January 28, 2016

The Street Lawyer by John Grisham

Title:  The Street Lawyer
Author:  John Grisham
Pages:  452
Genre:  Legal Thriller
Publisher:  Island Books, 1999
Series:  Stand Alone

Synopsis:  He gave up the money. He gave up the power. Now all he has left is the law. — 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 is 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...

Review:  This story is impossible to put down.  It's also eye-opening.  The plight of the homeless is starkly told with plenty of heart-wrenching detail -- the soup kitchens, the shelters, the streets.  Michael is now one of a rare breed, a lawyer who works for next to nothing, giving free legal help to the poorest in our nation....in our nation's capitol.

The lawyers in the 14th Street Legal Clinic in Washington, DC include Michael, the main character, a WASP Ivy League graduate; Sophia, a Hispanic woman who is aggressive and very capable; Abraham, a Jew who is a genius at working to change legislation; and Mordecai Green, the loud, brash black man who grew up in the toughest neighborhoods and knows all the right people.  And, yes, I mention the races and religions on purpose.  It is, unfortunately, an important detail in the story of the homeless and those who work to help them.  Mordecai quickly became my favorite character.

This is an absolutely fabulous story, with twists and turns, laughs and tears and plenty of thrills.  It's a fast read and I highly recommend it.

Rating:  10 / 10


  1. Julie, you recommended A Time to Kill to me several weeks ago. I recently finished it and wanted to let you know I enjoyed the book. Thanks for the recommendation. Considering how long the book was, I wish he'd gone into a little more detail near the end. Once Ellen was attacked and in the hospital, our protagonist never spoke with her afterwards. And the book never addressed him telling his wife their house had been burned down and her reaction. I thought this would have added to the book. But overall I did enjoy the read!

    1. I'm so glad you liked it! I agree, the story ended rather abruptly, but it's still good!


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