Special Guest Post! Margaret from My Reading Nook Reviews John Grisham's The Asssociate

associateToday my friend Margaret, over at the excellent blog My Reading Nook has provided a guest post about John Grisham’s new novel The Associate.    Like Michael Connelly, whose novel The Scarecrow I reviewed last week,  John Grisham is one of those authors I know about but have never read.   After reading Margaret’s review that may have to change.     Be sure to visit My Reading Nook today to read my guest post there on Diane Mott Davidson’s latest mystery Fatally Flaky.

Kyle McAvoy grew up in York a small town in eastern Pennsylvania where his father has practiced law for 30 years. All his life, he’s been immersed in the law and being a lawyer is all he’s ever thought about doing. Now he’s about to graduate from Yale Law School. He’s been  the editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal, and is graduating at the top of his class. Throughout law school, he interned at several firms in New York, one of which is Scully & Pershing one of the largest firms in the world. He doesn’t really want to enter the world of big corporate law, though. His dream is to work as a public service attorney working in the Blue Ridge Mountains for a couple of years then going to work with his father and making it McAvoy and McAvoy.

While an undergraduate, Kyle did what many young me do — he joined a fraternity, partied and got drunk often. At one of those parties, a young woman engaged in sexual activities with a couple of the other boys and four days later cried “rape”. Although Kyle was not involved in the actual incident, it was at his house and so, he’s named an accessory. The charges are dropped when the young woman’s character is brought to bear. She’s a “frat groupie” who routinely offered herself to the young men and even the two she’s now accusing of rape.

Unbeknown to the boys, someone video taped the incident. Now, five years later, that someone is bringing that tape to light. Using it to instigate Kyle to do unethical and unscrupulous things. His apartment is bugged, his car is bugged, his phones are bugged and so is his laptop. Mysterious men posing as FBI agents coerce Kyle into meeting with a man he knows only as Bernie. Bernie is the one who shows Kyle the tape and threatens to turn it over to Elaine, the girl who was allegedly raped (it’s still not very clear in the tape if that happened or not), but Kyle is preparing to launch his life, and so agrees to do as Bernie wants in order to keep the tape out of the hands of the vindictive Elaine.

He goes to New York and gets the job with Scully & Pershing as an associate at the astounding salary of $200,000 per year. Working at these firms is a nightmare of long hours with mind numbing tasks of reading documents, preparing documents and being at the beck and call of the partners, and Senior associates. Bernie wants Kyle to get assigned to one particular case — a case involving two companies that worked on a government project together to design and build the new B-10 Bomber.

Through machinations by Bernie’s “people” and sheer bad luck, Kyle does get assigned to the case, but he’s determined not to go down without a fight. He finds an attorney willing to take on these mysterious and dangerous men and together they create a sting to catch the bad guys. He also finally takes his father into his confidence and it’s his dad who gets the lingering threat of Elaine off his back.

Mr. Grisham is much better than I at creating a suspensful scene, so I invite you to read The Associate to find out just how it ends.

Title: The Associate    Author: John Grisham    Format: Hardcover    Publisher: Doubleday   Publication Date: 2009

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