Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Associate by John Grisham

Finishing his last year at Yale, Kyle McAvoy intends to pursue a career in legal aid for migrant workers, despite offers he receives from some of the top firms in the country. However, his post-graduation plans are soon to change when a drunken night from his past comes back to haunt him.

Many of his undergraduate years at Duquesne were spent drinking and partying with his buddies, not atypical of any college male. On one particular night of partying, a few of his buddies had sex with a gal who may or may not have been unconscious. The statue of limitations on rape cases in the state of Pennsylvania is 12 years. None of the guys know that a video of that night exists until it surfaces in the hands of Benny.

Benny is using the video of Kyle to blackmail him into accepting a position as an associate at the most powerful law firm in the world: Pershing Scully. With Kyle on the inside, Benny wants him to steal the legal secrets of one of the firm's biggest clients. This act goes against everything Kyle believes in as a lawyer and can get him disbarred. Kyle doesn't know who Benny represents; all he knows is that Benny has the power to destroy everything.

Painting a dreary picture of life as a litigator for a major firm, Grisham's newest legal thriller centers around blackmail, rape, and extortion. The build-up is superb but the ending leaves you unfulfilled like The Appeal. I am hoping his next book will not be as disappointing.

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