Monday, 28 January 2013

The Street Lawyer - John Grisham

The Story...

Michael Brock is billing the hours, making the money, rushing relentlessly to the top of Drake & Sweeney, a giant D.C. law firm. One step away from partnership, Michael has it all. Then, in an instant, it all comes undone.

A homeless man takes nine lawyers hostage in the firm’s plush offices. When it’s all over, the man’s blood is splattered on Michael’s face—and suddenly Michael is willing to do the unthinkable. Rediscovering a conscience he lost long ago, Michael is leaving the big time for the streets where his attacker once lived—and where society’s powerless need an advocate for justice.

But there’s one break Michael can’t make—from a secret that has floated up from the depths of Drake & Sweeney, from a confidential file that is now in Michael’s hands, and from a conspiracy that has already taken lives. Now Michael’s former partners are about to become his bitter enemies. Because to them, Michael Brock is the most dangerous man on the streets.

A Reader's Experience...

A thrilling read that gives insight in to the life changing power of a single moment. Readers are invited to question the mercy and justice of the law as secrets are uncovered and the rights of those most in need are finally given a voice. Not only was I entertained, but I was educated in a meaningful way about the very real workings of the legal system and the struggles of daily living on the streets.

The storyline is a complex yet easy enough to follow chain of events, with enough satisfying twists and humor to keep interest while also maintaining the balance of a serious tone. The ills of society are exposed through individual stories and personal interactions. Their situations are dismal and bleak, yet also realistic. Characters are not mearly presented with a sense of pity, however, but with a recognisable sense of hope and dignity. The homeless reach out for help, and lawyers use their training to reach out to give it. The result is powerful, effective change that certainly appeals to a reader's sense of justice.

There is much to admire about the personalities of the characters themselves. Michael is a creative, intellegent, critical thinker who carefully plots every move he makes. He is completely honest and is able to stand by his decisions, and he is able to cope with rebuilding his life, with numerous changes in a short period of time. The action of the story is seen completely through Michael's eyes, and it is clear that he is keenly perceptive of others, and of what lies beneath the surface events that ensue.

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