Monday, May 04, 2009

The Associate - My Review

Like millions of people out there, I am an avid fan of Grisham, and have devoured every single novel he's penned. The Rainmaker introduced me to the legal world, and thanks to him, I now pick up most of the courtroom dramas I see on the bookshelves - irrespective of the author.
When Grisham shifted into non-courtroom sagas, I went over too, and books like Skipping Christmas went much-loved (you can read my review of that book here).
Anyway, when our bookstore announced the arrival of a new Grisham legal thriller, I literally ran over, and picked up a copy. As usual, I won't divulge the plot, but there are some things which should be mentioned.
The break that Grisham took from writing legal stuff clearly shows in this book, and you can't actually call this a pure courtroom saga. Though the protagonist is a lawyer (freshly out of college, which is a Grisham standard), and he works in a firm that bills mega $$$ every hour, The Associate can't actually be called a pure legal thriller.
It is a borderline thriller alright, but one of blackmail. This story could have been written by anyone, and the hero also could have been in any profession. So, if you are looking to get this one for Grisham's specialty in writing legal, you are in for a disappointment. The actual plot is seemingly flimsy, but holds together purely on the merit of Grisham's expertise.
Now for a couple of positives - this is the first novel in which Grisham almost openly condemns the practice of unethical billing that are commonplace in most of the mega firms of today. There are quite a few occasions in which he takes them on in the form of Kyle Mc.Avoy - The Associate. Another good thing is the tacit story telling - which is Grisham's strength really - and where he does not introduce unnecessary characters just for the sake of it.
Over everything else, the ending disappoints big time! As I read the book, I thought of a dozen different endings as i went on, but the ending is a real let down! If there ever were a squibber, this is the one. 
All true Grisham fans will anyway read this book. If you are borderline fan, pick something else. Though the book is ok, it is certainly not Grisham standard.

1 comment:

M. L. Kiner said...

"The Hong Kong Connection" is a legal thriller about a gutsy female attorney who takes on high ranking International officials. It's a taut, rollercoaster of a ride from New York to Palm Beach to Washington D.C. to Hong Kong. The plot is expertly woven, the characters persuasive, and the dialogue snappy and spot on.