The Firm by John Grisham

Man with briefcase climbs marble wall bearing sign THE FIRMJohn Grisham’s 1991 bestseller The Firm is a legal thriller as irresistible as it is implausible.

Headhunters from a very exclusive law firm specializing in tax work recruit Michael McDeere with a financial package he can’t refuse.

Mitch and wife, Abby, move to Memphis, knowing he’s expected to work 60-80 hours in a normal week, more during tax season. The job is worse than either expects and in ways they don’t expect. The secrecy, security measures, and loyalty requirements begin to threaten their marriage.

Mitch notices that five lawyers who had worked for the firm died in suspicious circumstances.

When a man identifying himself as an FBI agent tries to recruit him to give insider information, the firm’s management says it’s a government attempt to get clients’ confidential income information.

In a secret meeting, the FBI director personally tells Mitch a different story.

The story races to a thrilling, big-screen worthy climax.

It’s only the morning after that readers will realize they were suckered into not noticing that no one working the hours Mitch is supposedly working without the firm noticing a fall-off in his performance could possibly have engineered the outcome Grisham presents.

That morning-after realization is a sign of a superb story-teller.

The Firm by John Grisham
Doubleday. ©1991. 421 p.
1991 bestseller #7; my grade: B+

©2020 Linda G. Aragoni

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Linda Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. My program for turning teens and adults into competent writers is just eight sentences, 34 words.

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