If you’ve watched the iconic 1999 movie, The Matrix, you’ll probably well remember the character of Cypher. If you haven’t, I recommend you stop reading now and take the time to watch it before the near-perfect piece of cyberpunk cinema is further tainted by unnecessary sequels.
In the movie, Cypher was the obviously bitter crewman who had come to resent their captain, Morpheus, for his part in unplugging him from The Matrix in the first place.
As Morpheus himself cautioned;
We never free a mind once it’s reached a certain age. It’s dangerous, the mind has trouble letting go.Morpheus, The Matrix
I’ve now read quite a few John Grisham books and enjoy his detail and plausible, finely crafted delivery of the plot. That said, he does have a habit of keeping something so far up his sleeve that you just have to persevere blindly and trust that it’ll all come together in a satisfying conclusion.
The Racketeer tells the story of a lawyer serving 10 years in jail after the feds pinned a racketeering charge on him by virtue of association with a client. With a burning sense of injustice, he keeps his nose clean and ends up in a lenient, open compound style of jail where he concocts a mechanism of leverage to secure his release and give the feds a bloody nose in the process.
This was yet another recommendation from a friend at work and when I saw it was on sale I picked it up for my Kindle.
The book, by Markus Zusak, unfolds in the form of a first-person narrative from the reluctant hero of the book, Ed Kennedy. At the start, we join Ed as he lies on the floor in the midst of a bank heist that he unwittingly manages to foil.
Being deemed a hero for his actions only briefly paints Ed’s life in a favourable light. He’s pretty much a dead beat, driving cabs around the town he grew up in to make a living, with no real purpose in life. When he’s not doing that he’s spending time with his friends playing cards or living alone with his smelly dog, The Doorman.
However, following the events of the bank heist, Ed receives a playing card in his letterbox with three addresses marked on it. Driven by curiosity initially, Ed’s life changes dramatically as he endeavours to complete the barely defined tasks presented to him.