The Firm by John Grisham

I hate it when you read a book and the actor who played the main character keeps popping into you head. I much prefer creating my own pictures of characters and I had a lot of trouble making Mitch McDeere six foot tall.

Mitch McDeere has just finished law school. He did extremely well and has had some very good job offers. But then the small Memphis law firm of Bendini, Lambert and Locke make him an offer he can’t refuse. Not only do they offer the best salary, but they will also give him a BMW and a low interest mortgage. So, he and wife Abby go to Memphis, buy a house and start their new life.

But, for all Mitch’s intelligence, he never questions that the offer might just be a bit too good. Mitch starts out working a huge number of hours and his marriage starts to deteriorate. Eventually he finds out that under the surface of the successful law firm, there is something shady going on. But the firm has already started to control his life. And he has now found out that no-one ever leaves.

The FBI approach Mitch. They want Mitch to provide them with details of the Firm’s gangster clients. If Mitch doesn’t help the FBI, then he will end up in jail with the rest of the Firm’s lawyers. But the FBI, in their incompetence, have already managed to get some lawyers from the Firm killed.

So Mitch comes up with his own plan. For the rest of the novel, Mitch and Abby manage to stay one step ahead of the FBI and one step ahead of the Mafia.


I loved this book when I first came across it in the 1990s. These days I can’t really identify with someone who puts work and money that far above family and who is so interested in money that they fail to look where they are going.

Greed is not as fashionable as it used to be.

But as long as you don’t look too closely at the morality (or lack of) and stupidity of the characters, then this book is a lot of fun. It’s always good to see a 25 year old make fools of the FBI and the Mafia.

Fortunately Grisham has moved with the times. ‘Gray Mountain’ even showed a social conscience. And his books have always been very readable.


Book Published 1991


See a full list of books by John Grisham

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