Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Client” as Want to Read:
The Client
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Client

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  292,715 Ratings  ·  1,682 Reviews
Mark Sway, age 11 but years wiser thanks to a drunken dad who abused his mom, is out in the woods behind his Memphis trailer park teaching his kid brother, Ricky, how to smoke Virginia Slims heisted from Mom's purse. He's a pretty upright kid--he's determined to protect his brother from drugs, and he once defended his mom with a baseball bat.

The dangers of smoking rapidl

Audio CD, Abridged
Published May 15th 2001 by Random House Audio (first published 1993)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Client, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Stephen Johnson Mark Sway seemed to be the only character whose rationale for decision making was plausible, mostly because of his youth. I enjoyed him the most.
Rohit Dwivedula He was afraid. And he was just a young boy. His younger brother went into shock.... all because of him, or so Mark thought. Children blame themselves…moreHe was afraid. And he was just a young boy. His younger brother went into shock.... all because of him, or so Mark thought. Children blame themselves for whatever happens around them.

Also, there were plenty of things he shouldn't have been doing at that time:

1. He was going to smoke a cigarette - something he hadn't told his mother.
2. His brother was with him because Mark was about to "teach" him how to smoke a cigarette, another thing he wasn't supposed to do.
3. He saw a person committing suicide, and was almost killed himself - really frightening things.
4. His brother passes into shock.

All these really rattled Mark. He was probably a bit afraid of the cops...

So.... that's why he didn't come clean.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Doug Cannon
Grisham has a way of writing a real page-turner. This was one of those books that I just couldn't put down. The suspense was intense, and the story was good.

When I finished the last page, and I finally did put it down, I couldn't help thinking I had just wasted my time. I mean, I was thoroughly entertained for every minute of the book, but when I was done, I was left with nothing but the memories of my entertainment.

Good book, excellent author, but lacking in anything real. I've read 4 Grisham n
Feb 22, 2010 Patrick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book tells of a boy who happens upon a mob lawyer who commits suicide. But before he commits suicide, he divulges information on where the body of the murdered Senator was hidden by his mob boss. Fearing reprisal by the mob or the FBI for lying, he hires a lawyer to get him out of this mess.

I only slightly dislike this book because the premise of the book is weak. I could not get over the fact that the kid could have avoided the whole suspense by telling the FBI the truth about the body of
Jun 28, 2010 Cwwj added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Cwwj by: No one
Caution: spoiler.

I always like Grisham's books in spite of the cartoonish political spin (Republicans uniformly evil; Democrats caring, sensitive, kind). This, his fourth book, was surely not one of his best, but only because there is a mile-wide hole in the plot. The solution to the dilemma of little Mark -- who possesses the secret of where the Senator's body is buried
-- was so overwhelmingly clear within the first 100 pages that each successive machination of Reggie's, each attempt to protec
Apr 03, 2008 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Client is about an eleven year old named Mark Sway and his little brother Ricky witnessing a suicide. Before the man killed himself he told Mark information about a murder case that was being looked at. Marks brother goes into shock from the suicide and he has to stay in the hospital for a while. Mark does not know if he should tell the FBI the information he received or not because he is scared for his family’s lives and his own. The Client takes place in a small town in Memphis. Mark is a ...more
Jul 18, 2014 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This was just what I wanted, a quick read, some action and a good fast paced storyline. So what if the hero was a 10 year old boy, I enjoyed it! My attention was held throughout, which is my sign of a good read, and the main characters were all likeable. Mark and Reggie were loveable in their own ways, and it was fun seeing the youngster outsmart the thugs and the FBI. I highly recommend this book if you're after an easy read.
Sep 17, 2009 Keegan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
I really like this movie and watched it before I'd ever read the book. But I remembered that this was one of the few cases where I liked both the book and the movie even where they didn't match up. I don't know that I'll read it again ever though because I did like the movie better this time around. I liked that there were just the three primary characters, for instance. And I admit that I liked that Foltrigg (while still being a loud mouth) wasn't quite the moron he is in the book-- but I'm sur ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Jun 03, 2015 Ahmad Sharabiani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
کتاب «موکل»، با عنوان «موکل خطرناک»، در: 473 صفحه، توسط نشر البرز نیز، منتشر شده است. داستان درباره «مایک» پسرکی یازده ساله، و برادرش «ریکی» است که ناخواسته شاهد خودکشی مردی در علفزارهای کنار خانه خویش هستند، «مایک» به دلیل شرایط سخت زندگی، خود را پشتیبان مادر، و برادر کوچکترش میداند، او برای نجات مرد نیز سعی میکند، اما، گیر میافتد. مرد تصمیم میخواهد که در پایان لحظات عمرش، تنها به سوی مرگ نرود، او میخواهد «مایک» نیز، همراهش باشد. مرد از راز قتل یکی از سناتورهای امریکایی، توسط موکل خویش پرده برم ...more
Nicholas Villazon
Jan 29, 2012 Nicholas Villazon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So in the beginning of the story their is these two boys that are brothers and this take place around the 1960's and these two brothers ricky and mark are smokers that are bad boys. so one day they decide to go in the forest and later seems to find something that they couldnt believe . Finds out that once they stumble upon the woods they see a man trying to kill him self. as the look to see who it is the man that is trying to kill him self see them and catches one of the brothers and stick him i ...more
Horace Derwent
May 20, 2016 Horace Derwent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I clearly remember the scene in Black Hawk Down, that soldier(forgotten the name and the actor's name), he popped into chopper cabin, holding this book, a paperback edition with the cover

