Authors: John Grisham
The Firm, The Appeal
are works of fiction. Names, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
A Dell eBook Edition
copyright © 1991 by John Grisham
copyright © 2008 by Belfry Holdings, Inc.
copyright © 1994 by John Grisham
All Rights Reserved.
Published in the United States by Dell, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
Dell is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc., and the colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc.
The novels contained in this omnibus were each published separately by Dell, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., in 1991, 2008, and 1994.
Cover design: Carlos Beltrán
cover photograph: Plush Studios/Getty Images
cover photograph: Catherine Ghem/Picture Quest
“SAVVY, CRISP PORTRAITS OF LAWYERS ON THE MAKE … WELL-PACED … HARROWING … Grisham’s villains shine, mainly because he has given them dimension and intelligence.… And McDeere is a likable straight arrow who … throws just enough back at his bosses to put us on his side.… Grisham knows his lawyers and hands them their just deserts.”
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“ENSNARES THE READER … has the distinct merit of holding up as a thriller for the long haul.”
—The Washington Post Book World
“The accelerating tempo of paranoia-driven events is WONDERFUL: clandestine meetings, predawn prowlings, a dangerous pursuit … leading to the fine ironic finish.”
—Los Angeles Times
—Upfront: Advance Reviews
“Hallucinatory entertainment … TERRIFICALLY EXCITING … GRIPS AND PROPELS.”
“TRULY EXCEPTIONAL … like a cross between Scott Turow and Mario Puzo, Grisham not only sets up his story well, he sees it through all the way to an unpredictable end.”
“My boyfriend stood on his head and performed other tricks designed to get my attention, but I couldn’t tear myself away from the last chapter of
long enough to notice. when I was finally done, he grabbed the book and disappeared for hours. a rare accord … NAIL-BITING SUSPENSE … terrific characterizations … Mitch and Abby, two entirely believable folks, [are] among the most likable in recent fiction.”
—Louise Bernikow, Cosmopolitan
“A WINNER … positioned to fly off the bookshelves … Grisham, a criminal defense lawyer, has an eye for the details of his profession. wherever his plot goes, the novel carries the authenticity of someone who has been there and was paying attention.”
—The Commercial Appeal (Memphis)
“A MEAN-AND-LEAN PAGE-TURNER … Grisham writes without fat: his dialogue crackles.”
“Gripping … unusual and absorbing … READERS WILL BE TOTALLY HOOKED.… Grisham, a criminal defense attorney, describes law office procedures at the highest levels, smoothly meshing them with the criminal events of the narrative.”
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and
incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are
used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead,
events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 1991 by John Grisham
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Dell,
an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group,
a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
DELL is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc.,
and the colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc.
Cover design: Carlos Beltran.
Cover photograph: Plush Studios/Getty Images
he senior partner studied the résumé for the hundredth time and again found nothing he disliked about Mitchell Y. McDeere, at least not on paper. He had the brains, the ambition, the good looks. And he was hungry; with his background, he had to be. He was married, and that was mandatory. The firm had never hired an unmarried lawyer, and it frowned heavily on divorce, as well as womanizing and drinking. Drug testing was in the contract. He had a degree in accounting, passed the CPA exam the first time he took it and wanted to be a tax lawyer, which of course was a requirement with a tax firm. He was white, and the firm had never hired a black. They managed this by being secretive and clubbish and never soliciting job applications. Other firms solicited, and hired blacks. This firm recruited, and remained lily white. Plus, the firm was in Memphis, of all places, and the top blacks wanted New York or Washington or Chicago. McDeere was a male, and there were no women in the firm. That mistake had been made in the mid-seventies when they recruited the number one
grad from Harvard, who happened to be a she and a wizard at taxation. She lasted four turbulent years and was killed in a car wreck.
He looked good, on paper. He was their top choice. In fact, for this year there were no other prospects. The list was very short. It was McDeere or no one.
The managing partner, Royce McKnight, studied a dossier labeled “Mitchell Y. McDeere—Harvard.” An inch thick with small print and a few photographs, it had been prepared by some ex-CIA agents in a private intelligence outfit in Bethesda. They were clients of the firm and each year did the investigating for no fee. It was easy work, they said, checking out unsuspecting law students. They learned, for instance, that he preferred to leave the Northeast, that he was holding three job offers, two in New York and one in Chicago, and that the highest offer was $76,000 and the lowest was $68,000. He was in demand. He had been given the opportunity to cheat on a securities exam during his second year. He declined, and made the highest grade in the class. Two months ago he had been offered cocaine at a law school party. He said no and left when everyone began snorting. He drank an occasional beer, but drinking was expensive and he had no money. He owed close to $23,000 in student loans. He was hungry.
Royce McKnight flipped through the dossier and smiled. McDeere was their man.
Lamar Quin was thirty-two and not yet a partner. He had been brought along to look young and act young and project a youthful image for Bendini, Lambert & Locke, which in fact was a young firm, since most of the partners retired in their late forties or early fifties with money to burn. He would make partner in
this firm. With a six-figure income guaranteed for the rest of his life, Lamar could enjoy the twelve-hundred-dollar tailored suits that hung so comfortably from his tall, athletic frame. He strolled nonchalantly across the thousand-dollar-a-day suite and poured another cup of decaf. He checked his watch. He glanced at the two partners sitting at the small conference table near the windows.
Precisely at two-thirty someone knocked on the door. Lamar looked at the partners, who slid the résumé and dossier into an open briefcase. All three reached for their jackets. Lamar buttoned his top button and opened the door.