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Extended Audio Sample The Racketeer Audiobook, by John Grisham Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00013223140496 out of 53.00013223140496 out of 53.00013223140496 out of 53.00013223140496 out of 53.00013223140496 out of 5 3.00 (15,125 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Grisham Narrator: J. D. Jackson Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2012 ISBN: 9780307943262
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In The Racketeer Malcolm Bannister is at the midpoint of a ten-year prison sentence for money laundering when he discovers that he has a chance of getting out. He was, in actuality, a former attorney and innocent of the crime he was charged with, and was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

U.S. Federal Judge Raymond Fawcett has become the fifth acting federal judge to be murdered.

Malcolm Bannister knows who is responsible for Judge Fawcett's death, and he knows why the murder was committed.

Judge Fawcett's body, along with that of his lovely secretary, was found inside a cabin on the lake. No signs of struggle, forced entry or obvious clues were left. An almost impenetrable safe inside was found open but devoid of its contents.

The FBI is on the trail, but they have no real leads. Malcolm Bannister has answers for them, but his time in prison and his knowledge as a lawyer tell him to play his cards right. What he knows could set off a series of events no one could predict. He has driving motives, assurance of his own innocence, and information he can barter, providing he can take advantage of some of the provisions within the legal system, specifically Rule 35 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

The audiobook gives Malcolm's back story and follows his everyday activity as he is caught up in the system.

American writer John Grisham was born in 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Although his dream was to play professional baseball, he ended up getting degrees in accounting and law, practicing criminal defense and personal injury litigation. He served in the state House of Representatives for over ten years. He began writing legal thrillers as a hobby while working at his regular job. His hobby soon became a full-time vocation following the success of his early novels.

Grisham lives with his wife and children in Mississippi and Virginia, where he continues to write.

Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered. 

Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five.

Who is the Racketeer? And what does he have to do with the judge’s untimely demise? His name, for the moment, is Malcolm Bannister. Job status? Former attorney. Current residence? A federal prison camp near Frostburg, Maryland.

On paper, Malcolm’s situation isn’t looking too good these days, but he’s got an ace up his sleeve. He knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and he knows why. The judge’s body was found in his remote lakeside cabin. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies: Judge Fawcett and his young secretary. And one large, state-of-the-art, extremely secure safe—opened and emptied.

What was in the safe? The FBI would love to know. And Malcolm Bannister would love to tell them. But everything has a price—especially information as explosive as the sequence of events that led to Judge Fawcett’s death. And the Racketeer wasn’t born yesterday …

Nothing is as it seems and everything’s fair game in this wickedly clever new novel from John Grisham, the undisputed master of the legal thriller.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Critical Acclaim for the Undisputed Master of the Legal Thriller
  • With every new book I appreciate John Grisham a little more, for his feisty critiques of the legal system, his compassion for the underdog, and his willingness to strike out in new directions. Entertainment Weekly
  • A legal literary legend. USA Today
  • A mighty narrative talent and an unerring eye for hot-button issues. Chicago Sun-Times
  • John Grisham is not just popular, he is one of the most popular novelists of our time. He is a craftsman and he writes good stories, engaging characters, and clever plots. The Seattle Times
  • John Grisham owns the legal thriller. The Denver Post
  • Grisham is a marvelous storyteller who works readers the way a good trial lawyer works a jury. The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • John Grisham is about as good a storyteller as we’ve got in the United States these days. The New York Times Book Review
  • The law, by its nature, creates drama, and a new Grisham promises us an inside look at the dirty machineries of process and power, with plenty of an entertainment. Los Angeles Times
  • The secrets of Grisham’s success are no secret at all. There are two of them: his pacing, which ranges from fast to breakneck, and his theme—little guy takes on big conspiracy with the little guy getting the win in the end. —Time
  • John Grisham is exceptionally good at what he does—indeed, right now in this country,  nobody does it better . . . Grisham’s books are also smart, imaginative, and funny, populated by complex interesting people, written by a man who is driven not merely by the desire to entertain but also by genuine (if understated) outrage at human cupidity and venality. Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
  • “[An] exhilarating tale…Grisham writes with rekindled vigor here.”

    New York Times

  • “[The Racketeer] is engaging and illuminating in equal measure.”

