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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 30 March 2007
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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on 29 September 2004
This book is brilliant! The story grabs you from the very first chapter which prompts you to continue reading. The story tells of how a hard-hearted lawyer re-thinks his priorities in life and chooses to help those people less off. The story is touching and makes you think after reading it. It is definately not just a read and throw away book! John Grisham has demonstrated what an excellent writer he truly is with this text and I would advise anyone who is reading this review to purchase the book as soon as possible.
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on 2 December 2015
As ever with John Grisham, this is an excellent read. It is particularly satisfying, I find, that this novel is much concerned with the gulf between rich and poor and the lack of understanding between the high flyers and gross earners of the 'top' city lawyers and the lawyers with social conscience and minimal salaries, who work with sympathy and compassion for the very poor, the rough sleepers, the druggies and anyone whom high society has left behind swept under the nearest convenient carpet. Grisham's espousement of the high standards of the pro bono lawyers makes for a highly interesting as well as a very moving novel.
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on 4 November 2015
I don't go in for superlatives but this one deserves it.
John Grisham not only writes in a lucid and compelling style explaining the legal technicalities and facts of the case but tells a ripping yarn.
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on 13 January 2015
John Grisham can always be relied upon to leave his readers feeling slightly more hopeful for the state of humankind. This book, perhaps even more than his others, explores the way in which anybody with real conviction - even lawyers who are locked in a money-orientated profession - can make a positive difference to the lives of others. The story, which deals with the terrible state of homelessness in the USA, explores the conscience of one young man and how one shocking event can tip that conscience from selfishness to genuine care for others. I particularly love the ending of this book....... I just wish this was fact and not fiction.
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on 21 October 2006
Grisham often writes about the mendacity of lawyers who will do all they can to earn as much as possible, usually over-billing their clients. But here we have lawyers who have a conscience. The life of one greedy lawyer is changed for ever by contact with a deranged homeless man. He becomes a lawyer for the poor losing his wealth, his wife and almost his career. My one criticism would be that his ending is so nice as to be rather incredible. Nevertheless, you have to love the abilities of a great storyteller.
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on 22 June 2016
I've read several Grisham novels and quite enjoy the tales of high end legal wranglings in the businesses and courts of the United States. This was a similar, if predictable tale. Quite easy to read....nasty bug time lawyer turns good....David and Goliath in the courtrooms....but you know how it's going to finish. It was worth 99p but I wouldn't pay more.
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on 26 May 2016
I have read all of John's books, mostly more than once. This is a really good story on many levels. It shows up man's greed and the helplessness of others. A few people with the right will can make so many others' lives so much better.
Well done John for trying to raise our social conscience.
A really good read that grabs you from the start!
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on 15 June 2016
Liked this book - reminded me a little of the Marty Singer book No.4, but written from a different perspective. Book started off fast and furious, a real page turner and slipped away by the first third - plodding along mostly but still an enjoyable read. Quite a humble/hard hitting book on the topic of homelessness. Gets you thinking a bit.
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on 28 July 2016
I was delighted when I found this on offer as I had thought I’d read all of Grisham’s novels, and whilst I enjoyed the story of Michael Brock turning his back on the corporate world when a homeless man is killed in front of him, I found the pace in the middle of the story too slow. That said I still enjoyed it, and as always the big guns had to pay the prince for their wrong doing. If only real life worked like that!
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