In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing president grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the president issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power-broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.
Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is not whether Backman will survive - there is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is, who will kill him?
©2004 John Grisham (P)2005 Random House, LLC
"A killer combination of sheer story-telling nous and no-nonsense prose" (Independent)
I have never written a review but this book prompted me to put a comment. Firstly it was very well narrated with the characters being well portrayed. However it was very disappointing that the story seemed to head along a path with very little intrigue or twists. Very predictable and the end seemed as though he had run out of ideas.
Bought this audiobook after a quick read of the plot summary. It was worth it as Grisham crafts an espionage story with fleshed with characters you can imagine existing in reality, showcasing Italy (especially Bologna), its food and language.
Pacing is a bit irregular with the first half being slow to pick up, and a good few chapters almost dedicated in teaching Italian culture and language.
However, at no point was I bored. The story had its tense and emotional moments.
Overall, a good pick for the daily commute to work or flight somewhere.
"More like an Italian travel guide
I normally like Grisham and this narrator but not with this story. Found it tedious and the narrator struggled with the Italian accent a sort of carricature which added humour when not intended. Ending was enjoyable if only because I could start another book
I won't bother with another John Grisham novel, next to nothing actually happened in this book. Badly written, are Americans really that small minded and self important?dear oh dear, for the rest of the world's sake, I hope not.
"So boring I gave up before the end!"
Usually a Grisham fan, but I just lost the will to finish this one... Didn't really care what happened to the main character either way!
"Grisham but a bit different"
if you've come to enjoy the courtroom law based Grisham novels this one is a little different.
based around an anti-hero pardoned by an outgoing president and released from prison it centres on his life after prison adjusting to a new identity and trying to stay alive.
it chugs along at a good pace and at every step of the way you're left thinking, "what would I do in his shoes".
I really enjoyed it and the narration, which I struggled with at first soon grew on me. give it a try I'm sure if you're a Grisham fan you'll enjoy this too.
I loved listening to this book because it was gripping from the first page and I don't say that lightly.
So many twists and turns making it very hard to predict!.
If you're trying into espionage pulse raising drama then this is definitely for you!
An easy 5 stars!
"Not the usual legal thriller, but..."
...it is the same high standard you'd expect from Grisham!!
Think witness protection, with plot & intrigue, rather than courtroom battle and race against the clock.
I really enjoyed it, well crafted & read, and would highly recommend it!!
Grisham at his very, very best. thrilling intrigue, Political game playing, espionage, gripping characters. felt like I really got to know the main characters. audiobook reading first class.
A great story. Now I want to visit Bologna. I wish I had studied ITalian.
"Average at best"
This was listenable to on a long journey, but not something but not nearly as good as most of the rest of his books which I would give 4 or 5 stars. Everyone has an off day though. Very shallow story. Too many loose ends, and what was with all that Italian.
"One of grishams classics"
Excellent story well read. Most enjoyable. One of John Grishams very best. Just a shame he doesn't understand where Eurostar operates!!!
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