The Partner, by John Grisham

Patrick Lanigan was a partner at a Mississippi law firm who faked his death in a car accident. A few weeks later, $90 million dollars was stolen from the other partners. Needless to say there are quite a few people who are convinced that Patrick is still out there somewhere and a couple of years later they catch up with him hiding in Brazil. Even under torture he won't say where the money is, and so he's eventually brought back to the US to face justice, not to mention a wife who's none too happy about his turning up alive after she cashed in the life insurance.

Well, it's not a bad read, but after this and a couple of other Grisham books lately I'm not sure I can see why he's quite so popular. In parts this reminded me a bit of Carl Hiaasen: there was some knockabout fun at the expense of some of the more morally bankrupt characters who generally got their just desserts - e.g. the wife and her partner.

It was quite satisfying to see how Lanigan methodically goes about disposing, one at a time, of each of the lawsuits and charges that are lined up against him, but the story of exactly how he arranged the disappearance and theft took a long time to come out: he got a lawyer fairly early on, but would only drip-feed his account to the lawyer over a period of days (much to the lawyer's frustration). There was no good explanation of why he behaved like this, so far as I could see, apart from that it made you want to keep reading the book.

There was a twist of sorts at the end, which you sort of expect might happen: but you expect it because you expect a twist, not because it's something that follows in the light of past events. I.e. it was a bit implausible, and spoiled it a bit I think.

Not a bad read though.

Completed : 07-Apr-2008 (audiobook)

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