The Whistler by John Grisham is a new legal novel that begins with the problem of a corrupt judge and leads to the uncovering of a widespread, entrenched crime syndicate.
The main character is Lacy Stolz, an investigator for the board that oversees Florida judges. When a complaint of judicial misconduct is filed against a female Circuit Court judge, Lacy and her partner, Hugo Hatch, are at first skeptical. The complaint filer is a secretive whistleblower who claims to have a mole contact close to the judge.
As Lacy digs into the case, it looks like the judge is taking payoff money connected to a casino on Indian tribal land. But the corruption spreads much wider than that, and dangerous people involved are willing to use violence to protect themselves.
A cold blooded trap is set for Lacy and Hugo with tragic consequences. The whistleblower himself suddenly disappears. As Lacy's office realizes what they are up against, they are forced to go to the FBI for help.
The Whistler is an entertaining read that is slowed sometimes by in-depth background material. The novel continues John Grisham's exploration of the darker corners of the American legal system.