Picks and Pans Review: The Partner
In his eighth novel, Grisham not only tells a deliciously complicated tale of legal intrigue and life on the lam, he tells it with a twist: The novel begins with the capture of Biloxi, Miss., lawyer-turned-fugitive Patrick Lanigan. Four years earlier, Lanigan apparently faked his own death in a fiery car crash and fled the country—taking some $90 million dollars from his firm's offshore account. Now facing capital murder charges (there were human remains found in the fire), an FBI hunt for the still-missing money and a flurry of lawsuits filed by his former partners and insurance companies, Lanigan slowly deals out the details of his story.
Cocky and calculating, Lanigan seems even more one-dimensional than Grisham's previous heroes. But if the characters are thinly drawn, perhaps it's because Grisham is so busy thickening his plot. As the story bounces from Biloxi to Brazil and back, the author weaves in bounty hunters, a sleazy defense contractor and an unfaithful would-be widow. Brisk and packed with surprises, The Partner won't silence Grisham's critics, but it's an irresistible read. (Doubleday, $26.95)