Thursday, April 13, 2017

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
Today I'm featuring my current read, The Whistler by John Grisham.  The excerpts shared are from a hardcover edition I borrowed from the library.
 The Whistler 

BeginningThe satellite radio was playing soft jazz, a compromise.  Lacy, the owner of the Prius and thus the radio, loathed rap almost as much as Hugo, her passenger, loathed contemporary country.  They had failed to agree on sports talk, public radio, golden oldies, adult comedy, and the BBC, without getting near bluegrass, CNN, opera, or a hundred other stations.  Out of frustration on her part and fatigue on his, they both threw in the towel early and settled on soft jazz.  Soft, so Hugo's deep and lengthy nap would not be disturbed.  Soft, because Lacy didn't care much for jazz either.  It was another give-and-take of sorts, one of many that had sustained their teamwork over the years.  He slept and she drove and both were content.
Before the Great Recession, the Board on Judicial Conduct had access to a small pool of state-owned Hondas, all with four doors and white paint and low mileage.  With budget cuts, though, those disappeared.  Lacy, Hugo, and countless other public employees in Florida were now expected to use their own vehicles for the state's work, reimbursed at fifty cents a mile.  Hugo, with four kids and a hefty mortgage, drove an ancient Bronco that could barely make it to the office, let alone a road trip.  And so he slept.

Page 56:  "The first courthouse built by the taxpayers of Brunswick County burned to the ground.  The second one was blown away."
My thoughts:  John Grisham is known for his fast-paced, attention-grabbing legal thrillers.  His latest is no exception--another page turner that has me in its grip.  
From Goodreads:  We expect our judges to be honest and wise. Their integrity and impartiality are the bedrock of the entire judicial system. We trust them to ensure fair trials, to protect the rights of all litigants, to punish those who do wrong, and to oversee the orderly and efficient flow of justice.

But what happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? It’s rare, but it happens.

Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is a lawyer, not a cop, and it is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the Board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption.

But a corruption case eventually crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity. He now goes by the name Greg Myers, and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined. And not just crooked judges in Florida. All judges, from all states, and throughout U.S. history.

What’s the source of the ill-gotten gains? It seems the judge was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. The Coast Mafia financed the casino and is now helping itself to a sizable skim of each month’s cash. The judge is getting a cut and looking the other way. It’s a sweet deal: Everyone is making money.

But now Greg wants to put a stop to it. His only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. Greg files a complaint with the Board on Judicial Conduct, and the case is assigned to Lacy Stoltz, who immediately suspects that this one could be dangerous.

Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else.
This Friday Focus post was originally written and published by Catherine for  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated. 

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