BOOK: THE WHISTLER by John Grisham

2016-11-22_11h14_14Best-selling authors taking too many shortcuts ?
Could authors be cutting corners on their best efforts…

2016-11-22_11h14_14The synopsis:

We expect our judges to be honest and wise. Their integrity and impartiality are the bedrock of the entire judicial system. We trust them to ensure fair trials, to protect the rights of all litigants, to punish those who do wrong, and to oversee the orderly and efficient flow of justice.

But what happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? It’s rare, but it happens.

Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is a lawyer, not a cop, and it is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the Board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption.

But a corruption case eventually crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity. He now goes by the name Greg Myers, and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined. And not just crooked judges in Florida. All judges, from all states, and throughout U.S. history.

What’s the source of the ill-gotten gains? It seems the judge was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. The Coast Mafia financed the casino and is now helping itself to a sizable skim of each month’s cash. The judge is getting a cut and looking the other way. It’s a sweet deal: Everyone is making money.

But now Greg wants to put a stop to it. His only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. Greg files a complaint with the Board on Judicial Conduct, and the case is assigned to Lacy Stoltz, who immediately suspects that this one could be dangerous.

Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else.

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Richard’s review rant
Author’s are not producing their best works any more. 

The last 4 best selling author books I have read, have been disappointments; written as if they author was in a hurry; written as if they author were being distracted from concentrated effort.

The first author to disappoint was Lee Child. Usually a consistently entertaining writer who could be counted on producing an exciting and rivetting story. “Never Go Back,” another Jack Reacher story was a terrible disappointment. It was repetitive, mundane and written pedantically in my opinion. 

But Child is not the only best selling author guilty of ‘second class efforts.’ It may have started with Tom Clancy who began using a writing team to produce his works. But it has now spilled over to authors like Danielle Steel. Donna Leon, and John Grisham.

They are coasting, cruising on established reputations. And on their worst days, they far outshine anything which I might produce. Be that as it may, I count on these authors on giving me great writing, great stories and enjoyable plots all the time. Of course it’s a tall order to produce something that matches previous peaks. But isn’t that what marks a great writer, never failing to climb another literary peak? 

I believe each of these outstanding writers has been bound to fulfill a contract, so many books in such a period of time and the schedule has been pushing for the next piece. So, whip it out. It may not be the best that they can write, but surpasses anything the general masses can produce.

The Whistler
The Whistler is a perfect example of pedestrian creativity. It lacks surprises in its plot. There are no twists, no surprise, no unexpected convolutions. The characters lack aura, magnetism or appeal. The heroine, Lacy Stoltz, meh ! The plot: felt like a summary gleaned from a series of new stories. Even the murder was mundane.

And these authors are becoming too predictable, especially Child and Grisham. I suspect both authors recently got pilot’s licenses and maybe even bought their own planes for they work in plane and piloting bits into each of their new plots, repeatedly. 

The Whistler does not enthrall, does not captivate. Earlier Grisham books were “can’t put it down” reads. The Whistler, I could put it down and did, easily and often as it failed to draw me into its story.

I feel some remorse, or maybe regret in voicing this opinion for, as I have said, each of these authors on their worst day makes my writing look unpolished, pedantic and amateur. That may be very true, but my writing is not in book stores. I write for money and perhaps if I did, I too would fall victim to the demands of publisher’s contract, ‘a book a year, no matter what.’

The final word
At their second best, these authors still produce books that read well. Though one may criticize their works as inferior efforts compared to earlier works, they still write at a level that outshines the rest of us, a level which may be attainable for some of us. But it should not be a level that brings satisfaction to any of these great authors.

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