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The Client

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In a weedy lot on the outskirts of Memphis, two boys watch a shiny Lincoln pull up to the curb...Eleven-year-old Mark Sway and his younger brother were sharing a forbidden cigarette when a chance encounter with a suicidal lawyer left Mark knowing a bloody and explosive secret: the whereabouts of the most sought-after dead body in America. Now Mark is caught between a legal system gone mad and a mob killer desperate to cover up his crime. And his only ally is a woman named Reggie Love, who has been a lawyer for all of four years. Prosecutors are willing to break all the rules to make Mark talk. The mob will stop at nothing to keep him quiet. And Reggie will do anything to protect her client -- even take a last, desperate gamble that could win Mark his freedom... or cost them both their lives.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly Fans of the bestselling Grisham will be pleased to note that he is once more on Firm ground: his latest legal thriller offers a clever, compelling plot coupled with two singular protagonists sure to elicit readers' empathy. Eleven-year-old Mark Sway, taking his kid brother for a smoke behind their Memphis trailer park, witnesses the suicide of a lawyer "driven crazy" by a lethal secret. Before he dies, the man confides to Mark where the body of a recently murdered U.S. senator lies buried, and the game's afoot. Trailed by the police, the FBI and assorted Mafia types (the deceased politico was the victim of "a successful New Orleans street thug"), Mark retains--for one dollar--the services of Reggie Love, a 50ish female lawyer. This uncommon attorney-client relationship adds an affecting, unusually humanistic layer to the novel's tension-filled events. Mark, raised by a divorced mother and wise beyond his years, thinks chiefly in terms of movies and TV; Reggie, a street-smart survivor of an acrimonious divorce, is often unsure whether to hug or slug her precocious client. True to form, Grisham employs just enough foreshadowing to keep the suspense rolling ("Neither of them could know that . . . "), and propels his action at the requisite breakneck pace. Occasional plot improbabilities and stylistic quibbles--a few fuzzy characterizations; overstatement of already obvious points; Mark's sporadic adult phraseology--will not deter readers from enjoying a rousing read. 950,000 first printing; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections; Reader's Digest Condensed Book selection. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. From School Library Journal YA-- While sneaking into the woods to smoke forbidden cigarettes, preteen brothers Mark and Ricky find a lawyer committing suicide in his car. Mark tries to save the man but is instead grabbed by him and told the location of the body of a murdered U. S. senator--a murder of which the lawyer's Mafia-connected client is accused. Witnessing the successful suicide sends Ricky into shock and Mark into a web of lies, half-truths, and finally into refusal to tell the confided secret to the police. Mark accidentally but fortuitously hires a lawyer, Reggie Love, who steers him through a maze of FBI agents, legal proceedings, judges, ambitious lawyers, and hit men. Love's 11-year-old, street-smart client defies the judicial system to protect himself and his family. This thriller is unique in its theme and in its suspense mixed with humor. A sure "all-night" read. - Katherine Fitch, Lake Braddock Secondary School, Burke, VA Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Kirkus Reviews Grisham's latest opens with a neat hook into the reader's jaw- -and the tension never wavers--as the author strives for a knockout suspenser with echoes of Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson--or at least the reader can't help weighing what he's reading against the darker plots that enmesh Huck Finn and Jim Hawkins. Instead of pirates, though, 11-year-old Mark Sway is thrown among lawyers and murderers. Mark, a great follower of L.A. Law, becomes ``the client'' after he witnesses the suicide of a drunken Mafia lawyer. Before the lawyer dies, he tries to take Mark with him, holding the boy prisoner while the Cadillac they sit in fills with carbon dioxide. As he's fading, the lawyer reveals to Mark the whereabouts of the body of a Louisiana senator. The senator was murdered by Mafia thug Barry ``the Blade'' Muldanno, then buried under concrete in the lawyer's garage. Mark escapes death but now holds a secret so deadly that Barry the Blade is ready to waste him. He's also wanted by the feds because Barry's going on trial for the senator's murder--but there's no body, and so the feds have a weak case. Mark retains 52-year-old Reggie Love, an abused divorc‚e, to help him keep shut about the body's whereabouts. If it's known that he knows--and the hoods and feds suspect him mightily--he and his family will never have a safe moment again. The story is set in Memphis, then moves to New Orleans, but both backgrounds are sketchy. The strongest scene features three mildly funny goons in the middle of the night trying to...well, enough. Mark is too smart by half, rather than wise like Huck; dialogue slips into exposition; and Grisham goes for the tear ducts at tale's end, but presses too hard. None of this matters. In the movie, the obligatory face-out between Barry the Blade and Mark will take place, bet on it, though Grisham avoids the confrontation. