Maureen Ellis is a keen reader in the crime genre. She regularly posts on Goodreads.com
Who judges the judges? Personally it's not something I've ever given any thought to, but John Grisham has created a unique and exciting storyline based around this very subject.
Lacy Stolz investigates cases of judicial misconduct in Florida. She has her share of interesting cases but nothing that will set the world on fire; that is until Greg Myers calls her with the mother of all judicial misconduct complaints. Under state law, Myers and his anonymous whistle blower are able to claim a portion of any illegal assets recovered from the investigation, and as investigations go, this one will go down in history.
Lacy, along with her working partner Hugo Hatch agree to meet Myers (a somewhat shady character who lives on the periphery of society). He is a convicted felon, who lost his license to practice law, but he served his time and has recently had his licence restored. He claims to have evidence of a female judge being mixed up with the local mafia, saying that she's amassed a small fortune in illegal earnings from a casino and its surrounding condos. This case, if proven, could become a very dangerous assignment for Lacy and Hugo, and Hugo in particular has real concerns about becoming involved with the mafia, and its possible outcome. The case is presented to their boss Michael Geismar, and after much deliberation, it's decided that they will take the case on, with Lacy and Hugo being the main investigators.
And so begins the massive investigation to bring to justice the most corrupt judge in US history. It becomes clear that peeling away the many layers of deceit will not be easy for Lacy and the team, and as their powers are somewhat limited, the FBI are brought into play and work in conjunction with Lacy. Companies and assets are well hidden but the whole team's determination is unquestionable. Of course, anyone who tries to take down the mafia are not in for an easy ride, but it makes for a truly exciting read.
This was an intelligent and gripping storyline, and took me into places I'd rather not go, thankful that I was reading from the safety of a cosy armchair, and with the distinct advantage of not being personally involved. The characterisation too was perfect, with completely believable personalities. What a thoroughly enjoyable and compelling read.