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Monday, May 12, 2014

The Associate: A Novel

Oooohhhh, you know my love affair with my book candy guru, Mr. Grisham. This is his 2009 novel The Associate.

Kyle McAvoy is a hard worker in his last year of law school, editor of the law journal and about to take a job working in poverty law. One cold winter night he is visited by a group of men who bring up a part of his past he wish would just be forgotten. He is blackmailed into taking a job he doesn't want--that of a first year associate at the largest law firm in the world. He is supposed to finagle his way on to the most important case to ever cross a court's threshold, spy on the inner workings, and illegally pass on information to the other side--or else. Billions of dollars are on the line, not to mention Kyle's career. The choices are slim, making Kyle face the possibility of prison...or death.

THIS IS VINTAGE GRISHAM. What I mean by this is that I feel over the years our good friend John has moved onto the route of morality tales, which is all fine and good and I have stuck with him on his journey, but I love vintage Grisham. I love harking back to the days of The Firm, where the bad guys are simply bad and the good guys have to find a way to overpower them with wits and wiliness. So yeah, this is vintage Grisham.

I love feeling positively outraged at the elaborate ruses one law firm will go to win a case. I love the intricate tale of intrigue and boldness that Grisham has woven in this book. The detail is outstanding and borderline insane in regards to how the web weaves together. I loved it. I love having to pick back up the book even though Downton Abbey is premiering tonight because I can always watch the episode tomorrow but I have to find out what's happening to Kyle tonight.

What I love most about John Grisham, and why I continue to pick up his books, is the heart he puts into his stories. He cares about his protagonists, and Kyle is no different. Kyle is conflicted. He can deal with his horrible secret hitting the airwaves, but his desire to protect his friends (also involved) is greater. However, as the reader, I could sense that there was a piece of Kyle that wanted to protect his own back. That's the thing about being human--there is no black and white in our decision making. You can feel Kyle waver in the book. He comes across as willful, and ethical, but it could easily go the other way at the turn of a dime. That's what makes the best characters, isn't it?

Kindle version on right, hard copy on left. 

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