The Firm

John Grisham, Author Doubleday $30 (432p) ISBN 978-0-385-41634-4
Grisham's gripping fiction debut describes the inner workings of a law firm set up by the Mafia to launder money and concoct tax evasions. Mitchell McDeere, third in his class at Harvard Law, is wooed relentlessly by the prestigious Memphis tax firm of Bendini, Lambert and Locke. Succumbing to the firm's high-powered salesmanship, he rejects some of the country's best-known firms to join the group, where he is awed by the opulent lifestyle pressed upon him. But the company has ruthless, underhanded methods of gathering information (they wire the homes of all associates) and ensuring loyalty (social situations are severely monitored). The firm's mania for security and secrecy, combined with the fact that the only lawyers who have ever left did so in coffins--five in 15 years--arouse Mitch and wife Abby's curiosity, and they rapidly find themselves in a labyrinth of intrigue and danger. Grisham, a criminal defense attorney, lucidly describes law office procedures at the highest levels, smoothly meshing them with the criminal events of the narrative. Mitch and Abby are appealing characters, though a suspension of disbelief may be required to accept their super-cool behavior while they are on the run from both the FBI and the Mafia. Nonetheless, readers will be totally hooked by this unusual and absorbing story. 50,000 first printing; Literary Guild main selection; movie rights to Paramount. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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