BOOKS: Judge’s List: John Grisham | Local News
John Grisham has never written about a serial killer.
Hearing Grisham say he never wrote a detective novel involving a serial killer doesn’t sound good. After 30 years of books on courts, crimes and lawyers, surely there has been a serial killer somewhere … But apparently not.
With “The Judge’s List,” Grisham creates a compelling serial killer: a sitting judge who holds decades-old grudges and acts violently upon them.
Jeri Crosby has been tracking his father’s killer for 20 years. She has linked the killer to several other cold cases in as many states over many years. All cases lack evidence other than being bound by the same deadly methods and having controversial knowledge of the judge in their past.
Jeri is looking for Lacy Stoltz.
Stoltz is a Florida Board on Judicial Conduct investigator who has drawn attention for risking her life by knocking a judge into the pockets of organized crime. Jeri wants the board involved as she hopes to bring down the serial killer judge while remaining anonymous.
With Lacy, Grisham returns to a character from a past novel. “The Whistler” was the story of how she overthrew the corrupt judge. And she’s a good character here, although in some ways she takes precedence over Jeri and the Judge.
Jeri is an irritating character. She’s brilliant in her pursuit of the judge, but many readers will easily understand Lacy’s exasperation with her. Although his motivation for bringing the judge to justice is pure, his methods are self-righteous, selfish, and dangerous to others. The loss of her father should make her sympathetic, but his actions throughout the book make her annoying.
That said, Grisham fans should put “The Judges List” on their playlists.