My husband and I are long-time John Grisham fans. To be honest there have been a couple that we weren’t very fond of, but not this one. This book is Very Good. We both agree. The fun thing about liking the same author is that it gives us a chance to thoroughly discuss the book and thus prolong the pleasure. Today I’m going to let you in on our discussion. But first let me give you the summary of the book.
Kyle McAvoy, a callow Yale Law School student, dreams of a public service gig on graduation, until shadowy figures blackmail him with a videotape that could revive a five-year-old rape accusation. Instead of helping those in need, McAvoy accepts a position at a huge Wall Street firm, Scully & Pershing, whose clients include a military contractor enmeshed in a $800 billion lawsuit concerning a newly-designed aircraft. McAvoy can avoid exposure of his past if he feeds his new masters inside information on the case.” – from Publisher’s Weekly.
Jay and I could probably discuss this book for hours. I didn’t think you’d stay with me that long so, I’m going to pick out just three of our discussion points and share our answers.
What do you think of the main character, Kyle McAvoy? Any other characters that stand out?
- Jay: Kyle was interesting although not unique. He had a secret that could hurt him but it wasn’t exactly true. It’s like the idea that your hidden fears are greater than they really are. He got himself in a box and had to bale himself out. The character I was disappointed in was the dad. He should have figure out what was wrong with Kyle when he didn’t go into public service law.
- Margot: There was no doubt that Kyle was smart and clever. The dark secret from his past was stupid but then most college kids do stupid things. I thought that being smart and clever was the key to the rest of the story. His plan to outwit the blackmailer was something I didn’t see happening. I thought he might end up calling on his dad. There were other characters I also liked: the female lawyer, the dad and the lawyer Kyle finally uses to help him.
What about the plot – believable, fast-paced enough, too complicated, etc.?
- Jay: It was a pretty good plot – a tradional Grisham: big distain for lawywers, corporations, etc. [He must have really been burned at some point in his career.] For my taste it could have been a little more complicated – make me guess a little more. The only part that was unbelieveable was that the law firm would add first year lawyers to work on a billion dollar super-secret case. A major flaw was the character of Baxter and the preacher. It was a distraction when he didn’t get involved in the plot.
- Margot: For me it was a simple plot that kept moving. Most of it was believable. I could see a major law firm being so competitive and secretive and working the new associates like dogs. What I didn’t like was the ending. Overall, the ending was believable but they left some things just dangling.
How does this book compare to some of Grisham’s other books?
- Jay: It’s up to standard with the good ones. I probably think this way because there is more of John Grisham in this book. I’d put this book and The Runaway Jury on your list of best Grisham books.
- Margot: My favorite Grisham’s are The Firm, Pelican Brief and The Brethran. This one might come in fourth. If you look at his list of books, in order of publication, the first eleven are great. Then he went off in a different direction for a while. Now, with this one, he’s back with what he does best – good legal thrillers. I hope he can do some more of these.
The Associate by John Grisham was published by Doubleday, 2009. If you have reviewed this book, let me know. I’ll be glad to post a link with this review.