3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Broker (Mass Market Paperback)
The story starts with a weak premise -- the CIA wants the outgoing US president to pardon a former Washington power broker, so that they can watch him and see which of several foreign countries will try to kill him. Supposedly, this will give the CIA insight into unanswered questions surrounding the shady deal for which the power broker was originally sent to jail. But since *all* those foreign countries immediately dispatch hit teams against the broker, it's unclear how this plan is supposed to yield the answers the CIA is looking for.
With a premise this unsteady, Grisham is never able to build a solid story. Grisham is known for taut thrillers, page-turners which propel you forward with ever-building tension, complexity, and intrigue. Instead of sweeping you along in The Broker, however, new revelations prompt you to pause. You have to stop to figure out how the new piece of information fits with the old. Half the time it doesn't necessarily seem to. But you know and trust Grisham, so you begin to doubt your own grasp of the story. "It's got to be me, not him," you say to yourself. But in the end, it really is him.
Perhaps it's because this is the first time that Grisham appears to have stepped out of the realm he knows well -- the US legal system -- and ventures into territory that, presumably, is virtually unknown to him -- international espionage. It's too bad that the book is so poor, because you know Grisham, and you want it to be good, so you keep at it. But in the end, you wish you'd trusted your instincts early on and put it down.