“The Client” Book Review

“The Client” Book Review

The problems of the contemporary criminal justice system are widely argued in the society and it is not a secret that this system is far from perfect. The book The Client by John Grisham also proves the fact that the criminal justice system is not very effective and, actually, it is very difficult to make the system work effectively and protect the interests of ordinary people, like the main character of the story Mark and his family. At the same time, the book raises the problem of the lawyer ethics and way of actions which may be also quite arguable, even though the author apparently supports the actions of his positive characters.
On analyzing the book The Client, it is primarily necessary to underline the fact that the entire story is built around the little boy, Mark who occasionally came across a lawyer, Jerome who wanted to commit suicide after one of his Mafia clients murdered the US Senator Boyd Boyette. Jerome knew about the crime of his client and he even new the exact location where the body of the murdered senator was buried. In the state of a deep shock which actually led him to the decision to commit suicide he told the entire story to the boy, who attempted to save the life of the poor lawyer.
However, instead of saving the life of Jerome, Mark put his own life as well as the life of all members of his family at a great risk because the information he possessed was the great threat to Mafia and since the moment when the boy learned the story about the murder of Boyd Boyette the chase had started and his life and the life of his family was at stake. In such a situation, the most logical action, the little boy could do was to tell the entire story to his parents who, in their turn, should call to the police and inform police officers about all the mess their witnessed and about the presumable place where the body of Boyd Boyette rested.
Nevertheless, the story is not as logic as that, otherwise, it would be quite a different, probably routine, story. In actuality, the troubles of the boy and his family had just begun. The boy as well as his family had little confidence in the police, FBI and other law enforcement agencies. They do not even trust to the US attorney Reverend Roy Foltrigg who wanted to find the corpse and arrest the members of the mob. In fact, in the course of story Mark learned that he cannot rely on anybody including the attorney. The authorities proved to be amoral their only goal was to arrest the mob and sent its leaders to prison even though the life of the witness would be at risk. Naturally, in such a situation, when the intentions of the authorities were clear and when the boy did not have any guarantees concerning the safety of his life, Mark was practically paralyzed with fear but, nevertheless, he managed to find a person who should save him and his family. This was Reggie Love, a 50 years old lawyer who was the last hope for Mark and his family. Basically, Reggie Love was the only person whom Mark could really trust because the authorities were not really interested in his safety and he feared that he could simply become a pawn in the chess play in which the authorities would sacrifice anyone for the only purpose to achieve their goals and similarly Mafia would do its best to find and kill the accidental witness who was a serious threat to Mafia because he knew where the body of the Senator was buried.
As a result, Mark totally relied on Reggie and the future the boy and his family depended on her skills and experience in solution of such “unusual” problems. However, it is necessary to point out that the actions of Reggie Love as a lawyer were also quite arguable. At any rate, it is hardly possible to say that her actions were absolutely correct judging from the point of view of a criminal justice specialist. Obviously, Reggie had no right to act in the way she did because it was actually the violation of the existing norms and procedures. In this respect, it should be said that she had right to get involved in this craze chase with Mafia and the authorities where the major prize was the dead body of the Senator. In actuality, Reggie Love, the lawyer, should also refer to the authorities and attempt to defend her client in the totally legal way, instead of hiding him not only from Mafia but also from authorities whom the boy and his family did not trust.
The further development of the story represents the rapid progress and changing complications which eventually logically ends with the decision Mark should take at the beginning of the book. He is eventually convinced by Reggie to tell all the truth about his adventure and about the story he learned from Jerome to the FBI. The boy told where the dead body is buried and, in exchange, he and his family entered the witness protection. In such a way, he eventually found the safety and security he had been looking for practically since the beginning of the story. In this respect, the contribution of the lawyer, Reggie Love in such a happy ending of the story can hardly be underestimated, though, on analyzing her actions as a lawyer, it was probably the only action she did absolutely correctly and in accordance with the existing legal norms and procedures because it was her primary task to convince her client, Mark to inform the police or the FBI about the murder of the Senator Boyd Boyette. If Reggie Love managed to convince her client in the necessity to inform the police or the FBI, she would not only do what she was obliged to do as a lawyer but she would secure her client from the Mafia.
In such a way, it is obvious that the entire story seems to be far from real life and such a situation is practically unimaginable in the real life. And it does not matter that there are some really strange characters such as Jerome, who, being a professional lawyer, was ready to commit suicide, instead of going to the police of appealing for the protection of the FBI. Instead he kept everything in secret from law enforcement agencies but, on the other hand, he tells the entire story to an absolutely strange boy, Mark. Mark in his turn commits a serious of errors which has been discussed above as well as his lawyer, Reggie Love, and eventually take the only correct decision – to tell the true and enter the witness protection. Basically, the ending of the story is logical, but the entire story does not look very logical but it looks like an imagined story, a lesson for lawyers and potential witnesses teaching them what they should not do when they got the information Mark got. In actuality, it would be more logical if at the beginning of the story, Mark, a brave boy who saved the life of Jerome, took the poor lawyer and brought him to the police or the FBI, if possible involving media and the entire story would end without all those fancied complications.


Works cited
Grisham, J. The Client. New York: Dell Publishing Company, Inc., 1999.