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The Client (1993)

by John Grisham

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,43168606 (3.62)46
"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 ... Prosecutors are willing to break all the rules to make Mark talk. The mob will stop at nothing to keep him quiet. And [his lawyer] 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 publisher description.… (more)
  1. 20
    Defending Jacob by William Landay (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These legal thrillers are heavy hitters with emotional depth, developed characters, and frightening revelations. In both, the plot revolves around a young boy's involvement in a murder investigation and trial.
  2. 10
    My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (ShannonMDE)
    ShannonMDE: I think My Sister's Keeper had the feel of early John Grisham back when he wrote about people instead of corporations.
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Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
Not my favorite Grisham book by a long shot. I've found most of his books engaging, but this one just wasn't believable. It's a Disney made-for-TV type of book, or probably just a good book for the Young Adult crowd. The book's hero is an 11-year old boy, and his dialog and and his manner of interacting with adults is too unbelievable. He goes out and hires a lawyer on his own, he tells off the FBI, takes on the Mafia, tells his 52 year old lawyer what to do, etc. I just wasn't buying most of it. ( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
Excellent book about a brave attorney and an even braver little boy. ( )
  soosthemoose | Apr 7, 2021 |
It was okay. Too long and slow. There are better Grisham books. ( )
  xKayx | Dec 14, 2020 |
I remember reading this a long time ago during high school and it was a good book. The reason I didn't rate it higher is because I never bother to pick it up again to reread like I have done with previous books. Back in High School I was such a John Grisham fan that I had 10 books of his.

It was a good book and I would still tell people to read it. ( )
  payday1999 | Dec 8, 2020 |
I'm not a massive fan of the legal fiction genre but I have enjoyed reading Grisham's other works. This one made for easy reading but the plot is horrendous, the 11-year old protagonist does so many character shifts that it feels highly immersion breaking and the entire thing feels drawn out and completely avoidable.

The main drawback, imo, was the weak premise of the entire thing. The whole sequence of events could have been avoided by just being truthful for once. Worse is when actors act completely irrationally and escalate the conflict when reason should dictate otherwise. There are a few solutions offered early on and the protagonist refuses to go down the route because he's "scared" yet given the conclusion of the book, that entire chain of reasoning seems absurd.

I had multiple issues with the protagonist as well. The kid acts far too maturely for an 11 year old and yet is prone to remarkable character shifts where he acts with utter imbecility. Fair enough, you can imagine a tween acting that way but why do other characters confide serious, personal information to him as if he's far older? He's repeatedly shown to be a frightened little kid yet acts remarkably recklessly towards the end without a care for his life, not to mention earlier where he irrationally hurls invective at officials merely trying to do their jobs and forcing them to react. You don't imagine a scared kid doing that.

I also found his final plan to be idiotic. He ends up being patronising to an adult who is shown to have been his guide and the adult, out of character, defers to an 11 year-old's judgement.

In short, quick read but painful. ( )
  Fitzgeralds_Cat | May 28, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
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Heyne (72090)

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Mark was eleven and had been smoking off and on for two years, never trying to quit but being careful not to get hooked.
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"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 ... Prosecutors are willing to break all the rules to make Mark talk. The mob will stop at nothing to keep him quiet. And [his lawyer] 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 publisher description.

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