The Client (novel)

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The Client
The Client novel.jpg
Author John Grisham
Publication date

The Client (1993) is a legal thriller written by American author John Grisham, set mostly in Memphis, Tennessee and New Orleans, Louisiana. It is Grisham's fourth novel.

THE CLIENT by John Grisham is an action, suspense novel about boy who learned too much from a Mafia lawyer.

Mark is an eleven year old boy who is growing up in a trailer home with his mom Diane, and his nine year old brother Ricky. The incident all

began when Ricky stumbled over a pack of cigarettes Mark was hiding under his bed, immediately Ricky was curious about smoking and wanted to give it try. So he blackmailed Mark to teach him how. Mark was reluctant but agreed and they set out for the woods where Mark had spent most of his time.

This time was different though for some reason a car pulled in the dense woods a place where Mark had never seen another soul except for high school kids who came to smoke dope. The car was a big black Lincoln Town car and it immediately caught Marks attention. Even more disturbing was when a heavy set man came out of the car and set a water hose in his exhaust pipe, Mark knew at that point the man’s purpose was suicide. Mark took it upon himself not to let this man kill himself because he felt it was his obligation. After Mark freed the hose from the cars exhaust pipe several times he was caught by the man and dragged into the car to die with him. In the car Mark learned the man’s story. He was a Mafia lawyer who represented the biggest and meanest Mafia man in the country “Barry the Blade Mulando.” His client had killed a senator and buried the body so no evidence would be found; only this lawyer and his client and now Mark knew where it was buried. After a long while of being trapped in the man car Mark escaped and ran from the man who ends up shooting himself in the head when both Ricky and Mark where watching. Days later back in New Orleans Barry hears of the kid and about his dead lawyer and concludes that the kid must know the location of the body, and then decides that for safe being the kid should be killed, and if was not for Marks lawyer this might have been the case. But the two of them were very persistent and had a strong will to do what they thought was right and to survive. [1]


Reggie Love: A lawyer who has been practicing for five years. Her original name is Regina Cardoni. She divorced her husband and spent time recovering from a nervous breakdown before becoming an attorney. She is a recovering alcoholic. She is an older woman in the novel, but the movie incarnation played by Susan Sarandon is slightly younger.

Barry Muldanno: Mafia member who is accused of killing a senator. A cold-blooded man, he plans on killing eleven-year old Mark.

Roy Foltrigg: U.S. government lawyer with political aspirations. His job is to prove that Barry Muldanno murdered the senator. He tries everything to make Mark talk and eventually proposes taking Mark to court in New Orleans where he thinks Mark can be persuaded to cooperate. He is the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Louisiana.

Slick Moeller: A crime reporter who works for the Memphis Press. His real name is actually Alfred but nobody in the book knows this. He never reveals the names of anyone who entrusted him with information. He knows everything about every crime committed, even before the police.

Paul Gronke: A close associate of Barry Muldanno. He is a tough thug, but not a killer like Muldanno.

Mac Bono: A close associate of the Sulari family. He is a convicted murderer and participates in the search for Mark Sway.

Gary Pirini: A close associate of the Sulari family. He helps search for Mark Sway.

Jack Nance and Calvin "Cal" Sisson: So-called "security specialists", they are actually thugs for hire. They are employed by Paul Gronke to help find Mark Sway.

Thomas Fink: An assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Louisiana. He argued a case before the Tennessee juvenile court to have Mark placed in the juvenile detention center.

George Ord: U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. He helped Thomas Fink argue the case to have Mark placed in the juvenile detention center.

Dr. Greenway: The doctor that treats Ricky Sway.

Clint Van Hooser: Secretary to Reggie Love and a former drug abuser.

Harry Roosevelt: A judge of the Tennessee Juvenile Court. He tries to protect children because he was a neglected child.

Johnny Sulari: Boss of the Sulari family. An aging gangster, he nonetheless rules with an iron fist. Uncle of Barry Muldanno.

Jerome Clifford: An influential lawyer who represented Barry Muldano. Clifford commits suicide, which is witnessed by Mark and Ricky.

Chester Tanfill: President of Ark-Lon Fixtures, where Dianne Sway works.


A 1994 film based on the novel was directed by Joel Schumacher and starred Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Mary-Louise Parker and newcomer Brad Renfro. The film was released on July 20, 1994.

For her work in the film, Susan Sarandon was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role .

The film was so successful that it spawned a TV series of the same name,[2] starring JoBeth Williams and John Heard. It ran for one season (1995–1996).


  1. ^ John Grisham's "The Client"
  2. ^