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.
Reviewed on 23rd May 2009
An interesting idea, but the characters in Grisham's novels still strike me as somewhat too two-dimensional. There's the boy, who one minute is a super-human and the next a blubbering child; the lawyer, ditto; the judge, kind and friendly; the evil lawyer, evil, evil and evil.
I've noticed that the characters in this one tend to have back stories, and we find out everything about them when we first meet them. To an extent that takes the surprise and suspense out of the tale. What's the point in going through a courtroom scene to see what the judge decides when we've just established his entire past record of similar cases? I'd much prefer to be aligned with the one central character and find out about people as he does. Admittedly, Grisham does do this with his (much) later novel Playing for Pizza.
Having been mean about it however, it was an interesting book. There's less of an insight into the American judical system now though, and the novels are leaning more towards Thriller-with-a-lawyer-or-three rather than what I would term Legal-Thriller.
Overall, it's not unmissable. There's definitely a Grisham flavour to the writing style which is uniquely his. I'm going to pay more attention to the next one to try and put it into words.