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The Client

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The Client

John Grisham

Arrow Books, 1994

Number of pages:

Number of chapters:

Title Explanation:
Mark Sway is the client of his lawyer, Reggie Love. He get a very close relation with Reggie Love.

Explanation of the main theme:
The story 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.

Main Character and description:
The most important characters are Mark Sway and Reggie Love.
Mark Sway is eleven years old and lives in Memphis on a trailer park. He lives in a trailer with his mum Dianne and his little brother Ricky. His father mistreated his mother and also Mark and Ricky. At a moment Dianne kicked Marks father out of the house.
Reggie Love is 52 years old. She is a lawyer specialized in children cases.

Mark and his little brother Ricky are smoking a sigaret and are witnisses of a dramatic suicide.

Mark his mother Dianne and his little brother Ricky star a new live. They get money from the FBI to start a new live in Phoenix.

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 very 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 very actual 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 nife. 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 an other identity, a lot of money and a one-way ticket to a place somewhere else in the USA.

Meanwhile, Mark escaped. He pretends to have a 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 burried 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 handle 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.

The climax is when Mark and his lawyer Reggie go to the house of Jerome Clifford to find the body of the killed man.

It is a very realistic book, its not hard to imagine that this story could happen in real live. And the characters were discribed very clearly. There are very exciting parts in the book what makes the book interesting and you doesn’t get bored. It is a very famous book from a very famous author. There is also a film called ‘the client’. I saw this film a long time ago, I didn’t remember anything but when I was reading the book, parts of the film came up to live in my mind again.