When a friend and colleague hurtles to his death outside his office window, corporate attorney Will Connelly is shaken. But because he's just made partner, Will must set aside his grief and focus on his first task: leading negotiations in the merger transaction for a new client, Jupiter Software, the world leader in incryption software.
Will soon realizes something isn't right. When he discovers that Jupiter was built upon a secret deal with the NSA in exchange for complicity in a spying operation, his carefully ordered life begins to unravel.
Reading THE INSIDER by Reece Hirsch I realised that the sub-genre of legal thrillers is one that I rarely read, let alone anything set in one of those huge corporate styled legal firms that seem to take up huge building and do all sorts of incomprehensible "commercial" things. So with that in mind, I'm uncomfortably aware I'm not the most most informed commentator on these types of books. Will Connelly is a lawyer working his way up the corporate ladder in his firm, finally making it to partner, although seeing one of his main competitors for the position fall from an upper story window in the building early one morning perhaps should have been some sort of a warning. As is the idea that new partners in legal firms should, at all costs, avoid mysterious Russian women in bars.
The author does an excellent job at taking the reader into the day to day workings and machinations of a large corporate legal firm, without being deathly boring, and there is quite an overall feeling of tension and imminent danger in the storyline. Readers are going to have to happily swallow the threat felt by a single male lawyer from that world who gets involved with the wrong woman, but once the action shifted into the world of murder, insider trading and terrorism things really start to belt along at break-neck pace. There is a point part way through the book where it seems that Connelly hasn't quite got the idea of when you've dug yourself into a corner - stop digging! So I was interested to see how Hirsch was going to get him out of the increasingly complicated problem. Which he did with some aplomb and all loose ends tied up, which is exactly the sort of ending that a lot of readers absolutely love.
I'm not sure how popular Hirsch is going to be with corporate lawyers, particularly those with firms looking for young and upcoming partners. I suspect reading this book might make your average graduate wonder about their career choice. But for fans of legal type thrillers, THE INSIDER has a lot to offer and, in the event of further books, could easily become a series worth following.