In his final hours in the Oval Office the outgoing President grants a full pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. It's a controversial move, but what no one else knows is that the presidential pardon comes as a result of enormous pressure from the CIA. They claim that Backman may have obtained secrets that would compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system. Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a ...
In his final hours in the Oval Office the outgoing President grants a full pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. It's a controversial move, but what no one else knows is that the presidential pardon comes as a result of enormous pressure from the CIA. They claim that Backman may have obtained secrets that would compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system. Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane; he is given a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, once 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's no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is: who will kill him?
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I was surprised to find out that this book, the Broker, is not about courtroom drama that Grisham is so good with, but rather is a spy type story with the main character just happening to be an attorney--an attorney that has gotten himself into some serious trouble and has pleaded guilty to a twenty year sentence in federal prison, where he plans to hide from those that want to kill him. He has spent six years in prison when he is suddenly pardened by the outgoing President just two days before the president leaves office. It all has to do with a spy satellite that is more sophisticated than anything the USA or Russia has in the skies, and which no one is sure who put in the sky. It was discovered by three Arab hackers by accident. The three Arabs wrote a program that neutralized the satellite, and now want to sell the program for a ton of money. They hired a broker, Joel Backman, to sell their program. That's how Backman got into all his trouble. Backman has now been pardoned due to the efforts of the CIA who want to see who will kill Backman: the Israelis, the Saudis, The Chinese or the Russians. They hope this will tell them who put the satellite up there in the first place. This is as good as any espionage story that I have read.
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