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The Partner Hardcover – February 26, 1997
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Literary slugger John Grisham returns with a story about-- surprise!--a lawyer in trouble. Patrick Lanigan had been a young partner in a prominent Southern law firm. He had a beautiful wife, a new baby girl, and a bright future. Then one winter night Patrick was trapped in a burning car; the casket they buried held nothing but ashes.
A short distance away, Patrick watched his own burial then fled. A fortune was stolen from his ex-firm's offshore account. And Patrick ran, covering his tracks the whole way.
But, now, they've found him.
Grisham tries his hand at the fake-your-death-and-change-your-identity theme.
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I am an avid John Grisham fan and have been a loyal follower of his work for many years. A word of warning to those of you who read reviews: be careful of the ones you read, because one of the reviews I read, although not blatantly, gave away the entire plot line of the book, at least for me. I knew how the book was going to end before I ever started reading and got this from one sentence using a "comparison" in a review. Just a word to the wise.
As always, Grisham does an exceptional job of character development, as well as immersing you in the geography and touch, taste and feel that is featured in the book. As the master he is, I felt like the beginning, middle and end were written perfectly and did not feel like I was left hanging or with unanswered questions. I also love the fact that he has featured a unique geographical location for his characters and makes you feel as if you are actually there.
I would most certainly recommend The Partner to anyone who loves a good legal mystery, Grisham fan or not. It was an enjoyable read that moved along at a great pace and did keep me turning the pages, reading well into the morning hours for two straight days. Even though the review I read exposed the plot line with just a few words, I thoroughly enjoyed the book!
I'm very disappointed in this book. It was like he had someone come in and finish it for him who hadn't even read the book. Very disappointed.
Like most Christmas stories, this isn't groundbreaking literature. It's as familiar and comfortable as watching a rerun of It's a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street while a yule log blazes away in a stocking-bedecked fireplace, and in the corner of the room you can see the lights twinkling on the Christmas tree. It's the story of Luther and Nora Krank, who, with their daughter having joined the Peace Corps, decide to avoid their usual Christmas hassles and expenses and take a cruise instead. Of course, this shocks their neighbors, who are completely bound up in annual Christmas traditions. Told in an easy, breezy style, this story feels like the novel-length version of something that would appear in the New Yorker, poking fun at the pointlessness of all the surface trappings of Christmas in a slightly condescending but good-natured way. There are few real surprises in this story, but that isn't the point. We aren't reading this book for the shocks or the plot twists. We're reading it to smile as Luthor finds himself under siege by neighborhood carolers.
While this story ultimately does nothing more than reinforce traditional Christmas values, Grisham gets points for not having someone stand up and state the obvious. Indeed, upon first finishing this story, I felt sort of irritated. I had the impression that Grisham had ended up endorsing the sorts of activities he had initially lampooned. However, upon further reflection, I saw how he had subtly underlined a more important message: it isn't important what you do or don't do for Christmas, but the reasons why you do it are important. For sticking to his guns without being too obvious about it, this novel earns four stars as a Christmas story.
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