malcolm Bannister’s—an African-American lawyer who has involved in a case which turned out to be a crime, and got imprisoned under RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act. The second is from third point of view, the narrator. Malcolm must serve ten years in prison for a crime he was not guilty of; losing his career, his family, his future—in short, he is ruined. When five years has elapsed, a Federal judge is murdered, and Malcolm proposes to FBI to swap his knowledge of the murderer, with his freedom and immunity.

As the FBI doesn’t have any clue about the murder, they give Malcolm freedom and immunity after he gives them the name of the murderer: Quinn Rucker, his ex-friend in jail. Malcolm changes his appearance and gets new name and new life, as well as the money prize as the informant; while Quinn is imprisoned after his under-pressured confession. However, FBI still could not find any solid evidence to indict Quinn; while Max—the new Malcolm—manages to slip away from their surveillance, and begins to busy himself with some strange things. The FBI is now restless, and we—the readers—start asking these questions: Is Malcolm the poor victim or the ruthless villain? If Quinn is not the murderer, who is?

One thing that I love mostly from Grisham, is the variation of his styles. One time he would make a struggling lawyer heroically fighting a huge law firm; another time he would highlight a victim of corrupted judicial system. But once or twice he might make the villain triumphantly outdo the law. In fact, it is sometimes difficult to differentiate the protagonist from the antagonist. But whichever way Grisham takes you, you wouldn’t be able to resist his masterful style of narrating his stories.

This book looks promising on the earlier few chapters, but it gets rather slow after Malcolm is easily freed from jail, and we already got the murderer. Well….in cases like this, we know that the story isn’t over, and things might get twisted to a surprising ending. And so I go on reading, and yes, it gets more and more thrilling, and I was so excited to know the outcome…and the real killer! I thought first that this is about corrupted system, which was punishing an innocent victim, but of course, I was wrong—at least half wrong… :)

Four stars for The Racketeer, another unusual law thriller from Grisham. Love it!


I read Dell Mass Market Export edition

Buku ini adalah hadiah dari Secret Santa #BBI 2013 -- thanks Santa!
Siapa Secret Santaku? Aku buka kedoknya di sini… :D