This one engraved in my mind more than the Joel Schumacher film did

That soldier was one of the 18 casualties :(

Jul 30, 2012 Salymar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“You advised him not to get a lawyer, giving as one of your reasons the opinion that lawyers are a pain in the ass. Gentlemen, the pain is here." -Reggie Love, The Client

At first, I wasn't quite attached to this book because the first few chapters are kind of dull but, when I reached Chapter 3 (probably the chapter where the story begins to unfold) it gets more and more thrilling! It got me on the edge of my seat!
Also , I loved the characters, first the protagonist, an eleven-year-old boy named
Rebecca Forster
Oct 02, 2013 Rebecca Forster rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love Grisham's early work especially. Characterization is always uppermost in my mind and he does a great job. Read it awhile back and then took it on vacation again to read. That is my highest endorsement.
May 30, 2014 Corey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my very first book that I've read by John Grisham, and I absolutely loved it, I really like his writing style and the book just really seems to drag you right into the story. I had never heard of Grisham until I had seen the movie The Client with Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones, and I've watched the movie several times, and my mom told me that the movie was based on a novel by John Grisham and she said he writes courtroom dramas. The book was excellent and very easy to follow, great ...more
this is the book that made me not read any more of his books. It's like he woke up one morning and said, I'm done. He left countless threads unraveled. He dropped ideas. the ending was unbelievable and abrupt. All in all what could have been an amazing book was such a disappointment that it made me avoid him because I was so angry he wasted my time.
Aug 29, 2008 Ryan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I could not get into this one. I didn't care about the characters and it just seemed cheesy.
Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)
I liked this a lot more than I thought I would.
Jan 25, 2016 Soho_black rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, used-to-own
I've not read a huge amount of John Grisham's work, but when I have I've not always been entirely impressed. He can frequently descend into the kind of legal detail I tend to find a little boring and impenetrable, especially as a non-US citizen not entirely familiar with the American legal system. Happening across "The Client", one of Grisham's earlier books, has helped me go some way towards changing my opinion.

In this novel, "The Client" is eleven year old Mark Sway who, along with his eight y
Voor de 2 na laatste 2015 reading challenge, zocht ik een boek dat is uitgebracht in mijn geboortejaar (1993). Heel mijn to-read list doorgespit en ik kon welgeteld 1 boek vinden, dit boek. De cliënt stond al een tijdje op mijn to-read list, aangezien ik dit boek eens gekregen had van de overbuurvrouw. Mijn moeder zag het boek liggen en vertelde me dat zij dit boek jaren geleden gelezen heeft en dat het echt een goed boek was. Ze verbaasde zich erover dat ik het nog nooit gelezen had. Sterkere n ...more
Nov 02, 2015 Alexandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy shit, this was intense... I found this book by accident, I already knew John Grisham from the "Theo Boone" Books but this was my first novell from him. And I'm impressed as fuck! It's so hard for me to calm because this book caused so much emotions in me, it made me think so much, basically all the time. I couldn't put it down. Actually I really want to re-read it - even though I just finished it. Lately I'm really not in a reading mood but this book defenitly put me back into it!
I love cr
Sep 29, 2015 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I've read very little of Grisham's prodigious output, I've been impressed with what I have read and this one fits that bill. Here we meet Mark Sway, an exceedingly precocious eleven-year-old “trailer park kid”, who lives with his single mother and younger brother. While sneaking off into the woods to smoke a cigarette and initiate his little brother into the pleasures of tobacco, the pair stumbles upon an exasperated and demented man attempting suicide. We soon find that the maniacal ma ...more
Ivan Karačić
Jan 17, 2013 Ivan Karačić rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first book this year was John Grisham’s book The Client . It’s a story about two innocent kids who just wanted to sneak out into the woods to smoke but become the only witnesses of a suicide. The man who killed himself was a lawyer who represented a lot of criminals and knew many things he really didn’t want to know. One of his secretes become Mark’s secret too (the older of the two boys). Short after the suicide the police started following Mark because they thought he knows something. After ...more
Dec 28, 2011 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Thriller likers
Recommended to Jason by: The movie
This was my first John Grisham novel. It won't be the last since I've heard a few good things about The Testament, but that one might be my last if there isn't some improvement on a few things.

