Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Broker by John Grisham

John Grisham is back to his old form with this book. After years of reading dreadful stuff by this author it's great to see him comeback with a book that kept you wanting more until the very end. At the end it was an edge of your seat thriller.

The Broker refers to Joel Backman who, in his prime as a Washington lawyer, rubbed elbows with the crème de la crème. He earned over 10 million a year and had the largest, most successful firm in all Washington. Then he took on as a client three young Pakistani men that had written software to manipulate a satellite that was not suppose to be in orbit. When they went after the highest bidder for the technology, they were arrested (to tell you the truth, the whole reason why Joel was arrested escaped me but since it really didn't change the story, I moved on). After his partner was murdered, Joel confesses and goes into protective custody at the Federal Prison. There he spends 6 out of his 20 year sentence in solitaire confinement, until the outgoing president gives him a pardon he has not asked for.

The CIA wants him out so they can have another country assassinate him. Seems Joel has too many secrets he is not willing to share with the USA, so the CIA would rather the secrets die with him before he has a chance to share them with anyone else. He is taken out of the prison and sent to Italy where he is supplied a new identity and a tutor to get him acclimated to the new life the US, supposedly, has bought him. He knows better and the game of Cloak and Dagger that takes place in the following months is the juice of this story.

The story reminded me of Grisham when he was at his best, with stories like The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client & Runaway Jury. Well worth picking this one up, even if you had given up on Grisham.

Grade: B+
Format: Audiobook


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