The Associate by John Grisham

The Associate by John Grisham
Publisher: Doubleday
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (373 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Kyle McAvoy grew up in his father’s small-town law office in York, Pennsylvania. He excelled in college, was elected editor-in-chief of The Yale Law Journal, and his future has limitless potential.

But Kyle has a secret, a dark one, an episode from college that he has tried to forget. The secret, though, falls into the hands of the wrong people, and Kyle is forced to take a job he doesn’t want—even though it’s a job most law students can only dream about.

Three months after leaving Yale, Kyle becomes an associate at the largest law firm in the world, where, in addition to practicing law, he is expected to lie, steal, and take part in a scheme that could send him to prison, if not get him killed.

With an unforgettable cast of characters and villains—from Baxter Tate, a drug-addled trust fund kid and possible rapist, to Dale, a pretty but seemingly quiet former math teacher who shares Kyle’s “cubicle” at the law firm, to two of the most powerful and fiercely competitive defense contractors in the country.

Danger comes in the unlikeliest forms.

I know when I pick up a novel by John Grisham, I’ll be transported to a new world. Okay, so that world looks a lot like mine, but still. The writing is tight and I’m immersed in the plot, trying to figure out who did it, why and how they’re going to be caught. The Associate gripped me.

The thing I liked the most about this book was the main character of Kyle. Maybe it’s because I could see a lot of myself in him. Maybe it’s because Grisham wrote him in a way I could sympathize. Either way, I was a happy reader. Kyle is a law student and flawed to boot. He wants to be his own man and not live in his father’s shadow. Thus, he makes lots of mistakes. And who can’t relate to that? I’ve said, I won’t do that–only to realize my folks weren’t so far off. I also liked how Kyle kept his humanity. He’s in a situation most people couldn’t understand. He’s being scouted by what seems like a firm, but it’s nothing that he expects. I loved how he outwitted Bennie. The twists and turns really helped shape him.

Another thing I liked was that Kyle and his family weren’t perfect. Dad, although, he’s a good lawyer, is a horrible husband. He loved his wife, but couldn’t handle her. Patty has her own demons and it’s understandable why she’s hard to deal with. But that fact made her more human and interesting.

I have to say, I wanted to see a little more between Dale and Kyle. I won’t give too much of the plot away, but there could’ve been some serious steam there. I wanted to know more.

If you want a legal thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then this might be the book for you.

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