The Partner by John Grisham ”They found him in Ponta Pora, a pleasant little town in Brazil, on the border of Paraguay. He lived alone in a small house on Rua Tiradentes and drove a red 1983 Volkswagen. He was thinner. His skin and hair were darker, and his nose and chin were different” The man who was found wasPatrick Lanigan, who is the main character of the book . Four years earlier he was married and had a young daughter and had been a partner in a law firm in Biloxi, Mississippi. A badly burned body was found in his wrecked car and a funeral was held for Patrick.
Six weeks later 90 million dollars disappears from the law firm? s bank account and Patrick? s partners begin to suspect him. After stealing the money Patrick changes as much as possible in order to make it more difficult to find him. He gets a new identity as Danilo Silva, learns near perfect Portuguese, loses a lot of weight and also has plastic surgery. Patrick is chased both by his former partners, who use a private detective named Jack Stephano, who want the 90 million, and the FBI who also want him for murdering the body in his car.
Patrick is tortured by the men working for Jack Stephano but he doesn? t tell them where the money is. The only person who actually knows this is Eva Miranda, who is his Brazilian lawyer and also his lover. After returning to the United States Patrick is in a hospital because he has bad wounds after the torture and he is also immediately accused of murder and theft, asked to return the 90 million and his wife wants to divorce him. In an ordinary book we would not have very much sympathy for a man like Patrick, but as the story unfolds must people probably get to like him.
It turns out that the money which he took actually was stolen first by his partners and a man by the name Aricia, who had cheated the government. Patrick agrees to return not only the 90 million but also a generous interest of another 23 million. The missing 19 year old boy who generally was believed to have been murdered by Patrick was actually helped by him to get another identity and the burned body had died from disease before it was put into the car. Patrick is also quite generous towards his former wife, who had had a lover while they were married, and his daughter, who he knows actually has another father.
Also, we have to admire the enourmously detailed preparations and the intelligent plan which make it possible for Patrick to get away from this situation without even spending one day in jail. But I think that our sympathy for Patrick can never be absolute since he obviously also has done many bad things. At the very end Patrick and Eva have arranged to meet at a hotel in France in order to start a new life together, but Eva doesn? t show up for several days and Patrick returns to his home in Brazil, where he is lonely and rather poor, or at least not rich, since Eva has disappeared with all the money.
I? ve read a short and simplified version of this book which seems to concentrate mainly on the story, which is quite complicated, but doesn? t contain many direct descriptions of the people in it. Most of the words, except some legal terms, are rather simple. We get to know the main characters mainly from their actions. In many books the hero is perfect, or almost perfect, and he is fighting for something noble. Patrick, on the other hand, is a mixture of good and bad. Our feelings towards Patrick are complicated. We admire Patrick for his smartness but our feelings for him can? t be only positive.
After all he has committed several crimes. Is he a hero or an anti-hero? Patrick seems seems extremely smart and quite nice in many ways. In spite of his doubtful actions we feel sympathy for him because he is generous and cheated not only by his wife and his partners but also, in the end, by his lover. While reading the book we want Patrick to get away with everything and go back to his lover in Brazil and we feel sorry for him when he? s left lonely and unhappy in the end. On the other hand, would it have been fair if Patrick had finished with both the money and his lover? Maybe if he had been a truly good hero, but he isn? and maybe this is what he deserves? There isn? t any particular part of the book which I think is better than any other, but I liked the way that the story begins with the capture of Patrick and how the previous events are gradually revealed to us. What impressed me the most was reading about Patrick? s extremely careful preparations for everything he did, especially that he predicted that he would be captured one day and his detailed preparations for the situation which he knows will develop. We are not told very much about the looks or personalities of the people who chase him and his wife.
From their actions they seem rather selfish, cynical and greedy. Money plays an important role in The Partner. It is clearly shown that money can buy you out of many troubles, but also that it cannot buy you happiness. Most people in the book seem to value money more than love or friendship. The only people who are really nice to each other are relatives or old friends. The Partner starts with a bang, is filled with action and unexpected turns, but not violence, and has a very surprising end. It? s rather dark and it doesn? t have a happy ending, but it? s very exciting and I think most people would like to read it. I certainly did!