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Firstly I have to say that John Grisham has always entertained me and as an American author is one of the few that I read. This was also my first listen to Frank Muller, who I will deal with first. Right from the first syllable I did not like his delivery at all, I found it very slow and lumbering, with an annoying habit of overstressing certain words and underpinning it all with a heavy accent that did little to make me want to listen. I managed to make it slightly less annoying by speeding him up which made him a lot easier on the ear. After a hundred pages or so I got used to him and by the end of the book was beginning to enjoy, but I would think hard again about "buying" anything further if he was the narrator.
Moving on to the book itself I read a couple of very critical reviews of the story and therefore started the book not expecting a lot. For my part I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the complexities of a plot trying and succeeding in laying a rich story of three rather corrupt judges engineering the perfect crime from a prison cell through to the corruption that we all know takes place but hope that doesn't sully the USA's election machine. There is some imaginative and believable detail on how that machine can be manipulated by those that have the power and influence to do so. Further it underlines the lengths that those of influence and power will go to in protecting their interests.
The story essentially runs two plots which are bought together in a very clever way and as the reader it is difficult to avoid the feeling that the story paints a rich and very sick picture of the American power machine at its very worst.
I came away from the book feeling that all those involved were equally as bad as each other, and a certain appreciation of the corruption that poisons a nations systems of government, a corruption that clearly has no boundaries. Yet worse still that corruption lies nestled within a clandestine power structure that has the financial resources and the ability to keep all of that dirty laundry under a veil of secrecy that could achieve whatever it wants without any fear of reprisal.
I started this review by suggesting that there was more than a little undeserved "negative" criticism of the book, and maybe having now read the book I might be bold enough to suggest it is nearer to the truth than many would like it to be.
All I can say is read it and come to your own conclusion.
My conclusion........ well I put my grain of belief right where it belongs!
On the beach of thoroughly enjoyable......
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