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for May) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. Review "Heart -pounding!" -- The Orlando Sentinel. "Grisham is an absolute master!" --The Washington Post. "Engrossing!" -- San Francisco Chronicle. "Absorbing... Wildly original... His best book yet." --Cosmopolitan. From the Publisher In a weedy lot on the outskirts of Memphis, two boys watch a shiny Lincoln pull up to the curb...Eleven-year-old Mark Sway and his younger brother were sharing a forbidden cigarette when a chance encounter with a suicidal lawyer left Mark knowing a bloody and explosive secret: the whereabouts of the most sought-after dead body in America. "Heart -pounding!" -- The Orlando Sentinel. Now Mark is caught between a legal system gone mad and a mob killer desperate to cover up his crime. And his only ally is a woman named Reggie Love, who has been a lawyer for all of four years. "Grisham is an absolute master!" --The Washington Post. Prosecutors are willing to break all the rules to make Mark talk. The mob will stop at nothing to keep him quiet. And Reggie will do anything to protect her client -- even take a last, desperate gamble that could win Mark his freedom... or cost them both their lives. "Engrossing!" -- San Francisco Chronicle. "Absorbing... Wildly original... His best book yet." --Cosmopolitan. From the Inside Flap In a weedy lot on the outskirts of Memphis, two boys watch a shiny Lincoln pull up to the curb...Eleven-year-old Mark Sway and his younger brother were sharing a forbidden cigarette when a chance encounter with a suicidal lawyer left Mark knowing a bloody and explosive secret: the whereabouts of the most sought-after dead body in America. Now Mark is caught between a legal system gone mad and a mob killer desperate to cover up his crime. And his only ally is a woman named Reggie Love, who has been a lawyer for all of four years. Prosecutors are willing to break all the rules to make Mark talk. The mob will stop at nothing to keep him quiet. And Reggie will do anything to protect her client -- even take a last, desperate gamble that could win Mark his freedom... or cost them both their lives. From the Back Cover In the two years since The Firm first captured the imagination of America's readers, John Grisham, with three consecutive number-one bestsellers, has become one of the most popular authors of our time. Now, in The Client, he has written a novel so irresistible, so thoroughly entertaining and satisfying, that it is sure not only to please his millions of fans, but to win him new ones as well. This is the story of eleven-year-old Mark Sway, who, as the novel opens, witnesses the bizarre suicide of a New Orleans attorney. Just before he dies, the lawyer tells Mark a deadly secret concerning the recent murder of a Louisiana Senator, whose accused killer, Mafia thug Barry Muldanno, is about to go to trial. The police, the federal prosecutor and the FBI pressure Mark to tell them the attorney's last words, but he knows that with the mob watching his every move, revealing his secret will almost surely get him killed. So Mark, streetwise and old beyond his years, hires a lawyer: Reggie Love, a fifty-two-year-old divorcee who's been through more than anyone could imagine and survived, basically, because she's tough. And feisty. And loves helping kids overlooked or abused by the system. But when Mark's life is threatened, and Reggie discovers her office has been bugged, and even the Juvenile Court judge says Mark has no choice but to talk, she realizes that this time she's in way over her head. But then Mark comes up with a plan... a crazy plan, in Reggie's opinion, but it's their only hope. And it just might work. With the page-turning suspense and terrific plot twists that have become John Grisham's trademark, he has once again crafted a novel that simply cannot be put down. But in The ClientGrisham has gone a step further - with a cast of unforgettable characters headed by the most original hero in years, he has mixed equal parts humor and warmth to truly expand the boundaries of the legal thriller.

About the Author

John Grisham lives with his family in Virginia and Mississippi. His previous novels are A Time to Kill, The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, and The Partner.

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Inventory Last Updated: Mar 01, 2021

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