The Firm is the second novel by John Grisham and a legal thriller, having been authored in 1991. In 1993, The Firm was made into a film, thereby being starred by Tom Cruise.
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The Firm's plot summary (What the story is about)
Mitchell Y. McDeere is a law student who graduates from Harvard Law School and marries Abby, his high school girlfriend and college mate. McDeere's brother, Ray is serving a prison term. In a seemingly good interplay with lady luck, McDeere has many offers from several law firms, but he later settles for Bendini, Lambert and Locke, a relatively small tax law firm which is situated in Memphis. Bendini, Lambert and Locke is able to win McDeere by offering him a BMW 3- Series Automobile, paying off his students loans and providing him with low interest mortgage on house purchase. After McDeere passing his bar exam, two of his friends succumb to a scuba diving accident in Cayman Islands.
Later on, McDeere notices that three other employees had died in almost similar circumstances which are mysterious. It is at this juncture that McDeere hooks up with Eddie Lomax, Ray's ex-cell mate as a private investigator. It is at this point that McDeere comes to the realization that the firm Bendini, Lambert and Locke actually part of the Morolto crime family of Chicago. No sooner does McDeere send copies of Bendini, Lambert and Locke documents to the FBI than the firm becomes cognizant of McDeere's undertakings. The culmination of this development is that after realizing that he is already too embroiled in Bendini, Lambert and Locke's affairs to leave and that the FBI may not adequately protect him, McDeere makes huge withdrawal from Bendini, Lambert and Locke account and together with his wife Abby and his brother Ray and escapes to the Caribbean region to live in peace therein.
The main characters in the story are Mitchell McDeere (the protagonist), Abby McDeere (Mitchell's wife), Wayne Terrance (an FBI agent), Ray McDeere (Mitchell's brother), Eddie Lomax (a private investigator and ex-con), Tammy Hemphill (Lomax's secretary and girlfriend). The characters are indeed credible, given that they reflect the society as a conglomeration of different individuals with different backgrounds and professions.
The credibility of the characters is also seen in the fact that the main characters in the story helped reining in a corrupt organization, which had also caused loss of lives. This is despite the fact that these main characters ran into many problems. For instance, Mitchell who makes up for my favorite character (since he is smart and maintains a strong sense of judgment) almost lost his life to the firm's well calculated and dense spy network, while Lomax actually did. The characters also experienced adventures: Mitchell makes huge withdrawal and runs away with it in the company of his wife and brother to the Caribbean.
Although I cannot relate to any of the characters in the story since I have never done or felt some of the things the characters did, yet I like the book, with the favorite part of the book being the apprehension of the firm's bigwigs and McDeeres' happy ending. Nevertheless, I wish Lomax remained to experience the happy ending, and thus, if I were the author, I could change this. Nonetheless, as Robinson (2001) puts it, it is a fact that not all who play constructive roles live to taste the fruits of the labor, in a world punctuated with crime. I can recommend this book to my youthful friends. This is because; the youth always love thrillers which present as close to real life situations as possible, realistic plots.