The Firm is a 1991 novel written by John Grisham. Taking place in a small Memphis law firm, the book is a high-octane legal thriller that is a constant reminder that not everything is what it seems on the outside.
The novel starts with the job search of law student Mitch McDeere, who is academically outstanding despite a rough childhood in which he had no money and no family to depend upon. He and his wife, Abby, are blown away by the offer of a small Memphis firm, Bendini, Lambert, and Locke. The inclusive firm, whose claim to fame is that no member has ever left, offers a great starting salary, as well as a house and a new BMW. The McDeeres ecstatically take the deal, almost figuring the deal too good to be true. Two associates of the firm are killed in an accident shortly after Mitch signs on with the firm. Not suspecting anything, Mitch passes the bar exam, and goes on with his life. However, an FBI agent attempts to work with Mitch, and when Mitch goes under his own investigation, he realizes that the firm has been hiding a lot of information, and Mitch could be another "accident" if the firm finds out the knowledge Mitch has about the firm’s secrets.
The Firm is generally accepted as Grisham’s best piece of work. Thrilling and featuring many plot twists, as most of Grisham’s novels do, it certainly lived up to the hype. The novel has a few inappropriate remarks and themes, so young readers should beware, but the reading level is about average. If you have enjoyed Grisham’s work, or you are intrigued by law or thrillers, I highly recommend this novel.
Jon Benton is a sophomore in the Gifted program at Hahnville High. He enjoys listening to music and watching baseball.
Editor’s note: Book reviews are published weekly in agreement with Hahnville High School gifted English teacher Deborah Unger in conjunction with the Brown Foundation Service Learning Program.