Thursday, 6 January 2011

The Associate - book review

The Associate
by John Grisham

Its not long ago I reviewed another John Grisham book, The Broker, and I gave it a really hard time. So you may be surprised to see me reviewing another of his books, I must be a glutton for punishment!

Belle bought The Associate as part of a three for the price of two deal and quietly added it to my pile of potential reading matter. After my disappointment with The Neon Rain last month I felt drawn to the synopsis on the flyleaf - and I'm so glad I was. The book is great, terrific, a real page turner, Grisham at his very best.

Maybe the plot of a young Associate in one of America's largest law firms is a journey back to old familiar territory covered in the likes of The Client and The Pelican Brief, but that's ok if the tale is strong - and it is.

Take one of the brightest graduates of Yale with a shadow in his past, who is blackmailed into industrial espionage on a grand scale and you have a compelling book. The tale zips along, clear and uncomplicated, with the key character in what seems to be a no win situation. But we all know that good wins over evil and he will escape the clutches of the bad guys, but how?

The alarming thing is that no solution is on the horizon as the end of the book approaches, and one gets increasingly concerned that the pages will run out before the story runs its course. 

This book doesn't end with a big showdown or a huge chase, in fact it almost ends with a whimper, with the baddies fading away in the harsh light of justice. But that's fine - at the time I thought "what an anti climax" but then as I reflected on it, the subtlety of the solution was iimpressive and all the ends were neatly tied up. An unusual end which is very credible and believable.

All in all an exceptional book which held my attention and I had a thirst to read on. I finished it in a single week which is something of a record whilst not on holiday.

And my Ahab rating - a well justified 9/10

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