Malcolm Bannister is in federal prison for a crime he didn't commit. He's been sentenced to 10 years and has served 5 of those years. When a federal judge is murdered, Malcolm convinces the FBI that he knows who committed the crime, and if they will commute his sentence and put him in the witness protection program, he will tell them who the murderer is.
The feds take the deal and give Malcolm a new life and a new face as Max Baldwin. That's really all I want to say. This is one of those books where you know there's more to the story than you are being told. I don't know how many times I thought to myself, "Just what is Malcolm/Max up to?" He does weird things that don't seem related to the case and that put him in danger, but you know there must be a reason. You don't really find out that reason until the end of the book when everything comes together masterfully.
The twists and turns and the complexity of the plot will keep you mesmerized. Max is very smart, very creative, and is obviously following a plan. But to what end? You have to read it to find out.
The narrator, J. D. Jackson, is excellent. The Racketeer is a first person narrative, and Jackson's voice for Malcolm/Max is spot-on and easy to follow.
The Racketeer is highly recommended to adults and sophisticated teen readers who like crime drama . If you are already a Grisham fan, this is a must read.
Published by Random House, 2012
Audiobook obtained from the library
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