Review of 'The Broker'

The Broker by John Grisham

the_broker.jpg If I am looking for a good, easy, and exciting, read there are only a few authors I look to, one being Stephen King but another is John Grisham. Always dependable.

Joel Backman is a notorious power broker in Washington DC who is sent to prison accused of murder related to a scandal about the selling of satellite surveillance technology to the highest bidder. In his final moments in office an outgoing president under tremendous pressure from the CIA pardons Backman who is quickly put on a plane to Italy. The CIA is not doing this for Backman's good but rather as an act of revenge by the head of the CIA who is hoping that the many foreign governments involved in the satellite scandal will assassinate him as he is unable to organise the hit himself. Backman is in fear for his life but learns to love Italy as he takes daily language lessons and walks around the city, growing closer to it's culture and inhabitants but it is only a matter of time until someone finds him…

A bit of a departure for Grisham as he delves into high-tech espionage and intrigue. Grisham does make an apology in the afterword for any gratuitous mistakes in the technology as his quite the technical Luddite but, to be fair, he does a good job here and keeps pretty much within the realm of reason though it is a bit far-fetched to hear how hackers so easily gain full control over a countries' military satellites. I can overlook this though in the scheme of things since it goes to show how badly Backman has annoyed various governments and politicians.

As for the story, Backman is a sympathetic character that we learn to care for and cheer him on despite the overwhelming odds against him. The book does tend to drag throughout the middle as Backman learns Italian and spends time wandering the streets of Bologna. The ending was a bit of an anti-climax but generally satisfying.

Another page-turner from a master. If you like your modern American action novels, have a read. It isn't high literature but it is a bit of fun.


Review Date: 2016-12-03

Genre: General Fiction

Publisher: Dell

Publication Date: 2005

ISBN: 0440241588

Other reviewed books by John Grisham:

Other reviewed books by John Grishom: