The Client by John Grisham – 1993
Although I have read several of his novels, The Client was my first foray into the world of John Grisham, and it was compelling stuff from start to finish.
Nobody enjoys reading through a twenty-five page contract that could easily be condensed into a couple of paragraphs, so legal thrillers can stand or fall on the ability of the author to take an inherently dry genre and make the prose interesting. Fortunately, John Grisham has a knack for being able to make legal jargon sound palatable and, more importantly, make you want to turn the page. Of course, he is a lawyer by trade, so if anyone can do it, I guess it’s him.
I saw the excellent movie first – something I usually try to avoid because it often stunts the need to use your imagination – but I don’t think I would have picked up the novel had I not watched the story unfold on screen. I have my issues with some of the unrealistic nature of some of the dialogue in The Client – in particular, what comes out of the mouth of the eleven year old central to the plot – but I’m willing to let that slide because the story itself is so much fun.