Prior to this story, Joel Backman was a high rolling lawyer until he tried to broker a deal to sell software to the world’s most powerful satellite surveillance system. He got caught and put in prison and the software was hidden. However, the U.S. government wants his death or that information. After six years in solitary, the CIA director gets the lame duck President to pardon Backman, making him available with a nice target on his chest.
So this book is written by Grisham. This means that it’s a good story, well-told, and will keep your attention (for the most part). However, I can’t believe that this is one of Grisham’s better writings.
First, the plot is a bit too far-fetched. But it’s passable because it’s about a smart, sleazy lawyer who can figure anything out and the US government who is capable of anything.
Second, the book is predictable. I’m sure the Grisham fans knew every single twist and turn, because I could guess the majority of them and this is only my second book of his.
Third, a weak love subplot was awkwardly inserted into the story, as if Grisham was forced into doing it. Expect no details from it.
And fourth, the ending leaves much to be desired, a bit too open-ended, and generally flat.
However, it’s still a good story, so if you are ridiculously bored and have nothing better to read on an airplane, go grab this one. Not every book can be ridiculous like A Confederacy of Dunces, and it’s a decent, easy read.
I’d like to thank Coleman for this book. When I got home from my trip to Columbus, I promptly ordered him A Confederacy of Dunces off of half.com