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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"A killer combination of sheer story-telling nous and no-nonsense prose" ( Independent)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • 12-01-16

More like an Italian travel guide<br />

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robin
  • 08-24-16

Amazing !!

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Clare
  • 06-17-16

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!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Harri
  • 05-18-16

outstanding

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • J.Oldcorn
  • 01-29-16

The broker

A great story. Now I want to visit Bologna. I wish I had studied ITalian.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • kate
  • 02-15-15

Good, solid Grisham read

Any additional comments?

If you read Grisham, you know what you are getting. This delivers. Grabs your attention, delivers a good story.Not rocket science, but that's not what I was looking for!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • rjtm3
  • 04-29-18

disappointing

Quite boring if I'm honest. Have read or listened to everything by Grisham. This book lacks any tension and to be honest is very tedious and boring. It feels like a not very good short story packed with so much filler I had to physically turn it off on several occasions. No twists no turns, no core. A paint by numbers cash grab of a novel.

Excellent audio performance by Beck. Surprised he got through it!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Judith
  • 02-26-18

One of his best

I really enjoyed this novel. A good thriller combined with a great dash of Italy. Not the usual legal thriller more of a spy novel.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-24-18

Intriguing, but a little slow in the middle

Good performance from the narrator. Author keeps up interest by only drip feeding what happened in the life of main character before we met him. Also same technique for letting us know who is circling around the character as the story unfolds.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-03-18

The Broker

As with Grisham books I've read previously an initial plethora of characters to remember. Nevertheless a different type of plot from the author which was refreshing and enjoyable.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael Zhu
  • 05-18-15

A Grisham Novel Showcasing Italy and It's Culture

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew
  • 02-11-15

Excellent and easy listening

loved it, easily to listen and quite entertaining without too much technical jargon the main character is easy to like.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jase
  • 02-12-18

Brilliant the broker

Great story and characters loved it 👍 all the place names and descriptions flowed really well classically great Grisham

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 07-20-15

Well read but a very uninspiring story

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.