Book Review - The Broker by John Grisham
It used to be that I really looked forward to a new Grisham novel. Action-packed legal thriller, life and death situations, etc. But then after a few books, the writing seemed to get somewhat uneven and I didn't quite know what I'd get each time I started a new one. John Grisham's latest, The Broker, ended up being one of his better ones of late. I really enjoyed it.
Joel Backman, aka The Broker, was a high-powered player in the Washington scene until he took the fall for a espionage and conspiracy charge involving spy satellites and software that the U. S. didn't know existed. Six years into a 20 year sentence, he's offered a full pardon and whisked off to Italy to start a new life off the beaten path. But all is not as it appears. In reality, the CIA has set up the pardons so that they can notify four other governments who are involved in the satellite situation. Based on who goes after Backman and kills him, they'll be able to tell who the satellites belong to. The story revolves around Backman's adjustment to learning the language and culture of the country, and then his attempts to stay alive and escape those who want him dead.
As mentioned in the open, I found this to be one of his better efforts. The story was interesting, and there was enough mystery involved so as to keep you guessing as to exactly what was going to happen next. It was also fascinating to see how someone can go from a life of power and money clear down to prison and then work on acquiring street smarts in order to just stay alive. I felt the ending left quite a bit up in the air and somewhat unresolved, but not so much that it soured the entire story for me. Basically, it was an entertaining read that contained some enjoyable hours of escape.