Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Street Lawyer - Book Review

It might seem an odd choice to review a book coming up ten years old, but this has been sitting on my shelf gathering dust, and as it is the only Grisham book I haven't read, I decided to dip into it while I waited for the new Lee Child to come out. I'm glad I did.

It tells the story of Michael Brock, Corporate Lawyer earning big bucks, pretty wife, fast lane to partner status and millionairedom. Everything is rosy until an odd incident occurs. A vagrant, a street dweller hijacks the lawyers in their tower-block office and before he can make clear his demands, special-forces blow him away. The vagrant's brains are splashed over Brock's face. It changes his outlook on life, but then it would.

He begins to take an interest in the homeless, he resigns his cushy job and big bucks, loses his wife, and takes on pro bono unpaid legal work on behalf of the street people, and that is just the beginning of his journey.

This book concentrates attention on homeless people in American inner cities. Whether their plight has greatly changed in the intervening ten years I have no idea, but my guess is things haven't altered that much.

As always with Mister Grisham's books the narrative rushes along. I was never tempted to duck any pages and it is all too easy to see why he has shifted so many copies of his books over the years. I liked this one a lot. It was thought provoking, retained my attention throughout, and though I kind of guessed the ending long before I actually arrived there, I was never disappointed.

If you like Grisham, you will like this. If you don't like Grisham you will probably still like it. Definitely recommended.

Coincidentally this very day John Grisham was in London to collect a lifetime achievement award for among other things, selling over 250 million books. Incredibly he stated he had never won an award before. Perhaps writers should be more valued by us all, and feted too.


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