I have to compare this one to the movie a bit since that flick is a fave, and I think this is one of the rare cases where I like the movie better than the book. The character of Reverend Roy Foltrigg was much different in the book, much more obnoxious, much dumber, and just doesn't stand up to the awesomen
محمد عصمت
للأسف لم تكن قدر المتوقع منها
Jun 15, 2014 Sidna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are so many books I want to read that I seldom read a book a second time. I read this book in the early 1990's about the time it was published before I had spent any time in the south. My husband has just started reading Grisham. We have lived in Memphis for 8 years and have visited New Orleans every year. My husband suggested that I re-read this book since I am now familiar with the two locations where the action in the book takes place. The second reading was more interesting when I was ...more
Apr 20, 2016 Mick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely perfect. I may have said this about one or two other Grishams, but this one's my favorite. I'll add the disclaimer "Until the next favorite comes along".

The story was terrific, fast paced, and never let up. The characters were believable, even the 11-year old "hero" of the story. Many writers fail to write kids as kids, especially in a story as complex as this one, instead writing those characters as tiny adults, down to the way they talk. Grisham avoids those pitfalls and writes Mark
Then I read a THIRD Grisham book in a row - I tell you, the bored, summer teenage mind can choke down a lot of crap in the form of mediocre prose. This is the one with the little kid that sees the murder, right? The one they made into a movie with Susan Serandan? I think so. Anyway, if you liked Grisham's other someone-stumbled-on-a-conspiracy-and-now-they're-running-for-their-lives books, I'm sure you'll like this one too. I don't remember it being any better or worse.
Nancy Steinle gummel
I had seen the movie years ago so I had a general idea about the book. The book is so much better than the movies. The book goes into so much more detail. It's so life like with the Mob element and how devious the goverment is when trying to pursue their agenda.
Apr 03, 2016 Neja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I like every book that Grisham wrote, period. This story is about a crazy, just horrible dilemma. Didn't like the movie…but hey, movies are almost always worst, because they cut out a lot of stuff, they change it plus, you don't have your own imagination.
Feb 23, 2009 Linh rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
G.J. Griffiths
Aug 19, 2014 G.J. Griffiths rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gjg, crime-thriller
“The Client” has become my favourite Grisham novel. I thought that “The Runaway Jury” was hard to beat as a gripping tale, full of intrigue, humour and twists, but I found “The Client” very hard to put down. I was completely gripped from the start when two young boys in a wood try to prevent a man’s suicide. Mark Sway, the elder brother, soon has the FBI following him and the mafia threatening him and his family. Reggie Love is his remarkably engaging lawyer and, between the two of them, Mark an ...more
Venkat Narayanan
Dec 16, 2012 Venkat Narayanan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars but racy and a grt entertainer
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
BEP090T1: Favorite lines or quote 1 6 Nov 04, 2014 02:58PM  
IVCH- IVCH Paris ...: About IVCH- IVCH Paris Business Law Firm Fraud Attorneys 1 2 Nov 07, 2013 10:08PM  
English 11 Block ...: BoOk PoSt 3 16 Oct 04, 2012 05:23AM  
  • The Burden of Proof (Kindle County Legal Thriller, #2)
  • Judge & Jury
  • Total Control
  • Degree of Guilt (Christopher Paget, #2)
  • Undue Influence (Paul Madriani, #3)
  • Patriot Games (Jack Ryan Universe, #2)
  • The Tenth Justice
  • Natural Causes
  • The 13th Juror (Dismas Hardy, #4)
  • Outbreak (Dr. Marissa Blumenthal, #1)
  • The Icarus Agenda
  • The Lincoln Lawyer (Harry Bosch Universe, #16; Mickey Haller, #1)
  • Disclosure
"Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of
More about John Grisham...

Share This Book

“It's amazing how lies grow. You start with a small one that seems easy to cover, then you get boxed in and tell another one. Then another. People believe you at first, then they act upon your lies, and you catch yourself wishing you'd simply told the truth.” 31 likes
“You advised him not to get a lawyer, giving as one of your reasons the opinion that lawyers are a pain in the ass. Gentlemen, the pain is here.
-Reggie Love”
More quotes…