I haven’t read too many authors, but John Grisham’s works have always enthralled me. Starting from “A Time To Kill”, to the non-fictional “The Innocent Man”, he has effectively combined law and fiction.
His latest work, ‘The Associate’, now being made into a motion picture with Shia LaBeouf in the title role, bears conspicuous similarities, to Grisham’s earlier work “The Firm”. Wiretaps, round-the-clock surveillance,blackmail : You name it; it’s there.
Nevertheless, the effect is amazing. I have to use the critic’s cliche ‘A compelling storyteller’ to describe Grisham, and ‘A page-turner’ to describe ‘The Associate’.
The story starts off with the title character Kyle McAvoy,tailed by a stranger after a basketball game. The stranger and his ‘gang’ drop a bombshell on Kyle, with knowledge of the latter’s past, knowledge that could potentially destroy Kyle’s personal life, and his career. Kyle has no choice, but to accept the conditions set forth by the ‘gang leader’, and from then on, Kyle cannot go back.He has to spy on his own firm, from within.
As the story progresses, Grisham infuses into the reader’s mind a sense of anticipation. At some places, it’s just deja vu. The tension is palpable, but there’s no real action, atleast not to the degree that ‘The Firm’ had. The legalese is minimal, and this makes this book an interesting read for everyone.
‘The Associate’ also provides an intriguing insight into the humdrum life of a big-firm lawyer. The protagonist begins to understand life, and the fact that money comes with a hefty price tag. He has little sleep, and little variation from the Quotidian life.If one should say that Grisham falters,it is true with respect to the ending. I found the ending quite different from his other works and, quite blunt too.But hey, that’s just my opinion.I would recommend this book to everyone,especially people who haven’t read Grisham before. Many of my friends have found Grisham boring, but only after reading a complete legal thriller. One should read a couple of his non-legal books, like ‘Playing for Pizza’, before trying out works like ‘The Rainmaker’. One book that everyone should definitely avoid is ‘A Painted House’. All other books are real good ones.