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OTHER INFORMATION: The book was first published by Century in the United Kingdom in 1993. The story is told by an omniscient narrator who shifts in the point of view. The story contains fory-two chapters.
SUBJECT: The story takes place in Memphis and tells about an eleven-year-old boy, Mark Sway, whom a secret is told where the corp of a US senator is hidden. Together with his lawyer, Reggie Love, they fight against the FBI, because they want to know the location of the murdered senator, at whatever cost of Mark and his family.
SYNOPSIS: One day, Mark goes with his brother Ricky into the forest. While the boys are smoking, they see a man who wants to commit suicide. Mark wants to help the man and removes the hose from the exhaust. The man, who is a lawyer of a mafia boss, catches Mark and tells him, where the corp of a killed US senator is hidden. Mark is able to escape before the man kills himself. After that the boys run home and call the police.
Mark is asked a lot of questions whether he knows the location of the body of the murdered senator. Mark can´t stand the fact that everybody asks him questions and so he decides to hire a lawyer. Her name is Reggie Love, a woman who first of all does not take him seriously, but when Mark tells her his story, she agrees to take his case.
Together, Mark and Reggie try to "fight" against the FBI and the state. The FBI agents think that Mark keeps very important informations because he does not tell the FBI even not the judge where the location of the corp is.
After a long time the FBI understands Mark's fear and so they offer the Sway-family to take part in the witness - protection - program. But Mark is still afraid because a mafia boss, Barry Muldanno, wants to kill him.
Then Mark tells Reggie where the corp is hidden and so they go there to dig for it. They find the body and with a trick they, can get rid of the mafia, who also wants to find the body. Then they call the FBI. On the next morning a plane is ready to fly the Sway-family to their new home - to Phoenix.
CHARACTERS: The story contains two protagonists Mark Sway and his lawyer Reggie Love.
Mark lives with his mother Dianne Sway and with his brother Ricky in a trailer in Tucker Wheel Estate.
Mark is eleven years old, three years older than his brother. Their parents divorced a couple of years ago. Dianne earns not very much money so they can´t afford a lot of luxury goods. His ”ex-father”(so calls Mark his father) is an alcoholic and beated Dianna and her children very often. Now Mark has to be the man in the house and so he is really mature and intelligent for his age.
Reggie Love, who is fifty-two, owns a law firm. She looks very smart, she is not married and lives in an apartment together with her mother. She was married and when they splitted up she lost her children and most of her money.
The FBI-agents act almost in the same way. They think that Mark Sway possesses important informations and therefore they try everything to get them from him. They do not really care about the Sway-family.
PERSONAL OPINION: The book was not very easy to read but I never get bored because John Grisham always writes in a very thrilling way. It was great how an eleven-year-old boy can talk to FBI agents. I liked Mark and the way he acted because he did not get any help from his mother.
From my point of view, John Grisham describes the FBI very well in his novel. In reality, I guess, it is just the same way the FBI acts and that they only look for their own success and do not care about anyone else.
I also wondered how law can be so brutal and so difficult to understand because in my opinion it is not fair that a young boy is put under such pressure.