John Grisham's bestselling backlist repackaged with fantastic new covers
An eleven-year-old has discovered a secret that not even an adult should know.
A US State Senator is dead, and Mark Sway is the only one who knows where the body is hidden. The FBI want him to tell them where it is at whatever cost to Mark and his family. The killer wants him silenced forever.
Reggie Love has been practising law for less than five years. Only she can save Mark from these twin threats. Together they must take on the might of the State and the wiles of a cold-blooded killer.
About the Author...
One day at the Dessoto County courthouse, John Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.
That might have put an end to Grisham's hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career - and spark one of publishing's greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.
Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 225 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. The Innocent Man (2006) marked his first foray into non-fiction.
Grisham's latest opens with a neat hook into the reader's jaw - and the tension never wavers - as the author strives for a knockout suspenser with echoes of Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson - or at least the reader can't help weighing what he's reading against the darker plots that enmesh Huck Finn and Jim Hawkins. Instead of pirates, though, 11-year-old Mark Sway is thrown among lawyers and murderers. Mark, a great follower of L.A. Law, becomes "the client" after he witnesses the suicide of a drunken Mafia lawyer. Before the lawyer dies, he tries to take Mark with him, holding the boy prisoner while the Cadillac they sit in fills with carbon dioxide. As he's fading, the lawyer reveals to Mark the whereabouts of the body of a Louisiana senator. The senator was murdered by Mafia thug Barry "the Blade" Muldanno, then buried under concrete in the lawyer's garage. Mark escapes death but now holds a secret so deadly that Barry the Blade is ready to waste him. He's also wanted by the feds because Barry's going on trial for the senator's murder - but there's no body, and so the feds have a weak case. Mark retains 52-year-old Reggie Love, an abused divorcee, to help him keep shut about the body's whereabouts. If it's known that he knows - and the hoods and feds suspect him mightily - he and his family will never have a safe moment again. The story is set in Memphis, then moves to New Orleans, but both backgrounds are sketchy. The strongest scene features three mildly funny goons in the middle of the night trying to...well, enough. Mark is too smart by half, rather than wise like Huck; dialogue slips into exposition; and Grisham goes for the tear ducts at rule's end, but presses too hard. None of this matters. In the movie, the obligatory face-out between Barry the Blade and Mark will take place, bet on it, though Grisham avoids the confrontation. (Kirkus Reviews)
For Ages: 14+ years old
For Grades: 9+
Published: January 1994
Dimensions (cm): 17.8 x 11.0 x 3.2
Weight (kg): 0.32