The Associate – John Grisham

Title – The Associate

Author – John Grisham

Published – 2009

Genre – Legal thriller

It seems like a long time since I’ve read anything by Grisham – the fact that this was published in 2009 tells me that it’s at least four years.  Despite that, it all felt very familiar – brilliant legal student Kyle McAvoy has a secret that catches up with him and he becomes embroiled in a world of espionage. Forced to change his plans from working in legal aid helping migrant workers he has no choice but to take a job as an associate working in New York for the largest law firm in the world. I was pleased when it became clear that Kyle wasn’t going to accept the situation and just wait out events, and the bulk of the story is about his efforts to outwit those who have seemingly trapped him.

This is more about spying than it is a courtroom drama but there’s plenty of legal flavour as Kyle gets to grips with his new role. The picture Grisham paints of the dreadful hours and hard work of these lowly “grunts” made me tired just reading it, but a reminder of the ridiculous money involved and the promise of the $$ they can earn as partners does make the sympathy evaporate quite quickly. As ever Grisham’s writing makes an effortless read with plenty of tension and this is ideal beach reading for me (too bad we don’t have the weather for it).

I have seen some reviews that criticise the ending, but whilst it’s actually the sort of end I might be disappointed by I thought the tension kept up until the last page and I was happy with the conclusion of the story.

Score – 4/5



  1. Sue – I like Grisham’s skill at building up tension too. And in several of the novels he really explores important legal issues. I agree too that he portrays the stress, long hours and so on of ‘the legal life’ quite effectively. I’m glad you enjoyed this one.

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