This is the second book from the mega-selling thriller writer to feature Lacy Stoltz, a no-nonsense attorney and investigator from Florida. Stoltz, whose specialism is judicial conduct, was last seen in 2016’s The Whistler taking on a grubby crime syndicate that was siphoning money to a sitting judge. She has since become disenchanted with work after her department had its budgets slashed, leaving her job heavy on admin and light on action.
But then she is contacted by a frightened woman named Jeri Crosby whose father, a professor of constitutional law, was murdered 20 years ago. The police have long given up looking for the culprit, and the FBI have shown little interest, so Crosby has been doing her own digging. The murderer, she claims, is a Pensacola judge who is responsible for at least six killings, each of them enacted out of revenge. Furthermore, he is rich, powerful and a mastermind of the dark web. Could this case offer the challenge that Stoltz has been craving?
Grisham, who is a former criminal defence lawyer, provides a slightly bewildering introduction here in which he reminds listeners of Stoltz’s backstory, describing her in this book as a “35-year-old lawyer – single, attractive, pretty cool and hip. In fact, I’ve always had a crush on Lacy.” Mercifully, though, the actor Mary-Louise Parker takes over from there, narrating what is a sleekly plotted murder mystery, and expertly conveying both Stoltz’s initial ennui and Jeri’s jumpiness – the latter born out of fear that she might just be next on the judge’s list. Fiona Sturges
The Judge’s List is available from Hodder & Stoughton, 11hr 36 mins
Ask a Historian
Greg Jenner, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 11hr 4min
The historian and broadcaster narrates his latest book answering assorted questions including: who is the richest person in history? And did Anne Boleyn have three nipples?
Mary Shelley, Audible Studios, 8hr 10min
In the gothic horror story, read by the actor Jamie Bell, a student doctor gets carried away in the laboratory, with monstrous consequences.