My Thoughts on The Broker

My latest read, written by famed author John Grisham, is a short novel simply titled The Broker. It’s about a lawyer, one who, with the help of some computer nerds, procured software capable of hacking a series of spy satellites, and, since he had illegally tried to sell the goods, this man was arrested while brokering them to the highest bidder. Naturally, after his unanticipated pardon, agencies of numerous governments, including the CIA, want to question him. After they gain info, well, Joel Backman is as good as dead.

This book, which left me scratching my head at times, starts off with an incompetent president issuing 11th hour Pardons. At the request of the CIA director, in an effort to dispose of the man discreetly, Joel Backman, a former Washington power broker, is issued a full pardon.

Backman, aided by the CIA, is brought to Italy. There, he gets a crash course in the native language. His first instructor is timid, and Backman grows tired of him. His second mentor, and Joel’s love interest, manages to satisfy this fifty-two year old man.

Anyways, while the ex-con is learning Italian from a beautiful woman, the CIA leaks Joel’s whereabouts, and the former Washington big shot is in a scramble for his life.

While the intro to the book is fun and interesting, the read grinds to a halt when Joel is in Italy. It’s quite dry, and the best parts aren’t taking place in Italy. Instead, the CIA’s game holds the reader’s attention.

I’d say page 300, of this 418 page book, is when it started to get interesting. That’s when the best assassins, from several countries, are assigned to travel to Bologna. The directions are simple, interrogate and terminate. However, Joel, fully aware that the agency is monitoring his every move, gives the CIA the slip.

After the conclusion, I found the book satisfactory. Yet, my real problem with it, and it caused me to set the novel aside for moments, was the fact that I really didn’t empathize with the main character. It wasn’t until the very end that I decided he was a man worth caring about. So, sometimes, reading boring interactions, ones involving language lessons, which seemed an observance of two people I was indifferent to, I really had to slog through the pages.

Anyways, this book was well researched. Whether it’s plausible, I’m not quite sure. But, eh, it’s a work of fiction, and the end is fun to read.

Take care and Safe Travels!

7 responses to “My Thoughts on The Broker”

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