The Judge's List

A Novel

The Whistler Band 2

John Grisham


The call came through the office land line, through a system that was at least twenty years old and had fought off all technological advances. It was taken by a tattooed receptionist named Felicity, a new girl who would be gone before she fully understood the phones. They were all leaving, it seemed, especially the clerical help. Turnover was ridiculous. Morale was low. The Board on Judicial Conduct had just seen its budget chopped for the fourth straight year by a legislature that hardly knew it existed.

Felicity managed to route the call down the hall to the cluttered desk of Lacy Stoltz. There s a call on line three, she announced.

Who is it? Lacy asked.

She wouldn t say.

There were so many ways to respond. At that moment, though, Lacy was bored, and she did not wish to waste the emotional energy necessary to properly chastise the kid and set her straight. Routines and protocols were crumbling. Office discipline was waning as BJC spiraled into a leaderless mess.

As a veteran, the veteran, it was important to set an example. Thanks, she said and punched the blinking light. Lacy Stoltz.

Good afternoon, Ms. Stoltz. Do you have a moment?

Female, educated, no hint of an accent, mid-forties, give or take three years. Lacy always played the voice game. And to whom do I have the pleasure?

My name is Margie for now, but I use other ones.

Lacy was amused and almost chuckled. Well, at least you re up front about it. It normally takes me some time to work through the aliases.

Anonymous callers were routine. People with gripes about judges were always cautious and hesitant to come forward and take on the system. Almost all feared retaliation from the powers on high.

Margie said, I d like to talk to you, somewhere private.

My office is private, if you d like.

Oh no, she snapped, apparently frightened at the thought. That won t work. You know the Siler Building, next door?

Of course, Lacy said as she stood and looked out her window at the Siler Building, one of several nondescript government addresses in downtown Tallahassee.

Margie said, There s a coffee bar on the ground floor. Can we meet there?

I suppose. When?

Now. I m on my second latte.

Slow down. Give me a few minutes. And you ll recognize me?

Yes. You re on the website. I m in the rear, left side.

Lacy s office was indeed private. The one to her left was empty, vacated by an ex-colleague who d moved on to a bigger agency. Across the hall an office had been converted into a makeshift storage closet. She walked toward Felicity and ducked into the office of Darren Trope, a two-year man already prowling for another job.

You busy? she asked as she interrupted whatever he was doing.

Not really. It didn t matter what he was or was not doing. If Lacy needed anything, Darren belonged to her.

Need a favor. I m stepping over to Siler to meet a stranger who just admitted that she is using a fake name.

Oh, I love the cloak-and-dagger. Sure beats sitting here reading about some judge who made lewd comments to a witness.

How lewd?

Pretty graphic.

Any photos, videos?

Not yet.

Let me know if you get them. So, mind stepping over in fifteen minutes and taking a picture?

Sure. No problem. No idea who she is?

None whatsoever.

Lacy left the building, took her time walking
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER Investigator Lacy Stoltz follows the trail of a serial killer, and closes in on a shocking suspect a sitting judge in one of the best crime reads of the year. Bristling with high-tech detail and shivering with suspense . Worth staying up all night to finish (Wall Street Journal).
In The Whistler, Lacy Stoltz investigated a corrupt judge who was taking millions in bribes from a crime syndicate. She put the criminals away, but only after being attacked and nearly killed. Three years later, and approaching forty, she is tired of her work for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct and ready for a change.

Then she meets a mysterious woman who is so frightened she uses a number of aliases. Jeri Crosby s father was murdered twenty years earlier in a case that remains unsolved and that has grown stone cold. But Jeri has a suspect whom she has become obsessed with and has stalked for two decades. Along the way, she has discovered other victims.

Suspicions are easy enough, but proof seems impossible. The man is brilliant, patient, and always one step ahead of law enforcement. He is the most cunning of all serial killers. He knows forensics, police procedure, and most important: he knows the law.

He is a judge, in Florida under Lacy s jurisdiction.

He has a list, with the names of his victims and targets, all unsuspecting people unlucky enough to have crossed his path and wronged him in some way. How can Lacy pursue him, without becoming the next name on his list?

The Judge s List is by any measure John Grisham s most surprising, chilling novel yet.

One of The Wall Street Journal's Best Mysteries of the Year


Verkaufsrang 1156
Einband Taschenbuch
Erscheinungsdatum 21.06.2022
Verlag Penguin Random House
Maße (L/B) 17.4/10.6 cm
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-593-46906-4

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