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Book Talk: John Grisham, ‘The Exchange’

Of the 41 adult novels that John Grisham has written, “The Firm” was second, the debut novel having been “A Time to Kill.” Both have been made into movies. His most recent offering, “The Exchange” (2023, 368 pages in hardback), has been promoted as a sequel to “The Firm.”

I don’t know. To me, a sequel is something that picks up where the preceding novel left off. But, except for a “passing mention” in the final pages, the only carryovers from “The Firm” are Mitch and Abby McDeere. In the first novel, Mitch was fresh out of law school and got a job with the Memphis law firm Bendini, Lambert, and Locke that — unbeknownst to him — was tied in with the mob. In the new book, the storyline takes place 15 years later, Mitch is now a partner in the world’s largest international law firm, Scullly & Pershing, and the plot has virtually no connection to the first book.

But, here’s full disclosure. I’ve never been satisfied with any of Grisham’s sequels, so perhaps I was predisposed toward skepticism when I began to read this thriller. The book is kind of low on action, except for Mitch’s many airplane flights: U.S., Europe, and North Africa. Abby also manages to get some trans-Atlantic frequent-flyer miles.



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