John Grisham’s “The Broker” – Book Review

Cover of "The Broker (John Grisham)"

Cover of The Broker (John Grisham)

I picked up The Broker by John Grisham and was surprised that I hadn’t read it before. I thought I’d read everything he’d written – including the hilarious Skipping Christmas on which the movie “Christmas with the Kranks” is based. This book did not disappoint. It was chock-full of action, intrigue, spies, the CIA, FBI, leaders of various countries and lots and lots of money.

“The Broker” is the nickname for Joel Backman. A money-hungry power player in Washington, D.C., Joel learns some interesting international secrets and seeks to sell them to the highest bidder. The plot is exposed and Backman ends up in prison for six years.

Suddenly he is granted an unexpected last-minute pardon by the outgoing President of the United States. Whisked out of prison, Joel ends up in Bologna, Italy. He is given a new identity – Marco Lazzeri.

Jay-Marco has Luigi as his handler. Luigi is from some unidentified American agency and his job is to train Marco in his new role in life. He gets him new clothes, a new look, lodging, a tutor for intensive Italian study and drills him about the imporance of blending in. All this is to ensure his safety. Marco is a new man, in all respects. He uses his cunning to stay unobtrusive and becomes wary when he realizes he is being followed.

There are many people from many countries out to kill Jay Backman and destroy his secrets with him. It will happen. The only questions are who will do it and when.

This was a riveting book and only $.25 at my favorite used bookstore, McKay’s in Knoxville, TN. It would make a great movie. . .


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