The Broker by John Grisham

A dumb and incompetent departing US President [the other kind being the completely corrupt ones] makes a last minute pardon of a high-powered Washington lawyer, known as the Broker.

At one point, the Broker had over-reached himself, and was forced to choose between going to jail and being bumped off, so he opted for the former. The pardon has been engineered by the CIA, who confidently expect that, now that the Broker is out on the street again, someone will shoot him. But they want to see who does the job, in order to find out who was behind a plot to take over control of some very advanced spy satellites.

The remainder of the stringy plot deals with the question of whether the Broker will survive or not after he is whisked off under an assumed identity to Italy, where he has to learn the lingo and blend in with the locals – which means never making touristy booboos like ordering cappucino after 10 a.m, but rather, espresso which can be drunk all day and night. 

The plot is half-baked but the meals are not. The Broker makes a pilgrimage from fabulous Italian restaurant to restaurant – and there are a great many in Italy. After he learns the language by total immersion, he goes out for sumptuous meals on government expense. Then he starts touring the churches, cathedrals, towers, museums with his beautiful and enigmatic language tutor. We get descriptions, all the while stopping for cappuccinos and espressos a dozen times a day. And huge meals – with stuffing. 

If you really want a travelouge on Venice and Bologne, read the considerably more gripping Dan Brown novels, particularly Angels & Demons.

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2 Responses to “The Broker by John Grisham”

  1. mystic rose Says:

    you are so killing them!

  2. @mystic: 🙂 but are they getting a decent burial?

    seriously though – it’s not that i haven’t encountered a good read – i thought i’d get the lousy ones over with first.

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