I have never come across a bad John Grisham novel. Certainly, some of them are markedly better than others, but on the whole he is a writer very much at the top of his game. The Partner has got to be one of his most adventurous and original stories. The story alternates between America and Brazil, where a disillusioned lawyer has had enough of the corruption and double dealings of the clients and law firms he represents.
After staging his own death and seeing an empty grave dedicated to him in a cemetery in Biloxi, Mississippi, Patrick Lanigan starts a new life under a new name and identity in Brazil. Prior to his arranged death, he carefully redirects millions of dollars through an impossibly complex trail of numbered bank accounts throughout the Caribbean and Switzerland. When the time is right he duly makes contact with a old lawyer friend in the States, somebody he can trust not to double cross him and who can be relied upon to carry out his very exact and specific instructions.
When ninety million dollars goes missing from the law firms account, the proverbial penny drops and the partners realize that their dead colleague is very much alive and revelling in the costly justice he has exacted upon them. Desperate to catch him and not surprisingly anxious to get their money back, the senior partners spare no expense in hiring the best thugs they can find to retrieve their errant friend and the cash. A thoroughly enjoyable book full of typical Grisham law, educational points and strong real characters. The scheme of the various plots comes together nicely and just when the reader expects one thing to happen, the very opposite does. The Partner is not short of surprises and the ending has one hugely entertaining and ultimately ironic twist.