Book Review: The Associate

The Associate by John Grisham


Kyle McAvoy is fresh out of law school lawyer who was part of a wild party that got out of control when he was an undergrad.  A woman was raped while Kyle was in the room although he may have been passed out at the time.

The problem is that a videotape of the incident has surfaced and it’s in the hands of some powerful people who want Kyle to steal some information from his firm.

That probably sounds a lot like Grisham’s earlier book, The Firm, and it is from the point of view that it’s “new lawyer” versus “crooked blackmailers.”

However, it’s significantly different than The Firm both in the aspects of the story that most of the pages cover, the character’s motivations, and the ultimate resolution.

Genre: Action / Adventure

New or Old: New (2009)

What I liked about it

The book had more of the feel of the “old” Grisham books where the plot moved along at a steady pace. 

Seeing a lawyer’s path into a new law firm and the pressure that it creates was also interesting to see worked out in the details.

The bit characters were more interesting to me in this book than in some past Grisham books.  One character tells the others that she is just fine working at the firm while looking for work outside.  Another character sits up front and tries to stump the teacher so he looks smart but struggles with things that others are easy to finish.  Those are real people who we run into and it’s nice that even the minor characters have time for a minor crisis while the hero is doing his thing.

Start to finish, I wasn’t sure how the plot would work out and the way it ended was not what I expected.  Along the way, several of Kyle’s plans don’t work out the way he would like which is also refreshing.

I had three scenarios in my head for how it would end and none of the three came to pass.

Read this book if

Read this book if you like the “old” Grisham feel, if you never got tired of Grisham, or if you’re looking for something entertaining for the weekend.

It’s also a good one for puzzlers to try to figure out the ending.  It is guessable,  just not obvious.

Dont read this book if

Dont read this book if you have completely written off Grisham.  If  you have had some doubts but haven’t tossed him on the heep, I’d still read it.

Sometimes we just run out of steam for certain authors and if you’ve done that with Grisham then go find something else to read.


I needed a mental break over the past three days and this provided it.  Definitely something I would recommend if you need an escape in your life.


About kentostby
Kent Ostby is a fiction and efficiency writer who is willing to dabble in just about any other phase of writing as well.

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