The Client by John Grisham The story starts when Mark and his little brother are secretly smoking in the woods near their home. Suddenly they hear a car. The car stops and the driver gets out, fastens a hose to the exhaust pipe and gets back in his car: he wants to commit suicide. Mark removes the hose twice, but the third time the man notices him and grabs him into his car.
The Man is named Jerome Clifford, but all his friends called him ‘Romey’. Romey says that now Mark is in the car, they have to die both. During a long conversation he tells Mark where the body of the senator is, killed by Barry Muldano. After a while Mark manages to get out of the car, because Romey is under the influence of alcohol and medicines. After that, Romey gets out of the car and shoots himself.
Mark and Rickey rush home. Ricky is in state of a shock and Mark calls 911. Ricky is taken to a hospital, and a police officer listens to the story of Mark. He doesn’t quite believe Mark’s explanation of events. Later, the FBI finds fingerprints of Mark all over the car. They repress him so much that he feels cornered and tries to get a lawyer.
That lawyer becomes Reggie Love. After a while he begins to trust her, and he tells her some parts of the real story. The case of Barry Muldano is true and almost the following day his photo is in all the papers. Barry Muldano hires men to threaten the Sway family. They burn the Sway’s trailer and threat Mark with a knife.
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It works, Mark understands that he can better keep the secret. The FBI wants Mark to speak and summoned him. If he didn’t speak he could get punished, so he was arrested. He was locked up in a cell – mainly for his own safety. The FBI, Reggie Love and Harry Roosevelt (the judge of the case) worked out a plan. If Mark told the truth, they give him another identity, a lot of money and a one-way ticket to a place somewhere else in the USA.
Meanwhile, Mark escaped. He pretends to be in shock too, and they took him to the St. Peters hospital, where he knows the way. He called Reggie and together they went to New Orleans, to find out the body was there.
But when they arrive at Romey’s home, (the body is buried there) they remark that the men of Muldano are looking for the body too. They succeed in chasing away the man, but they know they have to think quick. Mark decides to tell everything. The following day he gets protection of the FBI and Reggie tells the FBI where they can find the body. At that moment Mark, his brother and mother are flying to Phoenix. What the title means is Mark’s searches for help by a lawyer – for one dollar – and he gets a very close relation with that lawyer.
Therefore he is the client of his lawyer. The story’s theme shows how difficult it is to make such a choice: Tell the police about a murder, change your identity and move to another city and get out of this awful life, but always keep the feeling of being followed by the Mafia. Or just say nothing and be safe, but return to a very poor and unpleasant life. The book is chronologic, there are no flashbacks. A narrator tells the story. The ending is not surprising, but the whole story I was wondering which of the two things would happen; Mark could tell the whole story to the FBI, or – and just be safe – just say nothing and go on with his life.
The two most important characters are Mark Sway and Reggie Love. Mark Sway is 11 years old. He lives in Memphis, on a trailer site. His father had mistreated him, he was an alcoholic. Mark was not the only one, once his father mistreated his wife with a baseball bat. The marriage between his parents was only misery.
Reggie Love, 52 years old, is a lawyer specialized in children cases. Reggie Love is not her real name. Her old name is Regina. She was married with a rich man, a doctor. They got divorced and he ruined her life.
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He had enough money to get her on therapy. After many years of sadness, she got back to a normal life and she changed her life. Reggie is the lawyer of Mark Sway. She helps him with his very difficult mission and acts as a second mother. As they go on different ways at the ending, they mark up that they have formed a very close relation. The story takes place on different places.
It starts in Memphis, where Mark lives. Later, the story plays in New Orleans, where the Mafia murdered a senator. Here the story finally ends. The story plays in very busy cities, where people are always rushing and not looking for each other. Mark seems to be alone in his world, he has to be very tough. The story has a very serious, realistic and maybe a little sad tone.
It lets you think about the problem. As said in earlier, the story is chronologic, and a narrator tells the story. The further you read, the more knowledge you get about the characters. Sometimes the narrator tells about the events, sometimes he tells about the characters. The book is a legal thriller; a thriller without sex and violence.
It was a little difficult, but very pleasant book to read. It was very exciting, because it was difficult to predict what was going to happen. The story was very affecting too. The story shows how difficult it is for Mark. I would recommend he book to anyone who enjoys books in the style of Grisham, otherwise not.