TITLE: The Client
BY: John Grisham
GENRE: Crime, Fiction, Legal
PUBLICATION: March 1st 1993 by Doubleday Books
It all started when Mark Sway (11) took his younger brother Ricky (8) in a secluded part of a park to teach him how to smoke. They were just doing their business when a shiny car arrived and apparently the driver was trying to kill himself and did so by the end. Suddenly Mark along with his brother(who suffers a trauma) became witnesses of not only a suicide of a well-known lawyer, but Mark knows more than that. This is a story of an 11-year old boy caught up in a legal drama too big for himself but he has help. His 52-year old lawyer, Reggie Loves, will do everything to ensure Mark and his family is safe and that he’s not being denied with all his rights.
It’s no secret that this book is the first real novel that I’ve ever read my entire reading life. I was eight and because of this book I became a reader and started dreaming of becoming a writer someday. So I might be biased with my rating and I’ll tell you why in a moment. this book isn’t perfect.
First of all, whatever genre you see on Goodreads listed with this book, do NOT believe it. Because if you go into this book thinking of a wrong genre, you’ll be disappointed. This is NOT a legal Thriller, not even a Mystery or Suspense, this book is a plain Legal Drama, period. There’s no secret or puzzle, you, as a reader, would try to solve. There is no on-edge-of-the-seat feeling. Okay? And since this is not a whodunit thriller/suspense, I do understand if the story doesn’t appeal to everyone. But interesting things happened very early in the book that I can say Grisham doesn’t waste his time or mine, and pages. He got on with the juicy parts so early.
But like I said, this book isn’t perfect.
It’s the plot. What makes it NOT a thriller? because the plot was plain. I’m not gonna call it weak but others might. You see the whole conflict could’ve been avoided if Mark Sway, our protagonist, told the truth from the very beginning. With little help from other, especially from his amazing lawyer, Reggie, things could’ve been solved earlier. But I like to think John Grisham really wanted this book to be more character-driven than plotwise, unlike most of his books.
And I must say, he did a great job with it. You see, despite the plot, and that despite the fact that you can guess everything, including the end in 30% mark, you’ll still read the whole thing because by then you’re already invested on Mark Sway and his lawyer. The moment Mark was introduced in first chapter, I was sold. The opening scene with Mark trying to teach his younger brother how to smoke was just so adorable. Not that I find smoking adorable, but Mark, really, you have no choice but to love him. He’s one of the most interesting characters I know.
I just love hearing/reading his thoughts. And I think Mark is top of the reasons why I fell in love with this book before. John Grisham really did a great job introducing his MC in this way. Mark’s POV, or voice, is realistic for an 11-year old but his uniqueness is apparent making him more interesting than any other 11-year old. I mean he calls his father, his ex-father. hehe. And the way he thinks of himself as the man in the house so he protects his mother and Ricky seriously.
And as soon as he became the center of this legal drama, my heart went to him completely. His fear is apparent, it broke my heart. He was still smart and strong but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s just a kid. No matter how many times he said he’s mature enough. He’s a product of a broken family and of an abusive father but he turned out to be great kid.
Overall, I highly recommend this book. This isn’t Grisham’s best work(I’ll get to that soon as I reread all his books), but you’ll enjoy it. Again, mind the genre. be sure you knwo the right genre.
Happy Reading Guys,