Boring, boring, boring! A totally straightforward and not that believable plot involving a boondoggle in Libya, a law firm whose associate gets kidnapped, and a whole lot of financial juggling to get enough money for the ransom. That's all there is to the book.
I read the book The Firm in 1991 when it was released and have watched the film starring Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, and many other big Hollywood names several times. I will admit I always wanted to know what happened to Mitch and Abby so I was thrilled to see that John Grisham was working on a sequel and that it was going to be released this year.
It is now 15 years later. Mitch is now a partner at Scully and Pershing, one of the largest law firms in the world. Abby is working for a publisher editing cookbooks and getting to know many high-profile chefs. They have 8-year-old twin boys. The McDeere's have made a home in Manhattan and have pretty much put what happened 15 years ago in Memphis behind them.
Mitch has been asked to take over a case from his mentor who is having health issues. It means a lot of traveling a long way from home but Mitch finally agrees. While the case is complicated Mitch never imagined that he, his family, his friends, and his colleagues would all be in danger again. Mitch has gotten out of terrifying situations before but this time he may not be so lucky.
As soon as I started reading I was visualizing Tom Cruise and Jeanne Tripplehorn and quickly got invested in their lives all over again. There is a very large cast of characters but I truthfully had no trouble keeping all the characters straight because they were diverse and interesting. The connections all made sense and the circumstances always pierced through making each memorable. Characters from the previous book are mentioned but other than Mitch and Abby only one was actually visited in this book.
The case Mitch takes on is for a contractor in Turkey for a bridge they built in Libya. Mitch's mentor, Luca asked him to take his daughter along as an associate. Giovanna is a capable lawyer so he agrees to the request. They make plans to visit the bridge so they can decide how to proceed with the case but things become dire when he can't travel with her and she goes missing before she reaches to bridge. What follows is a heart-pounding race to save her. The evil they face, the measures they need to go through with no guarantees was sometimes very hard to read but knowing that part of the world is so volatile Mr. Grishman could have pulled the story from real headlines. I did have to slow down my reading pace to catch all the nuance of the story and peel through all the layers. The story is intense and the plot is tight.
Never having visited any of the many places Mitch traveled I appreciated the author's detailed descriptions. It was easy to see each in my mind, it was like watching a movie. A movie I hope comes to fruition. I saw Mr. Grisham on The View earlier this week where he stated for a movie to happen Tom has to be on board. I hope he has sent him a copy of the book.
The Exchange is full of suspense and more thrilling moments than I can count. With a slow build to pull you in it soon becomes impossible to put the book down. While the current story wraps up within the pages the bad guys are still out there. Are Mitch and Abby really safe? I wonder if Mr. Grisham has more in store for them.
Please be aware the book does contain some very graphic events.Â
We're not in a small southern town in this latest Grisham. Sometimes I wondered if he and Brad Thor or Jack Carr had a lunch together and came up with the story . Mitch from The Firm is back, 15 years later. He's doing well, his wife is doing well. Life is good, until he's asked to do al favor for an old friend and mentor. Instead of dealing with the mob, Mitch is now dealing with terrorists. Quite a step up. The ending is a little too neat sudden, but all in all, it's a good and quick read.