The Partnership: A Novel

The Partnership: A Novel

by Steven J. Harper

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Overview

Debut novel from the author of the true-crime award winner "Crossing Hoffa: A Teamster's Story"

"The Partnership" opens a window into a secret world.

A mysterious death, illicit romantic liaisons, courtroom drama, and crises of personal conscience frame a titanic struggle at the nation's most lucrative law firm. A twenty-first-century legal thriller with a twist, "The Partnership" reveals what happens to rich and powerful insiders as the business school mentality extends its tentacles across a once-noble profession. The themes resonate; "The Bonfire of the Vanities" still burns.

Albert Knight has reached the pinnacle of power as one of the "magnificent seven"-leaders of the international legal powerhouse Michelman & Samson. Only one step remains: Knight and his archenemy Ronald Ratkin are front-runners to replace the Executive Committee's retiring chairman.

Knight and Ratkin were once best friends, but that was long ago. Despite their twenty-year animosity, each has embraced the firm's transformation to a bottom-line business and the stunning wealth it produces. As the price of success, they endure and inflict profound personal damage along the way.

When gifted trial lawyer Ronald Ratkin's $100 million client defies protocol by interrupting the sacrosanct Executive Committee meeting, all seven attorneys are suspicious. The news, Ratkin suspects, could upset his ongoing billion-dollar trial, send stocks plummeting, and destroy his client, his law firm, and his personal wealth. But the wily Ratkin has a foolproof plan. Or will his own greed and that of his fellow partners undo him?
***
Praise for "Crossing Hoffa":

"One of the Best Books of the Year" -Chicago Tribune
"Gripping, tender, and intriguing" -Scott Turow
"A tale of mystery and intrigue . . . unique and personal" -Booklist
"Tightly woven and gritty . . . poignant and personal" -American Lawyer
"Riveting eyewitness history . . . Bravo!" -Charles Brandt
"A must-read" -Prof. Steven Lubet

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780984369102
Publisher: Steven Harper
Publication date: 04/28/2010
Pages: 266
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 16 Years

About the Author

Steven J. Harper is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University and the author of two non-fiction books: true-crime award winner, "Crossing Hoffa: A Teamster's Story" (a Chicago Tribune "Best Book of the Year") and "Straddling Worlds: The Jewish-American Journey of Professor Richard W. Leopold."
He's also a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. For thirty years, he was a litigator at a large law firm that he joined upon graduation from Harvard Law School. He received combined B.A. and M.A. degrees in economics from Northwestern.
He and his wife have three adult children and live in suburban Chicago. Visit his website at: www.stevenjharper.com

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The Partnership 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
LoriHedgpeth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Steven J. Harper's The Partnership is like a fine wine that takes time and age to appreciate, although in this case the "age" refers to the pages of the book. Lacking the volume of a John Grisham legal thriller, it does not lack in rich characters or in slowly building development and a heck of a payoff.As a worker in the legal field myself, I found The Partnership to be authentic in its legal dealings, if not a little bit disconcerting in the struggling and backstabbing that goes on behind closed office doors. Mr. Harper's litigation roots come through in his descriptive writing without the novel sounding technical or simply spouting legal jargon. Unusual in a novel, the main characters are not wholly likable nor people you would normally root for. They are all flawed, some more deeply than others and some so driven by their compulsive need to win at all costs that they could be absolutely unrelatable if not for Mr. Harper's slow but steady interweaving storyline. And its core, though, The Partnership is about a struggle for power and control, between good and evil, with love, lust, greed and corruption in the eye of the political hurricane. The measured and deliberate crescendo that builds throughout the book reminds me of the one-time popular miniseries, with the first night being the set up and the payoff coming on the last night. Read The Partnership and you will think twice about how glamorous the legal profession is in the large, major law firms and you will also get an unfettered look into the board room without the rose colored glasses. I recommend The Partnership to any readers who enjoy the legal genre and legal thrillers but don't expect high action on every page.
LHedgpeth More than 1 year ago
Steven J. Harper's The Partnership is like a fine wine that takes time and age to appreciate, although in this case the "age" refers to the pages of the book. Lacking the volume of a John Grisham legal thriller, it does not lack in rich characters or in slowly building development and a heck of a payoff. As a worker in the legal field myself, I found The Partnership to be authentic in its legal dealings, if not a little bit disconcerting in the struggling and backstabbing that goes on behind closed office doors. Mr. Harper's litigation roots come through in his descriptive writing without the novel sounding technical or simply spouting legal jargon. Unusual in a novel, the main characters are not wholly likable nor people you would normally root for. They are all flawed, some more deeply than others and some so driven by their compulsive need to win at all costs that they could be absolutely unrelatable if not for Mr. Harper's slow but steady interweaving storyline. And its core, though, The Partnership is about a struggle for power and control, between good and evil, with love, lust, greed and corruption in the eye of the political hurricane. The measured and deliberate crescendo that builds throughout the book reminds me of the one-time popular miniseries, with the first night being the set up and the payoff coming on the last night. Read The Partnership and you will think twice about how glamorous the legal profession is in the large, major law firms and you will also get an unfettered look into the board room without the rose colored glasses. I recommend The Partnership to any readers who enjoy the legal genre and legal thrillers but don't expect high action on every page.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
It's been a while since I last read a John Grisham or Scott Turow legal thriller, more for lack of time than lack of interest. Reading The Partnership by Steven J. Harper reminded me why I so love those books; I guess I'll be rereading them again soon, or hunting out ones that I've missed. Steven Harper's novel is set in a huge law firm in Chicago. The Executive Committee chairman is about to retire, and two powerful and successful candidates vie to inherit the throne. Albert Knight is the more appealing of the two, a man who has bought into the money-wins-all mentality of the modern world, while still retaining some vestige of concern for what's right and what's fair. His arch-enemy Ronald Ratkin plays the field of power and wealth like a pro, planning ahead for every turn of the plot, fully prepared to ride the wave of disaster and turn it into triumph. And retiring chairman Hopkins pulls the threads that may or may not be tied as tight as he imagines. There are mysteries behind mysteries here, betrayals beyond betrayal, and clever plotting that keeps the reader turning pages and wondering, with loyalties that drift in the wind. A firm that was once a family, that prided itself on rightness, has slipped and grown. The first warning blows are remembered, where money began to take precedence and became the motivation for everything. The prices paid are seen in people and relationships and events. And the fall of a noble profession is richly lamented. There was much I didn't know about the legal profession, and the business model. I learned a lot, not by being lectured, but by spending time in the heads and lives of Harper's characters. The story is a sad indictment on how we've let money change the world, and how temptation bests the best of us. It's also a fascinating mystery, with twists and turns aplenty, an obscure form of justice, and a satisfying conclusion. Steven Harper knows his law, and he knows his writing. He's definitely a new author to watch, and I'm so grateful to book publicist Jennifer Prost for sending me a copy to read and review. This was certainly a fascinating and enjoyable book.