John Grisham’s second book written in 1991 is still considered one of his best books. It tells what happens to Mitchell "Mitch" McDeere after he graduates from Harvard and chooses to join Bendini, Lambert and Locke, a small firm in Memphis, instead of taking offers from larger firms in New York and Chicago. The smaller firm’s offer was too good to turn down and maybe it was too good to be realistic.
Mitch and his wife Amy Sutherland, a school teacher, move to Tennessee to take the job, but they learn that two of the firms attorneys were recently killed in a scuba diving accident and in the past three other of the firms lawyers died of unusual circumstances. They are concerned and hire Lomax, a friend of Mitch’s brother who is in prison, to investigate to see if there had been any foul play. He learns that there were unusual circumstances in all three cases and reports that to Mitch but soon after that Lomax is murdered.
Wayne Tarrance, an FBI agent, contacts Mitch, tells him they are watching the firm, and explains that firm is a front for the Morolto crime family’s money laundering operations. They have for years recruited young lawyers who came from poor backgrounds attracting them with the promise of wealth.
Mitch and Abby secretly decide to leave the country and run. They don’t trust the FBI and feel they are being trapped. They manage to get the FBI to agree to take enough information to accomplish what is wanted, but in return expect $2 million and a prison release for Mitch’s brother.
The firm becomes suspicious and then they confirm that Mitch is working against them. The wrap up is exciting and intense, and the finish is worth putting the time in to learn about.
“Any lawyer worth his salt knew the first offer had to be rejected.”
Both Stephen King and John Grisham had the good fortune to have their early works made into movies informing those audience of their genre. King's book, Carrie, and Grisham's book,The Firm, were at the beginning of their successful careers.