cover image The Exchange: After The Firm

The Exchange: After The Firm

John Grisham. Doubleday, $29.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-385-54895-3

Grisham’s disappointing sequel to The Firm, set 15 years after the events of that 1991 blockbuster, isn’t worth the three-decade wait. After extricating himself from a Tennessee law firm run by the mob, Mitch McDeere has begun a new life in New York City with his wife, Abby. Mitch has become a partner at Scully & Pershing, “the premier international [law] firm on the planet,” allowing him and Abby to enjoy a comfortable existence on the Upper West Side with their eight-year-old twin boys. That stability gets shaken when Mitch is sent to Libya to represent Lannak, a Turkish construction company that’s been stiffed hundreds of millions of dollars by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Despite extensive security precautions, Mitch’s team comes under attack by Libyan forces; the fallout claims multiple lives, puts the McDeeres’ twins in peril, and nudges Abby to abandon her post as a cookbook editor to try and save her husband. Grisham conjures some suspense, but nothing here deepens or complicates his original characterizations—it often feels like a somewhat loopy standard-issue legal thriller has been papered over with characters from The Firm. It’s a letdown. Agent: David Gernert, Gernert Company. (Oct.)