‘The Broker’ – A Good Grisham Book, Bought in LotteMart, Jakarta


I thought I had read all of John Grisham’s books, until last week, when I picked up The Broker in LotteMart at Ratu Plaza.

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Lotte Mart, Ratu Plaza

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For only Rp.30,000 – three bucks!

I have reported before on the bargains available in discounted paperbacks at these stores. I don’t know if every Lotte in Jakarta is selling them, but Ratu and Gandaria City Mall branches are, and I expect more.

Grisham usually sets his yarns in a legal context, but this one is a good old-fashioned spy story, though lawyers do appear in it.

Apart from the basic plot (intriguing) and how he handles it (very well) one of the most enjoyable aspects of the book is his intimate knowledge of one of the main scenes of action, Bologna.

He describes so much of this big Italian city, so well, that you could draw a street-plan.

It made me wonder which of my favourite cities I’d use for such a story.

Easy to choose one of those I have lived in over the years, like London, or Jakarta. But would I be able to do justice to others, visited but not dwelt in?

Prague? Budapest? Berlin? Paris? 

Must think about that – maybe it’s time to dust off that novel I began a year or more ago and use my heaps of free time creatively, instead of, as some critics have unfairly put it, hedonistically…