As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Hodder Paperbacks,
13 July 2017. ISBN: 978-1-444 -79109-9 (PB)
In this exciting legal thriller, Lacy Stoltz and her
colleague Hugo Hatch work for the Florida Board of Judicial Conduct. With a
population of 20 million, 600 circuits with 1000 judges dealing with half a
million cases a year, luckily nearly all the judges are dedicated and
hardworking. But cuts affect the BJC, as everywhere else, so tracking down the
occasional bad apple keeps the 6 BJC employees and their boss, Michael Geisner,
When Lacy receives a
call from a mysterious man with an obviously made-up name asking her to meet
him and hear his story she agrees and brings Hugo along for back up. When she
meets the man, it appears he has no fixed address and lives with his girlfriend
Carlita on a boat; he is now calling himself Greg Myers. He has quite a story
to tell involving a seriously corrupt woman judge and a local gang known as the
Catfish Mountain. Once Lacy and Hugo get the go-ahead from Geisner, Myers fills
them in: The Catfish are run by one Vonn Dubose, and he has enabled the
(fictitious) American Indian tribe, the Tappacola, to open a casino on their
reservation as has been done in real life by a number of Indian tribes in
Florida and elsewhere. And Dubose has acquired land neighbouring the casino and
there built hotels etc to accommodate visitors to the casino. These casinos are
not liable to tax so Dubose and corrupt members of the tribal council,
including the chief, are able easily to skim the casino proceeds. More serious
is the action taken by the authorities against other tribal members who object
to the casino particularly on one man who is accused of the murder of a
pro-casino tribal council and his own wife: he has vehemently asserted his innocence,
but all his appeals have been blocked by the Florida judge, Claudia McDowell.
This is where Lacy and Hugo come in; judicial corruption is what they
investigate, and if their enquiries reveal links to organised crime, then the
FBI, so far unwilling to be involved, must take up the case. But Myers’s
testimony is largely hearsay; more evidence will come from an intermediary,
referred to as the Middleman, and from even closer to the conspiracy, a
Whistleblower, ie. the Whistler of the book’s title.
The author has
written a substantial number of thrillers with a legal background. Each one has
increased his standing. He is not a writer one would turn to for elegant or
evocative prose but he knows how to ratchet up the tension with apparent
effortlessness. It struck me when I was reading it that it would provide an
excellent road map for any would-be thriller writer. Although there is only one
violent episode on-page – a fatal car crash – the tension increases page by
page as Lacy and her colleagues search for evidence against the various
participants so as to finally get the required evidence against Dubose who
until now has lived so effectively under the radar that he is unknown to any of
the various U.S. perennial and other authorities. In spite of the comparative
lack of violence we know that the investigators are potentially in danger.
An ironic and
effective touch is that many of the participants are first drawn into the web
of crime without really appreciating what they are getting into. Only when it
is too late do they realise what it is they have done and by then they cannot
extricate themselves. Highly recommended.
was born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas. As a child he dreamed of
being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn’t have the right stuff
for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi
State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went
on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal
defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state
House of Representatives and served until 1990.
One day at the DeSoto
County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a
twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what
would have happened if the girl’s father had murdered her assailants. Getting
up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading
off to work, Grisham spent three years on A
Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many
publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000
copy printing and published it in June 1988. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another
novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law
firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for
$600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book
rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times
bestseller list, The Firm became the
bestselling novel of 1991.
Grisham took time off
from writing for several months in 1996 to return, after a five-year hiatus, to
the courtroom. He was honouring a commitment made before he had retired from
the law to become a full-time writer: representing the family of a railroad
brakeman killed when he was pinned between two cars. Preparing his case with
the same passion and dedication as his books’ protagonists, Grisham
successfully argued his clients’ case, earning them a jury award of
$683,500—the biggest verdict of his career.
publishing A Time to Kill in 1988,
Grisham has written one novel a year. When he’s not writing, Grisham devotes
time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild the Coast Fund,
which raised 8.8 million dollars for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane
Katrina. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who
dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little
League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played
host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.
Grisham lives with his wife Renee and their two children Ty and Shea. The
family splits their time between their Victorian home on a farm in Mississippi
and a plantation near Charlottesville, VA.
born in the U.S. but has lived in the U.K. since she was seven apart from seven
years in The Hague. She read law at university but did not go into practice.
Instead she worked for many years for a firm of law publishers and still does occasional
work for them including taking part in a substantial revision and updating of
her late husband’s legal practitioners’ work on Criminal Evidence published
late 2015. She has also contributed short stories with a distinctly criminal
flavour to two of the Oxford Stories anthologies published by Oxpens Press – a
third story is to be published shortly in another Oxford Stories anthology –
and is now concentrating on her own writing.