The Associate begins by introducing readers to the dull life of a young law student, Kyle, intent on pursuing community service and coaching a basketball team. The story takes a sudden turn as Kyle’s college misadventure comes to haunt him. An incriminating video involving Kyle and his friends come into the possession of ruffians who manipulate him into accepting a position in an established law firm, Scully & Pershing. What is so difficult in taking up a job in a coveted legal firm that pays an enormous amount of money? Kyle is asked to steal secrets from the firm that could land him in prison, thus tarnishing his reputation forever. He would still be ruined if the video is ousted by his tormentors. Does Kyle’s background and his sense of justice guide him towards the right path? Or does he succumb to the pressure of his blackmailers and take his chances on stealing the documents?
The novel has an exciting plot and one does not want to put it down. One also wonders about the lives of young legal associates in big firms. Are their lives as difficult as it is made to be? The firm’s big shots even take the liberty of advising associates to renounce their personal pleasures for big money and big clients. The language used in describing ruffians is predictable, as they always give a ‘fake smile’. Kyle’s boss is also a ‘bad guy’ as he displays false sympathy.
As in some of John Grisham’s novels, this one also deals with outlaws having no identity, numerous passports and who never get apprehended. ‘The Associate’ makes you thirst for another chapter as the name of Kyle’s mysterious colleague who passes information to the blackmailers is never revealed.