Gr­isham’s imag­i­na­tion beats his re­al­ity

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ARTS & LIFE - By David Pitt

The Rack­e­teer (Dell, 382 pages, $12) could be John Gr­isham’s most wildly im­plau­si­ble novel. The Vir­ginia lawyer-turned-nov­el­ist ad­mits in his au­thor’s note that “al­most noth­ing in the pre­vi­ous 380-odd pages is based on re­al­ity,” and he ain’t kid­ding. The story, which in­volves an in­car­cer­ated for­mer at­tor­ney who gets him­self sprung be­cause (he says) he has vi­tal in­for­ma­tion about the re­cent mur­der of a fed­eral judge, is al­most pure fan­tasy.

But it’s also pure en­ter­tain­ment. The story moves at a brisk clip, there are plenty of twists and turns (in­clud­ing one whop­per of a sur­prise near the end) and the char­ac­ters are lively.

Gr­isham has writ­ten plenty of good books that are based on real le­gal prin­ci­ples; this time he’s writ­ten a great one based on stuff he’s made up. More of th­ese, please.

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