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by John Grisham
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440241588, Mass Market Paperback)Before he was sent to federal prison for treason (among other things), Joel Backman was an extremely powerful man. Known as "the broker," Backman was a high roller--a lawyer making $10 million a year who could "open any door in Washington." That is, until he tried to broker a deal selling access to the world's most powerful satellite surveillance system to the highest bidder. When caught, Backman accepted prison as the one option that would keep him safe and alive, since the interested parties (the Israelis, the Saudis, the Russians, and the Chinese) were all itching to get their hands on his secrets at any cost. Little does he know that his own government has designs on accessing that information--or at least letting it die with him. Now, six years after his incarceration, the director of the CIA convinces a lame duck president to pardon Backman, and the broker becomes a free man--and an open target.
The Broker marries the best of John Grisham's many talents--his ability to immerse himself in the culture of small town life (in this case, Bologna, Italy), and his uncanny mastery of the chase. The first half of the book focuses on Backman's transformation from infamous power broker to helpless victim in his own game. Upon his release from prison, Backman is taken into "protective custody" and whisked off to Italy where he is assigned a new identity, and a tutor to help him blend in. Sure he is on the run, but some readers may feel that Backman's time spent in Bologna is a bit too leisurely--readers join him on an almost cinematic tour through the Italian town, complete with language and history lessons. Impatient readers will be happy to know that the final half of the novel is classic Grisham--a fast-paced, thrilling cat and mouse chase pitting Backman against the numerous agencies that want him dead--as the broker makes a move to take back his life. --Daphne Durham
Exclusive Video Interview with John Grisham
Grisham: The Books
A Time to Kill, 1989The Firm, 1991The Pelican Brief, 1992The Client, 1993 The Chamber, 1994 The Rainmaker, 1995
The Runaway Jury, 1996The Partner, 1997The Street Lawyer, 1998The Testament, 1999 The Brethren, 2000 A Painted House, 2001
Skipping Christmas, 2001The Summons, 2002The King of Torts, 2003Bleachers, 2003 The Last Juror, 2004The Broker, 2005
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(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 30 Sep 2010 04:36:04 -0400)
With fourteen years left on a twenty-year sentence, notorious Washington power broker, Joel Blackman, receives a surprise pardon from a lame-duck president. He is smuggled out of the country on a military cargo plane, given a new identity, and tucked away in a small town in Italy. But Blackman has serious enemies from his past. As the CIA watches him closely, the question is not whether he will be killed, but rather who will kill him first.
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