    USA Today

  • “John Grisham’s latest legal thriller possesses all the elements that have already made it a number one bestseller.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “[A] twisty, precisely plotted legal thriller.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “As ever, a solid, unflashy performance by Grisham.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A #1 USA Today Bestseller
  • A #1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller
  • A 2012 Washington Post Notable Book for Fiction
  • A Washington Post Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard | 2/18/2017

    " Loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mia | 2/15/2014

    " I liked it. Nice to have African American hero. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Terri Floccare | 2/9/2014

    " Full of twists and turns. A legal thriller without being a criminal law tutorial. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn Leshyn | 2/6/2014

    " Excellent Grisham book. One of his bests. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 June | 2/1/2014

    " Nice and well written story especially the description that the Author gives about the inside life of a prisoner. And ofcourse the twist in the story is also something that will keep you hooked. But at some places I have felt a bit of drag. There were certain unwanted content which really had no significance and in fact made the reading boring. But overall the book is definitely a must-read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen Suglia | 1/31/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am a fan of Grisham so perhaps not the most objective reader, but it was a fun and plot twisting read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Joanne | 1/19/2014

    " Didn't like the main character; didn't finish the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paula | 1/19/2014

    " Grisham is still the best legal thriller writer around. 3.5 stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fred | 1/15/2014

    " Really enjoyed this Grisham thriller. Great twists and plot! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol Milliman | 1/13/2014

    " Excellent plot in typical John Grisham style. He always manages to give enough clues to keep one guessing but has a few surprises along the way. Very entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lee Kippenbrock toler | 12/26/2013

    " Always enjoy a good Grisham read. This was good and kept your attention. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathi | 12/15/2013

    " One of the better Grisham books. Several times I felt I knew what the outcome would be, only to be surprised by a turn in the road. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sannasue | 12/15/2013

    " This was more like the older Grisham books, good characters, interesting story, and a good twist at the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shanna | 11/27/2013

    " 3.5 points. He's a very good writer but I didn't really care for the main character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carrie | 11/15/2013

    " The middle of this book was LONG....a good quick read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz Utter | 11/13/2013

    " Kept me guessing... Pretty good book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly Nielsen | 8/11/2013

    " I liked it much better than the Litigators. But that is because I am a more of a Crime / Heist guy, then courtroom drama guy. And this one was definitely more along the lines of the Firm. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheila | 8/7/2013

    " There for a good while, I didn't know what was going on. Then I did. And it was awesome! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ritch Yount | 7/18/2013

    " Someone told him he had to write a book that week...never read a slower one. Liked the ending but getting there was hard. Thank goodness the book was due back to the library. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne Rogers | 6/24/2013

    " Totally didn't see it coming! And easy and fun read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherebaier | 5/30/2013

    " Quick read not up to Grisham par but still fun with surprising ending. Author could have done more here! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kayla Wiedeman | 5/19/2013

    " Quick read with lots of twists and turns. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dee Metz | 3/15/2013

    " Not his best, but still good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roger Hamilton | 3/6/2013

    " Entertaining like all Grisham books but not great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debra | 2/21/2013

    " John Grisham at the top of his game. He doesn't disappoint! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Corina | 1/3/2013

    " Not the best Grisham. It was still an interesting tale but definitely not up to the quality of earlier Grisham works. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judi Maylone | 12/26/2012

    " Different John Grisham type of story. The premise was very clever albeit a little farfetched. Very enjoyable however. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Philippa | 11/6/2012

    " Really good - I thought I had it pegged fairly early on (because I was looking for a twist) but was still surprised. Great read, quite fast. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sheldon Lehman | 10/24/2012

    " It started off better than it finished, but otherwise a typical Grisham read. It's a quicker read than some of his other books. "

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About the Author
Author John Grisham

John Grisham, whose name has become synonymous with the modern legal thriller, used to work sixty to seventy hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi, law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel. When finally published, A Time to Kill met with little success, but when he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers. Spending forty-seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991. The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham’s reputation as the master of the legal thriller. His success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was then republished. This time around, it was a bestseller. Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year, and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 275 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into forty languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films, as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. He lives in Virginia and Mississippi.

About the Narrator

J. D. Jackson is a theater professor, aspiring stage director, and award-winning audiobook narrator. He is a classically trained actor, and his television and film credits include roles on House, ER, Law & Order, Hack, Sherrybaby, Diary of a City Priest, and Lucky Number Slevin. The recipient of several audiobook awards for narration and an Odyssey Honor for G. Neri’s Ghetto Cowboy, he was also named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Voices of the Year for 2012 and 2013. Jackson has won the AudioFile Earphones Award eleven times.