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The street lawyer
Cover of The street lawyer
The street lawyer
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Michael was in a hurry He was scrambling up the ladder at Drake & Sweeney, a giant Washington DC firm with 800 lawyers The money was good and getting better a partnership was three years away He was a rising star, with no time to waste, no time to stop and no time for a conscience But a violent encounter with a homeless man stopped him cold Michael survived his assailant did not Who was this homeless man? Michael did some digging and found a dirty secret, and the secret involved Drake & Sweeney
Michael was in a hurry He was scrambling up the ladder at Drake & Sweeney, a giant Washington DC firm with 800 lawyers The money was good and getting better a partnership was three years away He was a rising star, with no time to waste, no time to stop and no time for a conscience But a violent encounter with a homeless man stopped him cold Michael survived his assailant did not Who was this homeless man? Michael did some digging and found a dirty secret, and the secret involved Drake & Sweeney
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  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 2, 1998
    America's most popular author is arguably its most popular crusader as well, tilting his pen against myriad targets, including big law (The Firm, etc.), big tobacco (The Runaway Jury), big insurance (The Rainmaker) and now, in perhaps his sweetest, shortest novel, against anyone, big or little, who treats the homeless as less than human. The expected powerhouse opening involves the hostage-taking--by an armed, homeless man who calls himself Mister--of nine attorneys of a huge law firm headquartered in D.C. Among the nine is narrator Michael Brock, an antitrust lawyer who receives a faceful of blood when a police sniper blows away Mister's head. "I'm alive! I'm alive," Michael cries like Ebenezer Scrooge, but, like Scrooge, this greedy hotshot is ripe for a moral awakening. The next day, Michael visits the shabby offices of Mister's attorney, Mordecai Green, who explains that Mister and others had been illegally evicted from makeshift housing on orders from a real-estate development company represented by Michael's firm. Inspired by Green and shaken by his firm's complicity, Michael volunteers at a homeless shelter. When a family he meets there dies on the street, and turns out to have been among the evictees, Michael quits his job, goes to work for Green and, using as evidence a file he steals from the firm, aims to sue his former employer on behalf of the evictees. In turn, the firm places Michael in its crosshairs, pressuring him to give up the file through legal maneuvers, having him arrested and hints of darker means. The cat-and-mouse between Michael and the firm is vintage Grisham, intricately plotted, but the emphasis in this smoothly told, baldly manipulative tale is less on action and suspense, which are moderate, than on Michael's change of heart and moving exploration of the world of the homeless. Dickens would be well pleased, and so will Grisham's fans. 2.8 million first printing.

  • AudioFile Magazine A high-powered lawyer leaves a Washington, DC, firm to practice "street law." Unlikely, but Grisham has concocted a believable story that may signal that his latest bestseller has something more to say to his readers. Frank Muller, is a master narrator. Muller offers a slightly restrained performance in terms of character voices. He ably captures the essence of the young attorney's dilemma over abandoning his career, his discomfort as he finds himself in a homeless shelter for the first time and the growing drive that pushes him to change his life. Muller manages to convey inner conflicts not expressly stated, adding something more to Grisham's story. The story is a great choice for recording as it unfolds in deliberate storytelling style and doesn't have too many characters or scene shifts. THE STREET LAWYER is a departure from Grisham's norm and is highly recommended for great listening. R.F.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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