Special Feature: This PerfectBound e-book contains: "The Origins of The Associate" a statement by Phillip Margolin about the origins of the book.
Daniel Ames is living the American dream. Though born into poverty and living on the streets by the age of fifteen, Daniel has overcome every obstacle -- and now is an associate at Reed, Briggs, Portland's most prestigious law firm, earning more money than he ever imagined possible. But when Aaron Flynn enters his life, Daniel finds himself caught between his towering ambition and his bedrock idealism.
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July 30, 2002
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Excerpt from The Associate by Phillip Margolin
An icy wind whipped down Mercer Street, rattling awnings, scattering paper scraps and raking Gene Arnold's cheeks raw. He turned up his coat collar and ducked his head to avoid the arctic chill. This wasn't the Arizona lawyer's first visit to New York City, but it was his first winter visit and he was unprepared for the biting cold.
Arnold was an unremarkable man, someone you could sit opposite for an hour and not remember five minutes later. He was of average height, tortoiseshell glasses magnified his brown eyes, and his small, bald head was partially ringed by a fringe of dull gray hair. Arnold's private life was as placid as his personality. He was unmarried, read a lot, and the most exciting thing he did was play golf. Nothing that had happened to him had even registered as a blip on the world's radar screen except for a tragedy he had endured seven years before.
Arnold's law practice was as tedious as his life, business transactions mostly. He was in New York to secure financing for Martin Alvarez, the king of the Arizona used car market, who wanted to expand into New Mexico. Arnold's successful meeting with a potential investor had ended sooner than expected, leaving him time to wander around SoHo in search of a painting he could add to his small collection of art.
Arnold's eyes teared and his nose started to run as he looked around desperately for shelter from the wind. An art gallery on the corner of Mercer and Spring streets was open and he ducked into it, sighing with relief when a blast of warm air greeted him. A thin young woman dressed in black was leaning on a counter near the front of the store. She looked up from the catalog she was reading.
"Can I help you?" she asked, flashing him a practiced smile.
"Just looking," Arnold answered self-consciously.
The art hanging on the white walls of the gallery did not fit into one category. Arnold glanced briefly at a series of collages with a feminist theme before stopping to admire some paintings that were more his style. Back home he owned several western scenes, brown and red mesas at sunset, cowboys on the trail, that sort of thing. These landscapes were of New England, seascapes really. Dories on a raging ocean, waves breaking on a deserted beach, a cottage scarred by the sea's salt spray. Very nice.