Author: John Grisham
Released Date: January 1st 1999
It's a deadly game of blackmail. And they're making him play.
Kyle McAvoy is one of the outstanding legal students of his generation: he's good looking, has a brilliant mind and a glittering future ahead of him. But he has a secret from his past, a secret that threatens to destroy his entire life.
One night that secret catches up with him in the form of a deeply compromising video of the incident that haunts him. Kyle realises that he no longer owns his own future - that he must do as his blackmailers tell him, or the video will be made public, with all the unpleasant consequences.
What price do they demand for Kyle's secret? It is for Kyle to take a job in New York as an associate at the largest law firm in the world. Kyle won't be working for this company, but against it - passing on the secrets of it's biggest trial to date, a dispute worth billions of dollars to the victor.
Full of twists and turns and reminiscent of The Firm, The Associate is vintage John Grisham.
It tells the story of Kyle McAvoy, a twenty-five year old about to graduate from Law School and plans to work for a public-interest firm. One night a man appears with an incriminating video, secretly taken by a cell phone, which reveals the details of a drunken party few years earlier. The video contains evidence that some of Kyle’s friends may have slept with a girl who may have been unconscious at the time. There’s actually nothing to incriminate Kyle except that he was in the video, drunken and nude. And that’s embarrassing. Thus begins the blackmail: in order not to release the video to the public and to stop a potential rape allegation, Kyle has to work in one of the biggest law firms in the world and steal documents related to a lawsuit between two defence contractors.
Well, the blurb says the book is reminiscent of The Firm, but I haven’t read The Firm, so I can’t compare both books. The story spans a period of ten months. The beginning and middle of the books sets up the story in a fairly slow pace, showing what the life of a first year associate is like at a big Wall Street firm. Then the ending moves in a very fast, non-stop pace. I like John Grisham’s style of writing; there wasn’t too much legal jargon, but I was pleased to learn a few. The book is mainly set in New York, but we are transported back and forth to Pittsburg and York, Pennsylvania.
I liked the main character, Kyle McAvoy, felt some sympathy for him and the grave circumstance hanging over him. Although contemplative at times, I thought he was brave to match the blackmailer’s schemes. I think he’s the only character with enough depth in the story. I liked other characters like the beautiful Dale, who wears fine dresses; Joey Bernardo, Kyle’s friend from Yale University. But I didn’t connect with them.
My put off with this book, however, was the ending. The last pages seemed rushed and there were lots of unanswered questions. It left me with a feeling like I’d eaten a good meal, but without any water to wash it down my throat. In other words, the meal got stuck in my throat and I couldn’t digest it.
Well, because I couldn’t digest this meal, I’m giving it 3 (***) Stars.
I’ll still check out other meals in the Grisham Restaurant. I think I’ll go for the ones prepared in the early nineties.
Ps: This is my 100th post! :) Thanks to everyone who's every stopped by this blog. You rock!